The Back to School season is among us and that means lot of running around and juggling multiple responsibilities & hectic schedules.
Getting the kids to school, shuffling them to after school activities & recreational sports, house chores, last minute errands... the list goes on and on.
We gave 20 moms of CafeMom a $100 American Express gift card to go shopping for any of their last minute Back to School needs. We asked them to tell us what they bought but also to share their thoughts on staying connected with the kids, keeping their kids safe and more.
How do you handle the chaos that comes with getting back into the school routine?
Just one day at a time!
We try to have things together the night before. Papers signed,backpacks packed&ready,clothes picked out,shoes by the door! Sounds perfect doesn't it? LOL They started last Tuesday,they went back today and I see my son at 6:30am in pj's*sigh*bus comes at 6:45! Yikes! The start of chaos. lol So one day at a time.
Chaos sounds about right, lol. My name is Kathleen and I am a 32 year old SAHM to three boys ages 7, 6 and 2 and wife to my wonderful DH for the past 9.5 years. This summer we moved from a small town in Colorado near the Wyoming and Utah borders to a small town on the border of Texas and New Mexico and so far we are enjoying living in Texas. My older two boys started school here this past week in the 2nd and 1st grade and so far are loving the new school.
I tried to start preparing my kids to get into the back to school routine a few weeks before school started by having them start going to bed earlier, working on some refresher school work each day and staying on a better schedule. I think that helped a lot to prepare them for the start of school. Our school here starts at 8:05 but they serve free breakfast to all kids starting at 7:40. We only live about 5 blocks from the school so we all bike there each day. I wake them up at 6:45 and they get dressed and brush their teeth, make their beds and drink some juice and eat a bit of fruit. I pack their lunches if they are taking lunches and I shower while they are eating. Then we all pile up on the bikes and head to the school where they eat breakfast and head off to learn. My youngest and I head home and clean, play, do speech therapy and he naps during the day. Then we bike back over to pick them up after school. We all eat dinner around 6:00 each night together after DH gets home from work and then it is homework and bedtime.
We have yet to get them involved in any activities down here yet but in our old town they did swim lessons, soccer, t-ball and church school over the years. The religious ed at our new church starts in a few weeks so they will do that and then my oldest is going to start guitar lessons soon. We also own horses so we love to ride as a family, bike and team rope and hike. I am getting a large Sandra Boyton calendar I will keep on the wall that helps keep track of everybody and their schedules. I try to keep things packed and ready for activites as much as possible and do have certain things that are left in my vehicle to make things easier. We try to walk or bike as many places as possible but we do use our trucks a lot too. I have snacks that I keep in the truck and then we take water bottles with us places. I also keep extra diapers and wipes in the truck, a first aid kit, kleenex, benadryl, and a whole bag of toys and books. Sometimes I will keep the kid's bikes in the back of the truck too.
We were so excited to receive the gift card from Chevy Traverse and CafeMom. When we went school shopping we only had enough money for the basics and that was in part from our parents giving us a little money. It was just so soon after the expensive move and we were tight on money. We got all of their supplies and basic shoes and clothing but couldn't get them anything else. My kids are cowboys. We live in a small Texas town like I said and they ride our horses a lot and they wear their western clothing all of the time. To us cowboy hats are just another part of an outfit and always worn on nice and special occasions as well as many times for everyday. We felt so bad that they wouldn't be getting new hats for school this year. Their old ones are almost 2 years old and get worn and torn in that time. We promised them we would get hats for them as soon as possible, hopefully before picture day. Receiving this gift card was definitely a blessing for us for this reason! Decent cowboy hats are not cheap and as they get older we need to buy better quality ones. At this point we can still get away with about $50 a hat but soon it will be much more, lol. We live so far in the middle of nowhere I order most things online and these are no exception. So, here is a picture of the hats I ordered for them(they picked them out). When we get the hats I will try to come back and update with pictures of them in the hats but just for fun I will post a picture of them in their old hats so you know what I am talking about, lol.Shipping: Factory Shipped-allow extra 2-4 weeks for deliverySize: SShipping: Drop shipped directly from manufacturerSize: 6 3/4Just wanted to update. My middle son's hate came in and he loves it. He has been wearing it every day to school. Here is a picture of him in the new hat.
School has been in almost a month and I'm still trying! I haven't gotten my card yet but I know exactly where it's going. We weren't able to get our kids new school shoes yet so my daughter will get school shoes and I will be getting some things to make planning our lives a little easier. A calendar, stickers and a huge dry erase board that will sit on our freezer with different color dry erase markers.
I absolutely can not wait for the card to come in!
by hisemmaSeptember 3, 2013 at 2:52 PM
Hello all :) My name is Emily. I have 2 boys, ages 10 & 8, and they're in 5th & 3rd grades respectively. We live in SW Ohio.
While they're in school, I work part time, so our routine is: wake up, dress, eat, take some time to chill before heading to the bus stop. Once I get them on the bus, I head to work. I get home with enough time to relax before I'm off to get the kids from the bus stop again. :)
I wouldn't say we're always on the go. We're a pretty laid-back family, and take things as they come. They really enjoy playing with friends after school (& after their homework is done), and I use that time to get stuff done around the house. We have a calendar on the fridge that I use to keep track of everyone's activities & my work schedule.
by JortessSeptember 3, 2013 at 2:58 PM
Hi my name is Ellielynn, I live in New Hampshire with my husband and two children. My children were recently home-schooled but now attend public school here where I live due to my medical condition, it became hard for me to create a schedule for them. With MS it is day by day and I couldn't risk their education on the unknown. They are in 6th and 10/11th grade. My daughter is 12 and my son 16.
