The new school year is right around the corner, and you know what that means – glue sticks, new shoes that are comically oversized because otherwise they’ll be outgrown by October, and moms everywhere frantically quizzing their kids on multiplication tables so the teacher doesn’t know they spent the entire summer swimming and playing video games.
But never fear, it isn’t too late to get yourself and the little students in your life organized for school. Follow these ten tips and you’ll (sort of) be ready for class to start before the bell rings!
Or you can just head back to the pool. Whatever.
1. Start shopping now. Most moms wait until after the first day of school, when they find the teacher’s Required Supply List crumpled at the bottom of their child’s (somehow already completely destroyed) backpack. But that’s the problem – you don’t want to be crammed elbow-to-elbow at Target that first Monday night, fighting to the death over the last box of highlighters! So shop now, while everyone else is foolishly enjoying their last few days of freedom. Sure, you’ll end up getting the wrong kind of notebook paper, and you won’t have the 72 three-ring binders they’ll probably need for science class for some unknown reason, but that’s why god invented Amazon Prime.
2. Begin strength training. Not for you, silly – for your kid. Those four tons of science binders aren’t going to carry themselves.
3. Have a “Bus Stop Drill.” The best way to prepare for something is to practice, and one thing you definitely need to be prepared for is running late in the morning. To get back into the old routine, sneak into your child’s room at 3:15 a.m., which should be roughly 20 minutes after they stopped watching YouTube videos and hid the iPad under their pillow. Ever so softly and quietly, edge over to their bedside, rest a hand gently on their forehead and say, “OMG IT’S TIME TO GET UP HURRY WE’RE LATE THERE’S NO TIME FOR BREAKFAST WHERE ARE YOUR SOCKS COME ON IT’S TIME TO GOOOOOO!” While they’re still in a disoriented stupor, yell things about shoes and homework and permission slips, then lead them outside to the bus stop. Repeat this every morning until you can complete the drill in under five minutes, or until your child files a restraining order against you.
4. Gather up your crayons. If you’re like every other mom on the planet, you have a bin full of mostly broken crayons. Before you buy yet another new box, go through the bin and set aside all the little broken pieces. Did you know you can melt these into new crayons? It’s true! Laugh and laugh about the idea of actually doing that on your way to the trash to throw that junk away.
5. Build a homework station. OK, real talk: I don’t even know what the hell that is. Pinterest told me to say it.
6. Create an accountability folder. Keep your kids on track with morning task checklists and chore charts, because you definitely need one more thing to nag them about on a daily basis! (Sorry, I really need to log out of Pinterest.)
7. Do some prep work. One of the biggest time sucks of the school year is making your kid’s lunch; make the process as efficient as possible by preparing 180 sandwiches today, sealing them in Ziploc® brand bags and popping them into the freezer. BOOM, sack lunches finished for the whole year. Worried your bologna isn’t going to stay fresh until June? Take heart: Your kid wasn’t going to eat the lunch you made anyway.
8. Select a first day of school outfit. Your child will definitely want to wear something that makes them feel comfortable and confident on the first day. But too bad, kid – Mom needs you to wear this sweet little dress with apples on it (look, a matching one for your sister!) because let’s face it, the first day of school is really all about composing an adorably coordinated First Day Of School photo for Facebook. And speaking of that …
9. Please tell me you’ve already started hand-lettering those “First day of Kindergarten” chalkboards for the photo, complete with your kids’ ages and fun facts about their interests. YOU HAVEN’T? OK, don’t panic, but now might be a good time to call the school to see if you can hold your child back a year. You only get one chance to get that photo right!
10. Sharpen your pencils. No, this isn’t cutesy code for something, I mean literally sharpen the pencils you already have. Every year you buy like 18 new boxes even though you know every American household already contains enough perfectly good pencils to build several full-scale models of the Eiffel Tower.
And, that’s it! Follow our tips and, for once, you’ll finally be totally prepared for the coming school year with weeks to spare. OK, not really, but why should this year be any different from all the others?
My partner for this post is Ziploc® brand, who completely gets the insanity of back to school. They created some really cute (and hilarious!) videos that bring to life the chaos of this time with your “little beasts.”
I, for one, can totally relate!