School Preparedness: The Battle Plan

This is it; we are down to the wire. I know others who have already begun while some still have a little time left. According to my daughter’s calculations… we have 2 more night-nights left until… SCHOOL BEGINS!  Excellent.

I reevaluate the list (again):

    1. School Supplies – Check (except for that box of Crayola’s…)
    2. Uniforms – Check (hmmm…still have to alter the jumper…)
    3. Lunch kits – Check (wonder what I will put in those…?)
    4. Fancy School Forms – Check (I have those around here somewhere…)

Yes—I am ready (Haha! Tears of laughter fills the air!)

I have been concentrating on my battle plan lately. I am preparing for success and the extreme desire to keep tensions down to a minimum. The following tips that I am about to share with you are not only good for kids, but us too! Here is a glimpse of my Battle Plan:

  • Organize and prepare clothing the night before.

For us, this is pretty easy. Both of my children wear uniforms, so our challenge is making sure they are ready to go for the next day. However, I do have a few girlfriend’s who, even though their children do not wear uniforms, organize a uniform-style wardrobe for school. It helps them simplify their morning chaos. It also helps the “pattern-challenged” choose their clothes!

  •  Have a lunch plan.

Ugh! I can really screw this one up! I allow my children to purchase lunch 2 times per week. It is fun for them. On the other days, I am in charge (at least I think I am). My goal is to prepare healthy lunches with as little preservatives as possible and ease the stress on our pocket book as well. The weeks I have a good plan are TERRIFIC! The kicker is when somebody’s “taste buds” change. Then it is like starting from scratch!

Many successful lunch-makers assemble the lunches the night before. I do not. I make them the morning of while my children are eating breakfast. I suppose I do this because my son likes “hot” meals and I need to heat it before it goes into the Thermos. [I am always open to suggestions for lunch ideas!]

  •  Wake up 30 minutes earlier than your children.

I know that sounds horrible, but it is truly a life saver. If you are up a little earlier, you can get yourself started and clear-headed before you have to wake the troops. Shower, coffee, breakfast, a small amount of sanity…  I have heard many mom’s talk about how their children wake. Some are up and ready to go (my son) while others are like the living dead (my daughter). My daughter at age four came dragging into the kitchen one morning, pulling her blanket behind her, her hair in a frenzy, eyes barely slit open and croaked, “I need a cup of coffee!”  That’s my girl!!

  • Prepare the backpacks the night before!

Super important tip here. We have many successful mornings fail because of this one misstep. The packs must be ready and in position — waiting only for their lunch. This goes for me to. It is my goal to have all “parent” stuff done and filled out and in the folders the night before to reduce the morning stress. In the past we have forgotten: library books, permission slips, and even homework. Guess who gets to make a second trip to school!  Avoid this unnecessary pain and prepare the backpacks!!

  • Effective dinner planning and preparation.

Believe it or not, this is really important in my house. Once all of the after-school activities begin, in addition to my evening schedule of events, dinner could result in a trip out to a local eatery. Eating out wastes, time, money and waistlines. With a good plan in place, the bellies are full and so is my wallet!

I typically cook on Sunday or Monday. I cook 2 meals at once. I usually make a “Pot of Something” and a “Roast of Something”. For example, a pot meal could include any of the following: Spaghetti, Chili, Lasagna, Stew, Soup, Beans, Casserole. The Roast may include: Pork Roast, Brisket, Chicken (any variation), Beef Roast, Steak.  The meat could have been roasted or grilled but it is done in a large batch so that it can be converted into a different meal during the week.

I usually have the salad made and ready to go and a vegetable or two prepared. Because of our schedules, we heat on the plate when it is time to eat. On the not as busy nights, we eat together at the table.

  • Try not to over schedule.

Personally, I find this one really important. They are just kids. And we all need a little downtime, even alone time. In our home, we have implemented the 2 activities (per child) rule. This still allows time for themselves, the family, homework and fun!

  •  Keep a bedtime schedule.

8 pm. That’s it. They need their beauty sleep and so do I. I read somewhere that if children are having behavioral problems at school, even an extra 10 minutes of sleep can make a huge difference to their day. Heck, I’m cranky when I don’t get enough sleep…makes sense to me.

These are just a few of my Battle Plan ideas for embarking on a new school year. I would love to hear yours! Anything to make it better….for all of us!

For your enjoyment! Have a great year!


10 thoughts on “School Preparedness: The Battle Plan

  1. As a teacher by trade (both middle school and high school), I absolutely LOVE your battle plan strategies. Especially about the backpack and the sleep schedule. Even if the kids can’t fall asleep the down-time is important to mental well being. After a while, bodies and minds will readjust to the schedule (may take a couple of weeks) and afterwards, within 15 – 20 minutes the beauty sleep will occur. I read the same for children of all ages: if there is a behavior problem they may not be getting enough sleep (The Sleep Lady). Good luck with the busy back to school season and DRIVE SAFELY!

  2. I also recommend having a binder or file where you can keep important information handy like how much lunch costs, teachers email address, phone number to the bus barn, passwords for the school websites, phone numbers for a few friends that can pick up your kids for you in pinch. Yes, storing this in your cell phone is a good idea so long as you don’t lose it and the battery is charged when you need it 🙂

  3. Great mom blog – I am going to use these tips. I am no go good at schedules! 8pm. That is a challenge, but will give it a go! I think even adults have behavior problems with no sleep. Luckily the school they go to have a good lunch program and they feed them breakfast and school supplies are provided in a community manner by the FoM (Friends of Montessori). As for the fancy forms, this gets lost in transit – and is later found in the bottom of their bags looking rotten, tattered and torn. I wish there was a better system for that!

  4. I agree with everything Moose!
    But, Michelle will pack 75% of their lunch the night before except for their entree. Which she heats up and puts in her thermos in the a.m.
    It has to be done that way to give us more time to wrangle a heavy-sleeper teenage boy and deal w/ 8 y/o Drama Queen!
    Thx again Moose!

  5. Each advice truly works. It’s funny how our lives flip from a carefree Summer to a Go-go school days. But I love every moment of it especially when I see my son so happy after a day in his class. Thanks. Have a great weekday!

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