There really isn't to much chaos here for going back to school. they wake up, eat and we head off to the school. After being home-schooled I thought it was going to be crazy, but it wasn't. I think I have a advantage because they are older. My son likes computers and gaming, this year he is in college courses for both. My daughter likes to read and write and sing. The kids are very mellow, me on the other hand, I am always on the go. The kids schedules are the same. Neither do sports so there is no juggle with it. The schools are both located on the same property and start/end at the same time. Convenient! Currently my organizational skills are lacking greatly. Normally I have bins, cabinets and such but we are remodeling so everything is everywhere. I try to keep things in my car, but I have a small compact and with 4 of us and three dogs, it isn't always easy finding room.
I used the gift card to purchase the kids their back to soon supplies that they needed. Since we switched from homeschooling to public school, I didn't get the supply list in advance. It was a blessing that I was given this gift card. Without it they would have been supply-less until Friday.
Thank you Chevy Traverse and CM!
by lizfariasSeptember 3, 2013 at 3:02 PM
My name is Liz Farias. I live in Yorktown heights, NY. I have two kids a boy age 16 going into 11th grade and a girl age 13 going into 8th grade. Getting back to school is always a bit hectic. Getting back to the routine after having two months of care free hanging out with out a routine. Our back to school routine begins with having the kids lay out the next day outfit. Planning on what is to be prepared for lunch. Laying out all snacks and lunch bag. Next both children have to be showered and in their rooms by 8pm-830 the latest. For my 16 year old I allow him to stay up until 10pm. My 13 year old must be lights out by 9pm. A good night of sleep helps everyone learn better and helps mom and dad have some peace and quite.
Both of my kids play sports. My son plays baseball in school and basketball. My daughter plays on a travel softball team, It seems like we are always on the go. It is not easy to juggle full time work, two kids and a husband as well as all the household chores. At times i feel that the chaos is overwhelming. My car is filled with sneakers, bats, balls, blankets, water, wipes, towels, chairs, sweat shirts, socks, pants, etc..... you get the idea. I keep all these things in the car in case someone forgets something we are prepared. I sometimes write out a schedule of what everyone has to do so that we keep up. It is a chore but we somehow manage to get everyone where they need to be.
Stay tuned..............I was chosen to participate in the influencer program and I just received my $100 american express gift card!!!!! YAY!!!! Just in time for back to school! And by the way much needed!!!!!
by keeler_sSeptember 3, 2013 at 3:19 PMHi my name is Stephanie, I live in Gig Harbor Wa. I have 4 kid's, aged 9,8,6,3.5. They will be in 4th,3rd,1st and prek.
We are a busy family. We currently are participating in football and cub scouts, we will be adding ballet soon.
Handling the back to school choas takes a lot of patience and practice. Sometimes I find us running in 2 or 3 directions. My husband takes one I take one and sometimes my friend takes my boys to scouts if need be.
Its hard finding a good balance between school sports and home life. But usually with in a month we have a good pace and decent schedule.
September 3, 2013 at 5:41 PM
Hi.Im Colleen.I was born and raised in MN but now live in Orlando fl.I have 5 kids still in school. They are in grades 5th,6th,8th,9th, and 11th.My 9th grader starts virtual school this week.For us to get back into the school routine about a week before school starts we have the kids go to bed at their bedtimes for school and get up early.This helps to set their"clocks" so they are used to it by the time school comes along.The night before school they get all their bookbags together and lay out the clothes they are going to wear.Once they get into a routine its not hard to get them up and ready. My sons bus comes at 6:35am. My next one goes to school around 8 am. Then my opther 2 catch a bus at 9:15.Since my 14 year old will be starting virtual school she really wont have to get up too early.I usually am up before the kids.Once they get home they go straight to their homework.They do this w/o being told.Whats crazy is on the weekends when they can sleep in they get up early!
by kgmmwSeptember 6, 2013 at 1:25 PM
Hello ;) I'm Kimberly. I live in Ky. I have four kids ages 8,7,5 and a 2 wk old. My dd is in the third grade,ds is in the second grade, and my 5 yr old ds is in kindergarten.
In our household we are very busy. With a newborn I am busy throughout the day while the kids are at school but once the kids get home it's total chaos. Although they aren't in activities just yet, we are busy doing homework, eating dinner, baths, story time and bed. We always get school clothes and book bags out at night time to make the mornings a little easier.
We started back to school shopping a little before school started but didn't buy too much. On our shopping trip we got clothes for each kid in school. We found lots of great end of summer deals. The kids really enjoyed picking out new clothes. Here is a picture of all the great clothes we got.
by drhairSeptember 6, 2013 at 3:37 PM
My name is Grace and I have two children. My son is nine and in the fourth my daughter is seven in the second grade. We just recently moved to Alpharetta, Georgia and we love it. Coming from New Jersey our children ended their school year in late June and they started their school year here in the middle of August. It was a short summer for them so I had a very chaotic summer but nothing helps more then a steady ROUTINE.
After school activities are keeping us very busy my daughter dances three days a week and my son just joined baseball so we are always on the go. Snacks have to be ready and dinner always has to be between 5 and 6pm so that everyone is ready for bed at 9pm. If we feed them too early they will be hungry before dinner and they will need a snack and that annoying...lol Everything has its time and day. I also do grocery shopping on certains days a and I try to also work out 4 days a week. So in the end what is my secret to avoid the craziness?? A schedules Routine!
Here is a pic of the items I bought to get ready for this school year....notebooks, crayons, backpacks and SNACKS!!