Back To School/ Loving your Home/ Parenting Tips/ Raising Independent Children/ Routines for Children

How to Have a Great School Year with These Back to School Tips

It seems like before we know it summer is over and school is around the corner! Summer days are soon behind us and we’ll be sending our children back to school. Back to school season can be overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. These back to school tips will help you to get organized and ready for the new school year.

Buy your back to school supplies early

If you’re reading this in July or Early August, NOW is the time to get your school supplies purchased, labeled and organized. We usually just go to Target (surprise, surprise!) to get our supplies because their supply prices don’t change and are pretty low all back-t0-school season. I’d rather just grab everything at one store instead of running around.

Once I’ve purchased all of the supplies, I take the time to go through everything, unwrap, and label items so they don’t get lost at school. I also put everything in a bag so it’s all in one place and ready to go in September.

As you can see from the picture below, my daughter has inherited my love for back to school supplies!


Getting ready for school with a morning routine chart

Getting ready for school can be hard! After a summer of late nights, busy schedules, and lots of fun, having to wake up and rush around can be a difficult transition. We’re all a little reluctant to wake up and get ready those first few weeks. For your elementary-aged children, using a morning routine chart is a great way to help them get back on track. My FREE printable charts can be filled out with simple tasks for each morning. This will help to keep little ones on track so that no step (like brushing teeth!) is missed!

Don’t think your tween or teen can’t benefit from a morning routine. Create a short checklist for your older children and keep it on the fridge or by the door. Especially when you have children transitioning to Junior or Senior High, there is so much to remember before they head out the door to school. Backpack, notebooks, homework, Assignment book, water bottle, change of clothes, or sports equipment. This list could save you from those desperate phone call from the school office when your tween left their trombone at home.

Create after school routines

Just as important as morning routines, after-school routines are a huge help. Kids come home exhausted, hungry, and with plenty of homework! On top of that after-school sports and extracurricular activities begin right away so there’s usually a lot to do after school. For elementary-aged children, my FREE printable After-school Routine Charts are a great way to keep children focused and get everything done after school before they run off and play.

When my kids walk in the door after school I always say, “Shoes. Backpack. Coat. Binders. Lunchbox.” This reminds them to put away their shoes, backpack, and coat. Give mom your binder (which holds all of the school work they completed that day.) and clean out your lunchbox. This small phrase has worked like a charm! They even say it some days, so I know I’ve helped them to create a routine that is sticking.

Whatever method, I encourage you to create a routine for after school. This way your children learn what to expect after a busy and exhausting day. My kids know that once they do their after-school routine, they can have a snack and go relax for a while before doing any homework.


Download my FREE printable routine cards:

Morning Routine Chart  After School Routine Chart  Bedtime Routine Chart

Have a plan for homework

Before school starts, make a plan for how you will handle homework. It’s important to decide when and where you will have your children complete their homework. For most children, coming home from school and diving right into homework might be too much. They might need to give their little brains a break. For others, they might prefer to get their homework done right away while they are still in “school mode”. Either way, it’s important to discuss these expectations before school starts.

For older children, you may need to discuss where they are allowed to do homework. Will you allow them to do homework in their bedrooms, at the dining table, or on the couch in the living room? This way you’re not having this debate the first week of school.

Keep dinners simple

Keeping your menu plan simple during the first few weeks of school will save you so much time, and possibly your sanity! Those first few days of school kids come home tired and overwhelmed. Even as a parent I feel overwhelmed by all of the information that the kids bring home that I need to look over or understand. Having a simple menu plan will give you the extra time you will need during Back to School time.

My Slow Cooker and Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe is a great one for back to school!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe

Get more sleep before school starts

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard to help with the back to school transition is to take 2-3 weeks and slowly have your children go to bed earlier and wake up earlier. During the summer our middle schoolers stay up until around 10 pm. Depending on the night they could be up until 11 pm! This means they are sleeping in until 9 am most days. 2 weeks before school starts I start having the kids go to bed around 9:30, then the week before school starts they are back to their regular school bedtime of 9 pm.

Same goes for waking up. We try to wake them up at 8 am 2-weeks before school starts and then 7 am the week before. These easy steps back into our normal routine help the kids (and mom!) to have a much easier transition.

Creating and sticking to a new bedtime routine for your children is helpful before school starts too. Starting early will give them plenty of time to get used to this new routine.

Lay out your kid’s school clothes every night

This is not a new idea but it is a huge timesaver. Setting out your kids clothes the night before is key! Nothing ruins a morning more than a house full of drama over what to wear. If your child likes to pick out their outfits, include them in this, have them learn how to pick out their clothing the night before, laying it out so it’s ready to go in the morning.

We have a uniform schedule at the kid’s school so I have to be very careful to remind the kids if it’s Standard Uniform or Non-Standard Uniform Day. Some days they wear a polo shirt other days it’s a button-down shirt. Pulling out the clothes the night before makes our mornings go smooth!

Create back to school traditions to make it fun!

Creating some fun back to school traditions is a way to make going back to school so much more fun. We love to make pancakes with rainbow sprinkles in them for the first day of school. We also take first day photos (not fun for the kids but fun for mom!). Maybe you always go out to dinner on the first day of school. We love to go to Red Robin the first Wednesday night after school starts because it’s fun and kids eat FREE the first Wednesday of every month at our location – so it’s cheap too!

Getting ready for back to school time doesn’t have to be a big project. Trying these back to school tips will help you to have a fun and enjoyable transition back to school this year! I hope you found this post helpful!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram – it’s where I continue the conversations and get to know each of you better! You can follow me at @heydonna.

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