I don’t want to rush the summer, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t craving any sort of routine! I know there are other parents out there that feel the same way. There is something so fun and amazing about summers-no (or at least a more flexible) schedule, pool days, late nights, vacations, s’mores. But there is also something so gratifying about knowing what tomorrow will bring-a set bus stop time, a full school day, dinner at a reasonable hour and bed time early enough that I still have some time to myself before I crash for the night!
I wouldn’t say I am a 100% always prepared person, but I am also not a procrastinator either. Every summer though, it never fails-I find myself scrambling to get ourselves back in the groove once the start of school is upon us! This year though, I am getting my act together much earlier than usual-chalk it up to the face that we have a baby on the way, which adds a whole new aspect of things to get prepared for!
As I was looking through my calendar the other day and jotting down important dates and things to remember I started to brainstorm things that I noticed we typically do (whether its early enough to make us all say ‘ahhhh!’ or ‘oh crap we should have done this sooner!’) that make the transition back to school a little easier on all of us!
PRACTICE THE SCHOOL YEAR BED TIME ROUTINE
This is something that pretty much goes out the window during the summer. Bed time? What bed time? Sure you can sleep in your sister’s room tonight. Yes, you can stay up later. Sure we can go for a bikeride-who cares that it’s 8:30?
Ryan and I have found that the girls are at an age where they know there is no urgency to get to bed (except maybe that Mommy and Daddy just want a breather-haha!) over the summer, mainly because they don’t have to be up by a certain time the next morning-sleeping in is what they’re used to during the summer months!
What has worked for us, is about a week or so before school starts, we back up their bed time in little increments so that when the start of school rolls around, they are back to their normal bed time and their bodies are getting readjusted.
We also incorporate back into the bedtime routine certain things that we ay have let go over the summer like reading a bed time story or journaling.
PRACTICE THE MORNING ROUTINE
Just like our bedtime routine, we start to do the same with our morning routine. During the summer they don’t sleep terribly late past their normal wakeup time, but I do feel like it’s an adjustment (not just for them, but for me as well). Our school mornings also have a pretty minute by minute routine. We have to be downstairs by a certain time with teeth brushed, each of the girls gets to watch one show, they have breakfast, get dressed and then we head out the door.
Our summer mornings are typically all of us rolling out of bed and getting ready when necessary, depending on the day. The slow mornings are so nice-I’m not going to lie, those will be hard to change!
I like to get the girls back into their morning routines a few days before school-not just to get their body’s adjusted but to also jog their memory on what needs to be done and when in the mornings. Having a set routine makes the mornings go by a little bit smoother, at least for us!
One great suggestion someone shared on instagram with me was to practice getting to school-whether it’s taking the walk to school, or going on the drive that you will take or the bus will take-give it a go a few times so you all can get used to it again!
CLEAR OUT MUDROOM AND GET READY FOR SCHOOL BAGS/SHOES/JACKETS
Our mud room seems to have become a disaster this summer, with shoes all over the place, pool bags, wet bathing suits, beach towels that are always in need of a wash/dry/fold, to piles of things by the garage door waiting to go outside. With our on-the-go schedule (can you even use the word ‘schedule’ during the summer??) it has just turned into a catch all room.
We didn’t have the mud room last year (it was part of our kitchen reno this past fall) so this is a new addition to our back to school routine this year. I feel like I need to just do a major cleanout and reorganization of it. Starting the school year with everything in its place (wherever that may be-haha) makes me feel so much more at ease!
One of the things that was on the girls back to school to-do list was get new backpacks. I honestly don’t know what the girls do during the day and school year with their backpacks but they wear through them! With new backpacks (Ella’s totally fits her personality and interests, and of course so does Charlotte’s) in order I wanted to go through their old ones and store them in their closets (they will use them for overnight trips, and other random things) that way they were out of the way and their cubbies were ready for their new ones!
The mudroom also ends up being their shoe closet, too! We’ve been on the hunt for good bins that match and hold their most worn shoes well!
GET NEW OIL ROLL ONS FILLED AND READY TO GO
We love using Young Living Essential Oils in our house. We diffuse them, roll them on, spray them, you name it! I typically make a hair spray for them (anti lice), a wellness blend and then also a Be Brave blend specifically for Ella. We roll them on the girls every morning before we head out the door.
We get pretty lax with it over the summer with applying and using those ones specifically so now is the time I top them off and get them ready to be used. I keep a bowl by the sink in the mud room so once the girls get their shoes on and backpacks packed we roll them on and go!
2 oz spray bottle
10 drops tea tree oil
10 drops lavendar
5 drop rosemary
5 drops eucalyptus
Fill the rest with water
Be Brave Blend:
Combine Release, Citrus Fresh, Stress Away in a roller blend
10 drops of thieves
10 drops of lemon
5 drops of oregano
top with fractionated coconut oil
THE FUN STUFF: CLOTHING/SHOE INVENTORY AND BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING
This is my favorite thing about getting ready for school! The girls honestly don’t need a ton of clothes at this point-Charlotte is able to wear a lot of Ella’s clothes, and Ella really only wears the same handful of items (she is the complete opposite of me in that regard!). Ryan and I usually get them a few things but we certainly don’t go overboard.
But, we do like to use this time to go through their closets and drawers and pack away or donate things that they don’t wear or can’t fit into anymore. It’s the perfect time to take inventory of what they need for the coming year! I have a lot of cute back to school picks (including their shoes and dresses) at the bottom of the post!
Shoes though, that’s another story! Will their feet every stop growing?! I feel like I blink and they need new shoes! The start of the school year is always the time that we get them new ones. We go through their shoes (this is sort of lumped into when we clean the mudroom) with them and see what fits, what doesn’t and how the ones that do still fit are holding up! We typically get them a pair of sneakers and then a ‘fun’ pair, whether it be a cute pair of sandals, ballet flats or even booties.
Ella tends to go more for comfort and ease when she picks her shoes-these slip on ones were a favorite of hers-I do suggest sizing up in them though! They run a bit small. In true fashion, and being the complete opposite of Charlotte, she loves to choose shoes that reflect her personality-these Converse fit the bill! I was a bit worried about them being high tops (they can be tricky to get on) but Charlotte can get these on with ease! Now to teach her to tie her shoes….
Even though Ryan and I aren’t heading back to school we always like to use this time to get ourselves some new shoes (he typically needs a new pair while I usually just want a pair-haha!). As predicted, he sticks to comfortable sneakers that he can wear day after day. I am usually all over the place with what I love, but being pregnant, I have been gravitating towards sneakers-I’ve had my eye on these for a while and finally decided to get them-I’m so glad I did!
CLEAN/ORGANIZE THE PANTRY
Yet another part of the house that gets neglected over the summer, the pantry ends up being a disaster! It’s always one of those things where every time we open the pantry cabinets we say “we really need to clean this out!” The start of the school year is the perfect time-we can toss the half opened bags of chips, expired treats from the summer or other weird things that seem to make their way into the pantry.
Once we clean it out, it’s so much easier to make a list of things needed for the school year and for their lunches (Ella packs every day and Charlotte packs sometimes, too). I feel so much better about starting the year with a clean and organized pantry-I know, so weird but it just helps ease the transition! It also helps us get a bit of a gameplan for lunches and what the girls may want!
What are some things that you all like to do to get ready for the school year to start? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks!
SHOP OUR BACK TO SCHOOL KIDS PICKS:
Shoes and backpacks c/o Rack Room Shoes
Photography: Brady Pappas