2021 Back to School Guide

It is almost back to school! For some of you I have learned that school has already started. Which I still can’t get over the fact that it is even time for school. The older boys start in a couple weeks and Cyrus starts preschool in September. So we will be in back to school mode for the next month. 
I know with back to school it can be overwhelming to get everything organized. I wanted to share a back to school guide to set you up for success. Use this as a reference as you are preparing your kids for school.

Establish a Schedule

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 tip 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!

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.

Tips to help have healthy bedtime habits:

  • Create a bedtime routine. After spending some family time, 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. 
  • 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. This doesn’t always happen in perfect harmony, especially with the boys sometimes having late games. We try our best to have them go to bed around the same time.
  • 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.

Is it really the first day of school if you don’t have the 1st day of school signs? Here is a round-up of some options to get in time for the perfect first day. 

Reusable Back to School Sign

First Day of School Flag

Chalkboard Back to School Milestone Sign

Reusable Chalkboard Sign

Reversible First and Last Day of School Sign

Personalized Chalkboard Sign

School Supplies

Colored Pencils

Washable Crayons

Washable Markers

Sharpened Pencils

Elmer’s Washable Glue Sticks

Index Cards

2-pack Kids Scissors

Pink Erasers

Poly Folder w/ 2 Pockets

Plastic Pencil Box

Sticky Notes

Mechanical Pencils

4-pack Highlighters

BIC Black Pens

1 Subject College Ruled Notebook

Pencil Sharpener

Beats Studio Ear Buds

Back to School Clothing

With Cameron starting 8th grade he has now went up 2 sizes. I assessed each boys closet to see what items they grew out of and what has to be replenished. 

Note* If you live in Texas Tax-Free weekend is 8/6-8/8. 

My Frequent Back to School Stores

Children’s Place

Old Navy


Abercrombie & Fitch

Kids H&M (most shopped for my littles and Calvin)


Walmart (occasionally)

Nordstrom (check out kids sales items here)


JCPenney (nice activewear)

Boys Capsule Wardrobe


Girls Capsule Wardrobe


Backpack Options

I love sitting down with the boys and having them pick out their backpacks. This is the first year Cyrus is picking out his, and love seeing how each of my boys gravitate towards different things. 

Here is a round up of great backpack options at all different price points 

Colby Half Moons Backpack and Lunch Box

Star Wars Glow in the Dark

Fairfax Gray and White Backpack – customizable with patches

Mackenzie Critter Dino Backpack

Construction Truck Backpack

Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Backpack

Disney Princess Backpack

Splatter Recycled Backpack and Water Bottle

Navy/Neon Colorblock Backpack 

Heathered Dip Gray Backpack

Nike Hayward 2.0 Backpack

Skip Hop Dog Backpack

Fortnite Backpack

Lego Backpack

Sony Playstation Backpack

Rainbow Cloud Recycled Backpack

Light Blue Stripe Recycled Backpack

Lunch Box Options

Hot Wheels Lunch Box

Spiderman Lunch Box

Dinosaur Lunch Box

Black and White Striped Lunch Box

Bentgo Children’s Lunchbox

Thermos Mint and Coral Lunch Box

Expandable Bento Lunch Kit

Skip Hop Monkey Lunch Bag

Lavender Floral Lunch Box

Sandwich Shape Cutters

Spiderman Food Container

Reusable Bentgo Ice Packs

Sistema Bento Storage Containers

Set of 5 Bento Boxes

10 pack Reusable Storage Bags

50 pack Printed Paper Bags

Dino 14oz Water Bottle

Spiderman 12oz Water Bottle

Baby Shark 12oz Water Bottle

Marble Slim Water Bottle

Splatter Water Bottle

Nap Sacks

Lunch Meal Ideas

This year I would like to start being more intentional with creating a balanced lunch for the kids each day. It can get easy to grab chips and cookies (which I definitely will still do). However, I also want to do a mix of more thought out meals as well.

If you are like me and also want to be more intentional with meal idea here are some meals I plan on trying. 

Meal Ideas for Kids

Meal Ideas for Tweens/Teens

Positive Affirmations

School can often bring many challenges and emotions. I know for me it is important that I remind my kids daily just how amazing and capable they are. I want them to know how capable they are, and there is nothing they can’t achieve. Here are some positive affirmations you can do with your children before school. 

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