6 Tips for Managing the Busy Back to School Season

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This is a sponsored post about managing the back to school season. We’re still over a week out from school starting here but I’m already sort of cringing a little bit inside at what is yet to come.  I’m a Brownie leader, apparently also now a Sunday School teacher (although I’m sharing this with 2 other moms), I have 3 kids who will be playing soccer, a son who’s going to start Boy Scouts, a daughter in gymnastics and a daughter in dance.  Trying to sort this whole new routine out is a little daunting, but I’m making a list of things to help stay organized and on top of things.

6-tips-for-managing-back-to-school

1. Calendar.  Have a calendar on the wall that has a color for each kid.  That way, even the kids who can’t read can know that they have “something” on the day they see their color.  I need to find an enormous calendar so I can put things like stickers for gym days, dance shoes for dance…that kind of thing. Or I need to get separate calendars for each kid.

Not just for kids, but include meal ideas on the calendar.  Even if you have a family “meeting” of sorts on Sundays to decide what you will eat for the week, it leaves the person who has to prepare dinner with a plan and ideas.  It also makes shopping for groceries easier since you know what you will prepare- and save time in making lists.

2. Organization board.  Wouldn’t you just know that we’re in the middle of gutting our breezeway but I have this decent-sized cork board and I’m going to make it into organization/calendar central.  This is where we can keep papers for each kid, things that have to be signed or saved, their weekly schedules, etc., keep track of library books due.  That kind of thing.

With the beginning of the school year comes all of the papers to fill out and be signed.  Parents, you know what I’m talking about.  Eleventy billion pieces of paper…multiplied by how many kids you have.  It’s a LOT to keep track of, and not always something that we can sit down and complete in one sitting.  That’s why each kid will have a folder on that board- clearly labelled- so we can all keep track of who’s paper is what. I actually filled out my son’s paperwork in triplicate last year before realizing what I’d done so not only did I waste all that time, cover my pinky in ink (I’m a lefty) and get a cramp in my hand, I had to humbly ask for 2 more sets of papers from the school and fill them all out AGAIN for each of the girls.  Don’t be like the Brett of the 2012-2013 school year.

I am going to have a meal plan section for this too so I can get all of our favorite meal ideas up and hopefully help simplify my dreaded what do I make for dinner times.  Being organized with meal and menu plans will also help ME to get dinner prepped and cooked on the days when we have after school activities and I won’t be able to cook after school, but will need to cook midday.  (My actual organization board/station is a work in progress since that room is under construction but when it’s done, I”ll update this with a photo).  Being organized saves a LOT of time and makes that hectic back to school season a little less hectic.

3. Routine. We need to get into a routine.  Routines are great for all families. Figuring this out BEFORE school starts is key- so, starting today?  We’re getting up, making beds, cleaning out backpacks, and doing extra journaling.  Bedtime isn’t whenever anymore, it’s 7:30 sharp.  Baths or showers after dinner…you know.  Whatever our school routine is going to be, that’s what we’ll be practicing.

4. Delegate.  No matter how old or young your kids are, even toddlers can help with household tasks.  All 3 of my kids fed the dog and/or cat before they were 2.  Scoop of food into dish.  Voila.  My kids also clear their own dishes from the table.  Life is going to be busy, and hectic, but for example- my oldest is 8 and wants to have money of her own.  So she’ll be able to earn $1 each time she sorts the laundry baskets full of laundry into each family members’ piles.  Putting away the laundry can earn her more money.  She’s learning reponsibility and I have effectively delegated a task.  Win- win, right?

There’s a lot that kids can help with- it also teaches them responsibility at the same time. We keep the kids’ dishes in a drawer next to the dishwasher- that’s so they can access whenever they want. It also means that from a young age, all 3 kids have been able to help unload the dishwasher.  They are able to help and it’s a little less for me to do.

5. SYNC.  This just may be the most important one for we parents.  Sync those calendars.  The schedules. Routines.  If the soccer coach emails one parent the practice and game schedules, forward the email to your spouse.  I can’t tell you enough how much having a calendar feature on my phone that is synched to my email account has saved me and made me more organized.  There’s many many reasons I love this amazing and wonderful and glorious calendar feature on my phone, but

  1. I can set reminder alerts for whenever I want.
  2. I can see if we’ve already got other things going on that day and NOT overbook myself
  3. Did I mention the reminder alerts?  I can have email and pop up alerts to my heart’s content.
  4. We can share a calendar.  By we I mean my husband and me.  So even if he forgets to tell me he’ll be wicked late because he has a work meeting, I can see it. Or if we’re not going to be home until super late because there’s a game in a neighboring town, he can see that too.

