Good Morning to you!!!!
I know that in some places in the country, and even here, in random cities, that children are already back in school…but I also know that there are some places where kids start on  Tuesday next week,
right after Labor Day. Since that is what my kids are doing, then guess what we are celebrating?


So I thought it would be a fun tradition to start here at The Welcoming House to have a
“Back to School Week” 
where we bring in other bloggers, and awesome folks who want to share their ideas about how they make their kids’ transitions of going back to School easier for them.
So what are some of the fun things we are talking about this week?
Well, today I am going to be giving you my top TEN ideas for making the transition back to school seamless for you and your kids. I know that we home school, but let me tell you, when you are the mom, the taxi service, AND the teacher, there can be a lot of planning, organizing, and stress-filled moments along the way, just as it is for the many moms who work full time and send their kids off to a public or private school!
Then tomorrow we have an awesome post from a guest blogger on the adorable and fun easy lunches that she fills her children’s lunch boxes with for those of you who choose to send lunches with your kids a few days a week! Jill’s pictures and ideas are awesome,
and I was totally inspired to try them out next week for my kids!
Wednesday I will be sharing some personal history with you, and a bunch of printable love notes or pictures quotes for you to send with your kids, leave in special places, or for them to print out and post onto or into their notebooks and lockers. Even my 13 year old has gotten “Pic-Monkey” happy, and has some awesome printables for your teen set that they just might be rather excited over.
And as to the two other days in this fabulous week, you are just going to have to come back tomorrow to hear who is lined up to share with you on those days! Its exciting, and totally awesome, but I want you to be excited too. 🙂
Now, lets talk about the top ten ways I make our transition back to a school schedule easier for us…and hopefully, easier for you!
Ten Ways to make school easier


1. Have a set meal plan for the week. That means breakfast and dinners for those of you who are home at those times, and box/bag lunches for those of you whose children carry a lunch to school. Utilize simple meals, utilize your crockpot, make it up the night before and have it ready to go in the fridge or freezer so you can get home and have it ready to go with minimal prep. The first week of school around here I use already frozen, made up meals, like enchiladas, or Tuna Noodle Casserole. I also stock up on fresh stuff, and we have salad at least one night in the week. Or sandwiches with a fresh fruit salad or something easy.
If you want to see some of the meal plans we have around here, click here.
Breakfast ideas, click here.
2. Take as many things off your social schedule as you can. Depending on your number of children, getting them out the door with absolutely everything they need to have for the day is late-night work, and pretty tiring. The less you have to keep up with that first week, the better. I learned when the twins came along that starting to teach piano lessons the same week that school started was a really, really REALLY bad decision. Talk about train wreck. So now I schedule everyone to start the lessons the following week. I also think it is being considerate of all my piano moms who are trying to get their kids to school, or do school, and simply can’t deal with one more thing in that first week. 🙂
3. Empty one drawer for each child in their dresser. (of Course, this is for smaller children, just TRY dressing the older ones. Go ahead. I dare you.) Match outfits, complete with undies and socks or whatever, and tie a fun piece of yarn or whatever you choose around them, along with a tag stating the day of the week they are to wear it. Or slip one of our cute printables on top of it so they have the fun and excitement of finding a new note from Mom or Dad every single day. (Remember, those printables will be coming out on Wednesday! And yes, they will be free!)  Having the clothing sorted out and ready to go is a huge time saver for a Mom, and then you don’t risk them heading off to school with a tutu and swimsuit on as “acceptable” clothing, LOL.
4. Get a planner. Seriously. I am a home school mom, and I bounce between my phone planner and my paper planner, and on those days I have lost one or the other….well, let’s just say it is not pretty. Having everything written down in two places helps tremendously. The years I did not have one, and my daughter was in a private school, it was disastrous. You can even use a Google Calender if you want, or use one of the printables I will be sharing with you on Wednesday.
5. A Whiteboard Can Save the day. Get one and hang it next to the door. If you have had a stressful evening, and simply need to let a few things slide until morning, utilize the white board. Write the stuff on it that you need, and deal with it in the morning. It is also a great place for your kids to write important dates that they need you to be aware of, or even activities or materials that they are short on. We actually have one hanging on our oldest daughter’s door, and leave her love notes during the times she needs it, or reminders of activities coming up that week.
6. Get a large basket or box, and set it next to the front door, or in the entryway. I have a wonderful bag that I got from ThirtyOne, and we keep all our home school co-op items in it during the days we are at home. That way, each child is responsible to check for their items before we leave, and someone else (normally me because I want to make sure it is not forgotten…). This same concept works for my friends who have multiple children that school away from home. Everyone puts their backpacks in that box or basket after a parents checks them to make sure dirty gym socks or teacher-signed papers are no longer in there, and then they are not “lost” the next morning.
7. This one is a good one from a friend with quite a few children. She has a folder on the fridge that is marked ” MOM MUST SEE!!” and her kids have been instructed to place all permission slips, forms, teacher/parent notes, sport schedules, into that folder. Now, my first thought was that my children are too young for that, so I asked her when she started doing that. Her first child was in Kindergarten when she began, and all of her children have followed in his footsteps. She makes it very clear at the start of the semester that if papers do not make it into the folder, then she is not responsible for the child missing out on whatever activity, field trip, etc. And she tells all the teachers that. Her kids are amazingly responsible children, and totally are lacking that quality we see everywhere of where Mom is the one that becomes the fall-guy when papers go missing or whatever. Admirable, and enforceable.
8.Make Saturday your baking day, and do it with your kids. Let them choose the snacks for the week ahead, and make them responsible for helping you create them, whether that is cookies or ants on a log. You could even go so far as assigning tasks to kids the night before, and having them create the snack and put it into the fridge for after school or before bed. Kids love to help, and sometimes as moms we need to just step back and learn to delegate. Less stress on you, and it teaches them life skills in the process.
9. Make a simple chore chart by the days of the week for your kids. I know not all moms give their kids chores, but I have found over the years that the kids who do chores far better understand the value of hard work, and the personal responsibility of a family being a team that works together. I tend to back off on chores that first week of school because I know my kids are dealing with more stress than they have over the summer, and then gradually work towards their normal schedule. Even my three year-olds have simple chores, and they absolutely love to help. Takes a load off of Mom when the kids help keep things neat and tidy, and teaches them how to do those things when they are on their own and keeping their own house/apartment/dorm.
10. Make a simple checklist for each child that is generic and they finish before they go to bed. Such as: Breakfast, brush teeth, alarm is off?, backpack, permission slip, lunch in backpack, kiss mom? Simple, easy to follow, etc. I will also be working on creating one for you on Wednesday that you can download if you want. 🙂
Well those are MY simple tips for making a less stressful transition from summer to school days. I know there are a lot of resourceful moms out there, and I want to hear from you.
What are some of your best tips for easing the stress on family in heading back to school???
Share them in the comments….
Blessings to you and yours,
PS–to see who won the wonderful package from our WhimZ B’s Giveaway over the weekend, click here!

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