With back to school sales going strong, frugal, organized moms like me have started planning for back to school. I know preparing now one step at a time gives me more time in September to handle last minute trips for school supplies and the mountain of paperwork coming home for 5 kids.
A few weeks ago, I shared a Back to School Master Planning List to help you start organizing for Back to School. Today, I’m digging into the nitty gritty of back to school organizing.
Buy your school supplies as soon as you get the list from school. Buy extra supplies on sale for your mid-year restock. My kids always need more pencils, crayons, and school glue in December, and maybe again in April. Don’t forget to reuse supplies from the previous year if they’re in good condition. These old school supplies can also serve as extras if you don’t want to buy additional supplies.
You can also donate extra school supplies to help kids in need. Make it a family project to fill up a backpack.
Check back packs, water bottles, and lunch boxes for wear and tear and order new ones if needed. Make sure the backpack can hold a larger amount of books for an older child. I made the mistake of ordering basic backpacks in preschool for my kids; they only lasted through First Grade.
Clothes for school
If your school has no uniform code, all you need to do is make sure you have the next sizes up for your kids and that the clothes are in good condition. My oldest son has clothing guidelines for school which are easy to follow. We just replace as clothes and shoes need repair.
Four of my kids have to wear uniforms to school. The uniform maker, Flynn and O’Hara is expensive for my budget. I’ve been able to find F&O pants at a local Catholic Church thrift store for only $1, plus friends with kids pass along their old uniform items when they’re outgrown. I found dresses for my daughter in the uniform supply box at school.
However, I always struggle with finding shoes and socks to match the uniform dress code. I shop year round for these to make sure I’m always prepared. Every time I’m in Target or Kohl’s, I check the clearance racks in the shoe department for my children’s upcoming sizes. My target price is $10 to $15.
In my state, Pennsylvania, we need to turn in medical forms the first year kids enter school, usually Kindergarten, in 3rd grade and 7th grade. I always drop these off during a regularly scheduled visit to avoid the form fee. I also ask the pediatrician’s office for an updated copy of my children’s immunization records in case I need the information for Scouts and other activities.
After School Care
If you need before and after school care for your kids, get them enrolled as soon as possible. My children’s Catholic school offers onsite before and after school care available on a regular basis or as needed basis. My kids can get their homework done after school and have it checked by a teacher. The cost is extremely reasonable, and I can use the after school care on an as needed basis.
Other schools in our area are serviced by the local Y or daycare center. Check into the options available and enroll as soon as possible in case there’s a waiting list in August and September. Ask how your child will be transported to school if the care takes place elsewhere.
I am a huge advocate of volunteering for your child’s school. Everyone can find some way to help out. Call your school during the summer to find out about volunteer requirements. At our Catholic school, parents have to do the child abuse check and the state police check, along with taking a special class run by our Archdiocese. You may only need to do the child abuse and state police checks, or your school may have no requirements.
There are so many opportunities for volunteering:
- Field Trip Chaperone
- Homeroom mom / Room Parent
- Library volunteer
- Guest reader
- Scientist of the day
- Field day volunteer
- Lunch duty/Recess volunteer
- Box tops
- Helping with stuffing envelopes or communication envelopes
Many teachers send home a packet of practice sheets for kids to work on over the summer, along with a book report due the first day of school. If you haven’t started the summer packets from your children’ teachers, get them started as soon as possible. Kids are more willing to do summer worksheets if they only need to do one a day. Plan out book reports with your child to ensure they get done with plenty of time to review the report for spelling and grammar.
If your child struggled with basics like math facts and writing last year, have them practice 5 minutes a day starting now. Again, they’re more likely do it if you set the timer for 5 minutes each day because it’s a daily habit. Make practice fun.
What are your best organization tips for back to school?
Shared at: Share It Sunday