Seriously. I can’t even explain how much I love having a calendar for family activities that is accessible to me almost 24/7.  It’s saved me and helped me be more organized. It might be my favorite tech thing ever.  It’s a beautiful thing!

Help your family manage the back to school season with Sprint’s limited time Buy One, Get One FREE offer on the brand new HTC One. Got a kid heading back to school?  Get one for them, and one for you!  Or get one for you and one for your spouse. I won’t judge. Of course, if one of you wanted to get the HTC One but didn’t have someone to give it to, I would gladly help you out. I’m hearing really great things about this phone and would love to try it!  (Kidding. Mostly).

 

 

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Sprint, the Only National Carrier to Guarantee Unlimited Talk, Text and Data for Life.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Sprint via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Sprint

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About the author: I’m a 30-something mom to three, brand ambassador. content creator, social media maven, blogger extraordinaire, earth lover, butcher, baker, candlestick maker (or something along those lines) – love word games, crafting, cake decorating or shooting pictures.

29 comments… add one

  • these are all great ideas and tips! love the organizational bin and board idea!

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  • Great tips, especially the routine! I have all my kids in school now as my youngest started kindergarten. Luckily they are in 2 schools now instead of 3 like last year. A routine is important here in the mornings.

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  • Brett, you seem just as busy as I will be! I already have schedules for sports , CCD and other after school fun ready to add into my Google calendar.

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  • I need all the help I can get. I am all over the place with school.

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  • We are just now getting into the school thing with our kids and I can see the crazy schedules beginning. I’m keeping that organization board in the back of my head, sounds like a great idea!

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  • Great tips. I may need to try an organizational board. Maybe something visual for the whole family will help keeping everyone’s schedule in one place.

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  • GREAT tips! If we don’t stay super organized during the start of the school year, something is definitely bound to fall through the cracks.

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  • Thanks for these great tips! I really need to get an organization board!

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  • Those are great tips! I only have one kidlet right now to keep track of, but some of these tips would still help my husband & I to stay on the same page schedule-wise for all of us.

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  • These are great ideas! I’ll have to remember these when my son enters his school age!

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  • These tips are great. I’d been contemplating an organizational board, now I’m inspired!

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  • Wonderful tips! I ALWAYS use a calendar, or at least like to think I do! :)

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  • Being able to synch calendars up like that is so helpful. I need an enormous calendar for myself too, they never seem to make them big enough. LOL!

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  • I love my Sprint service and this is a really great offer! Thanks for sharing your tips. This time of year gets pretty hectic.

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  • Great tips. I am definitely a list maker and I write everything down!

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  • These are definitely great ways to get ready for the back-to-school season! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  • The routine is the most important for us – get one of us off of our routine and watch our lives crumble!!

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  • My girls start next week and I’ve gotta get us back on the ‘school’ routine pronto! I’m big on keeping a routine during the school year and never go far without my calendar in my phone!

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  • We don’t have anyone of school age in the house at the moment, but pretty much all of these tips would help me out!

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  • WAIT! I just realized I read in here somewhere that you work. Like outside the home? No freakin’ way. How do you have the time?

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  • I can only imagine the bells and whistles are constantly sounding on your phone. Your schedule is nutso!!!!!

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  • Great ideas!!! I am obsessed with my Google calendar and love that I can share with others and sync. SWEET!

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  • Without smart phones, shared calendars and the white board calendar on the wall I wouldn’t survive school and all of the kids activities!

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  • I am really lucky that my daughter is extremely organized, but I did see some here that I will need to share with her. Thanks.

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  • Great ways to organize! My kids aren’t even in school yet and our calendar is filled to the brim with activities and playdates.

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  • I love the idea of the organization board, it would really help me see what I have to do, then accomplish the tasks one by me, thanks for all of the great tips.

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  • Back to school is always a hectic time for us until about three weeks into September as the kids and I all adjust to our new routine. Thanks for the great tips!

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  • It is so important to be organized for back to school. I don’t know what we would do without our checklists!

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  • These are brilliant ideas!! I am in big need of the organization bin! I need something really good for my kids. They bring home so many pieces of paper and by 5pm its all scattered across my livingroom floor. Yuck.

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