Getting your family ready to go back to school can be challenging. There are a lot of things to accomplish before your students head back to the classroom. Tackling the back to school list early will reduce any surprises and problems that could arise. Don’t worry, we have some great back-to-school tips on how to get organized and start your to-do tasks early.

smile Create a Homework Station

It doesn’t have to be fancy, but a homework station should have everything your child needs to complete their assignments. Pencils, erasers, crayons, markers, a dictionary and thesaurus, and other school essentials should be readily accessible. The homework station should be at a table or desk where you child can do their homework—it can be as simple as the dining room table, but it should be away from any distractions that could impede on your child’s studying efforts. Having a homework station will help keep your children organized, provide them with a location that will become a routine element, and eliminate any questions your children may have about where supplies are and what items you have on hand.

plan Get Organized with a Command Center

If you don’t already have a command center in your home, creating one would be a great idea. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it should be a place within your house where the family can go to find out what’s upcoming and other important information. At a command center, you’ll file incoming and outgoing paperwork, to-do lists, field trip forms, birthday party invitations, chore lists, and other calendar information that will keep everyone organized and up to date.

Pinterest offers a wide array of ideas to create a command center. Get creative and personalize the space so that it’s functional for everyone in the household. Once school kicks off and is in full swing, you’ll discover that everyone will rely on the command center to keep them in line and knowledgeable of everyone’s schedules.

fuel Plan Lunch Menus

Packing your child’s lunch doesn’t have to be difficult or involved. There are a ton of lunch ideas on Pinterest that incorporate fun child-friendly recipes that are healthy and simple. Before the school season begins, sit down with your child and explore recipe options that will keep them excited about their lunch. Bento boxes are a great way to pack your child’s lunch and keep the food organized and appealing. Reusable cupcake liners are another excellent tool to use when creating lunches because they can keep items from leaking onto each other and causing food to get soggy.

If you’re in need of some lunch inspiration, check out WhatLisaCooks.com—she makes packing lunch a walk in the park. Her ideas are sandwich free and incorporate ideas for the picky eater and other eats you may not have thought of. Each tutorial also includes FAQs, tips to make the lunch better and ways you can customize the meal in consideration of your child’s likes.

getrealistic Start Early on a School Supply List

Don’t wait until your child’s open house or the first day of school to shop for supplies. Check your local department store–many schools communicate with local stores and provide them with supply lists for their customers. If your child’s list is not available at a local store, call the school or go online and see if the lists are posted.

Try to plan ahead and get the list during the summer months. Drugstores, such as Walgreens, advertise excellent money saving sales throughout the summer—and picking up these items when they’re priced lower can save you a lot of money in the end. Parents often receive mid-year supply requests so purchasing supplies when they’re on sale is a great way parents can stock up and get extras for the rest of the school year.

sleep Practice Routines

Summer vacation can be hard to leave behind. Therefore, it is very important to begin your school routines before school starts. This means no sleeping in and no staying up late. Parents should begin to implement school time routines two weeks prior to school starting—this way kids have had the necessary time to adjust. This two-week trial period also provides parents with the opportunity to tweak schedules and make a morning routine that works for the entire family. You’ll discover that putting routines into action before school begins will prove to make the mornings go smoother.

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