Final preparations as first day looms

This coming week marks the end of an era in our household, and the beginning of a new one… our youngest starts pre-k next week, and we will officially have all three of our kids in school.

It’s a bit bittersweet, but the excitement that she has for school, and of course being in school with her brothers completely makes up for it.

As we make all the prep work for school this year with the buying of supplies and easing back into a school friendly bedtime and morning routine, there are several other adjustments that we are trying to make around the house.

You may be more organized than I am — which at this point in our year really wouldn’t require much, but if you’re looking for some more school tips, here they come.

Of course, these are all along the same mindset of the organization tips that you could easily find on Pinterest, but I’ve already done the Pinterest digging, trying and testing, along with a few of my own time saving ideas, tips and tweaks.

I hope that some of this can benefit someone out there.

Tips for the first day and first weeks of school:

1. First Day Pictures. I know a lot of people do this, and I am a huge picture taker. I try to document everything, which may or may not be a character flaw.

If you want nice pictures with your child’s teacher, in front of your house, or with any possible siblings, you will need to start at least thirty minutes early. Yes, that sounds extreme. Getting kids to stand still and smile on the first day of really getting back into a different schedule will almost assuredly require more time than you would think.

First Day Picture IDEAS: the chalkboard — everyone knows this one, and up until this year when I suddenly cannot find my chalkboard, we had a double sided one that I completely personalized for our sons.

This year I made my life easier and got three of the kind that you fill in with information.

2. Set out outfits for each day of the week for younger kids. This one is self-explanatory. Sunday nights I will be checking the forecast and laying out outfits for our four-year-old, so she can dress herself.

When you’re getting back into a school schedule, having clothes already ready is a huge timesaver!

This laying out of outfits even includes hair accessories and socks. Of course, we may stray from this a little bit, but having things that match so you don’t have to go searching will be a big help.

3. Pre-cutting fruits and veggies. This one is straight from the Pinterest boards. I used it about half way through the school year last year when packing lunches got to be a bit of a hassle.

Do your meal prep at the beginning of the week, as much as possible, so that you can grab things and throw them right in the lunchbox.

If you want to be over organized — write down what each days’ lunch will be. This may sound crazy, but packing three lunches is no joke some days.

Another tip is to separate foods by food group within your fridge, which can help kids to learn how to pack and portion their own lunches. For example, a plastic bin that is labeled, “Dairy, take one,” and filled with cheese sticks and yogurt.

Will I actually be this organized? Time alone will tell.

As always, thanks for reading, and happy back to school from hbk!

Katy Wise is a Fredonia resident.

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