Monday, August 31, 2009

School starts tomorrow and we are ready!

I have not had time to keep up with both blogs and this is the one that suffers. I will tell you that I have been a busy bee getting things organized in my classroom and at home. I guess it is better that I am actually doing this rather than just posting about it on my blog.

If you are about to start school and feeling overwhelmed or disorganized here are a few tips for you. First of all start with laundry and menu planning. These both encompass two major areas in your life/household and if you can keep on top of them everything else should fall together.

When I say menu planning I am speaking of planning menus, grocery shopping, keeping a clean and organized pantry and freezer, and then actually cooking what you have planned. I made sure to clean out my fridge this weekend so we are starting with a clean and organized slate. Groceries have been bought and put away in an organized fashion. I am really lucky that my dh also was bit by the organizing bug recently and defrosted and organized our extra freezer, as well as, the pantry in our kitchen where we store canned goods.

I am still formulating my menu plan for the first two weeks of school. The biggest challenge is that my two oldest ds play football and have practice several nights a week (and not always the same night). August was a challenge to actually sit down together as a family and eat meals. With it getting darker earlier I think practices will end by 7PM and we will just end up eating later than normal, but at least we will have a nice dinner together.

One thing I did with the boys was go through the Sept hot lunch calendar and I had them choose what days they are eating hot lunch. Now this is not set in stone and they are free to change their minds, but at least I will know in advance what days they are taking cold lunch. I have to say there aren't too many cold lunch days for them in Sept which actually makes my life easier.

Moving on to laundry. I made sure that ALL the laundry was done prior to school starting tomorrow. I washed all the bedding and towels today. It is so much easier to choose outfits when there is a multitude of clean clothes to choose from. This afternoon I had each of the boys choose four outfits to wear this week. I hung each pair of shorts and t-shirt on the same hanger and that way they can choose whatever outfit they want in the morning. They tend to have inherited their father's lack of color coordinating gene. :) New tennies were purchased this summer and are ready to go tomorrow.

We took all school supplies along with them to open house the other night so their backpacks will be empty tomorrow. It's nice to have all that out of the way. School supplies are another post I never got around to typing.

Because tomorrow is my first day of school with students I will not be around in the morning. We are used to this routine and even though I would love to be around to send them off, I have my own students starting their first day. This morning we had our back to school breakfast because I had time to make it. I made pancakes, sausage, and bacon. They loved it and I made enough pancakes that they will be able to eat some later in the week for breakfast. We met dh at TGI Friday's for lunch.

Don't worry if your house is not as clean nor organized as you wanted it. At the very least take time before the first day of school to make sure your kids have an outfit picked out, backpack is all packed and ready to go the night before, and lunch is taken care of. Make sure they get to bed at a decent time.

I am feeling pretty prepared for our first week of school which starts tomorrow. Bonus that it's only a four day week! Wish they all were. :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Back to school countdown to do list

3 Weeks Before
School registration- pay fees, put $ in lunch account, buy special supplies from the school store (√)
Rent clarinet (√)
Get a family calendar
Put back to school night on calendar (√)
Go through clothing closets and drawers
Purchase school supplies (√)
Create a family binder
Make an organization plan for school papers (one binder per child)

2 Weeks Before
Sam's club run for snacks/breakfast bars
Wash backpacks and lunch boxes (√)
Label all school supplies (√)
Pack up backpack with school supplies (drop off at open house) (√)
Go school shopping for supplies and clothes (√)
Make a plan for bedtime and morning routines
Plan routines and rules for morning, afterschool, and evening
Plan cold lunch menus (√)
Set up a homework area
Put together homework kits
Plan Cooper's birthday party (his bday is Sept 9th and it's so much easier if I have it planned before school starts)

1 Week Before
Make menu plan for the first two weeks
Buy groceries
Make a rotation menu for breakfasts
Start practicing routines
Make schedule for homework and football practice
Get supplies that are missing
Definitely adjust bedtimes and waking times
Wash all clothes
Finish organizing closets

1st Week
Have lunches and outfits planned in advance
Start off with an organized routine
Organize boys' materials
Buy any additional supplies
Put all information on calendar and in appropriate binder
Fill out any additional forms
Stay organized and relaxed!