6 Tips To Make Your Back To School Routine Efficient

I can’t believe that school is almost back in session.  I know this school year may look different.  Whether your kids are going into the schools or staying home.  This will feel different.  This is the first year of having 3 kids in school.  We will have a 7th grader, 1st grader, and Cy pulling up the rear in Pre-school.  We have been working to get our back to school routine and schedule more efficient to ensure the boys have a successful year.  I quickly realized last school year that you have to be intentional with keeping the boys on a routine to help them thrive.  With that being said, I wanted to share some back to school tips for parents that have helped our boys do well in school and make them great.  The last thing you want is your child walking around depleted. 

6 Back to School Tips for Parents to Make Your Back-to-School Routine More Efficient

1. Creating Healthy Sleep Habits

This is key, especially for Calvin. It has been quite an adjustment for Calvin attending school this last year. The first two days of his last year I would pick him up and he would fall asleep on the car ride home. We have been intentional with focusing on our boys sleeping habits. It has helped make the boys ready to get up in the morning, which helps make our busy mornings more productive and only makes it easier for them to be successful in their workday.

Often, we focus on getting all of our supplies and clothing to prepare for going back to school. However, there is another element that is just as important to have a successful school year. To be set up for success we must also focus on sleep hygiene. I know for our kiddos if they don’t get proper sleep, they are not functioning at 100% in school. Calvin will lack focus, and Cameron will be dragging the entire day. Back-to-school prep should focus on getting “back-to-sleep” as well. I had the opportunity to partner with my favorite mattress brand, Purple, to share more on how to create a successful sleep routine for your kids!

Tips to help have healthy bedtime habits:

  • Have children go to bed at the same time every night. Establishing a set time helps our kids wind down and start mentally preparing for sleep.
  • Create a bedtime routine. After shutting down electronics, we bathe the boys, and then dedicate about 20 minutes to reading. We allow the boys to also do one Amazon Kids bedtime story after we read together. It turns off at the end of the story so the boys know it’s time to go to sleep. 
  • Invest in comfort and sleep-time support. We have been sleeping with Purple mattresses since early 2019. It started with our master bed. It used to take me a long time to get to bed and I instantly felt like it was easier to get to bed and stay asleep. At the time my mother was living with me, and she had been having back pain. We decided to swap hers out, and she hasn’t complained about her back since. That convinced us to swap out the boys’ mattress because we felt that it would help our boys sleep better. Cyrus wakes up a lot in the middle of the night and we wanted to try giving him a better mattress. Since making the swap the boys have noticeably slept better. I realized that you have to invest in your sleep. Now our entire family is Purple and try to convince all our friends and family to make the switch.
  • Shut down electronics. We make sure to turn off the kids’ screens to allow their minds to slow down and prepare for the end of the day. We try to turn it off about one hour at least before bedtime. The last thing we need is for our boys to be still thinking about a Fortnite battle when trying to go to bed.
  • Get kids to bed early. For us being so busy it can be difficult to get them to bed at a decent hour. Sometimes they were going to bed after 10pm. We started really being intentional about sticking with a schedule. The younger boys go to bed at 8:30pm and Cameron is in bed at 9:00pm and sleep by 9:30pm.

 

2. Create a Calendar Board

I am sure our household is not the only one that is back to being busy with sports and school activities. With that, it is important for our family to be in sync with the family schedule. For this specific back to school tips for parents, I purchased a large calendar board that hangs in our mudroom. Each new week I show the boys the schedule and call out anything that pertains to them. This is important to loop the kids in. Example: I know Cam will come in some days ready to lay on the couch and then gets in a mood finding out there are evening activities. Keeping a family board allows them to mentally prepare. Additionally, since I work, most of the time I will need the boys to start getting ready as I am commuting home. If you do not have a family calendar board. I strongly recommend it!

3. Align Chores

Even though the boys are back to school, chores DO NOT STOP! I recommend adjusting your chore schedules to be conducive for back-to-school activities and school. For us typically the boys have the expectation that once they get home from school, they can get their snack, do homework, and then tackle chores before free time. I would suggest adding assigned chores to your family calendar board. We recently started the boys with a chore chart and it haas been so helpful to make the boys more responsible.  I am working on modifying the chores now that we are back to school and they will need to put more of their focus on their school work.

4. Plan Out School Lunches

Making lunches can get time consuming, and then if you buy lunch that can get pricey. We like to do both. While we are starting the first 9 weeks virtual our hope is to get the kids back in the schools. Cam likes buying his lunch and if he could have it his way he would buy every day. His middle school lunch offers Chick-Fil-A so, as you can imagine, this will drain our pockets; so we create a balance.

Once the monthly lunch calendar gets posted I sit down with the kids and have them pick out the two days each week they wish to buy their own lunch. Then the other three days Cam brings lunch. Since Calvin is getting used to 1st grade we have him bringing lunch every day.

My husband and I take turns in the evening making lunch for the next day and the boys will pack their own snacks. While the boys are doing virtual school we will still plan out lunches as Rick and I both work full time, and will have to be efficient with our time.  I recommend still planning out meals even if you are homeschooling.

5. Set up a Homework Station

I know I can’t be the only one that has kiddos that get distracted when it is time to do homework. With that, I was determined to set my boys up for success when it came to study time. In our home we added a workstation area for the boys that is AWAY from the TV and allows them to focus on work. To set up a station, designate an area that your kids can do work uninterrupted. A lot of our boys’ homework is done on the computer so we did invest in getting the kids their own computer.

Below you will see I have a supplies cart.  I have started using carts in various rooms that can move around and make it convenient to have all the essential accessible.

Other important supplies to have on hand for your homework station:

6. Daily Outfits

Granted, I do have boys, so I know that my outfit planning is probably a lot easier than girl moms. However, this very morning I was showing Calvin his outfit and he told me that the blue on his shirt vs. shorts don’t match! First off, you are six, and secondly you better wear whatever I lay out for you! 😉

To help the boys be able to grab and go in the morning, I have gotten these daily outfit organizers and put each of the boys outfits in there, making it easy.

It will take about a month to fully make these back to school tips for parents become part of your routine, so be patient with this transition. In addition to the tips above, it is important to sit down as a family and think about a morning and after-school routine. This will vary for each household, but it is important to set the responsibilities and expectations for the entire family.

Hope the school year is off to a great start!

What are some of your favorite back to school tips for parents?  Let me know in a comment below!

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  1. Thank you so much for the advice, I have a six year old that’ll be going into the 1st grade. It was extremely hard for me to put her on a schedule due to me working and attendance school.
    I will screenshot you’re school plan.
    I never purchased a purple mattress but I am also looking into investing in one for myself.