Gearing Up for Back to School

Aug 2019

Sinkology is proud to present Kristan Allen, our design expert and guest blogger who runs the @FarmhouseRedefined Instagram. Kristan is here to share some design ideas and inspiration around designing your home around your Sinkology sink.

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Don’t get me wrong…I love summer.  Pool time, extra fun in the sun, late nights, no set bedtime.  But come August, I’m usually missing the routine that comes with the school year.  As we prepare to head back in a couple of weeks, I thought I’d share a few of the things I do to set up my kids (and me!) for a smooth start to the new school year!

Be Strategic About School Supplies

As my kids get older, I’m noticing that their teachers have a set list of the basic school supplies they’ll need for the year – pencils, markers, folders, etc.  But when it comes to other items like backpacks, lunchboxes and accessories, I try to be strategic with these purchases.  Backpacks can be expensive – especially when you’re buying more than one!  So we shoot to get two years out of ours with each kid getting a new one on alternate years.  My daughter just got a new backpack last year, so she’s going to use the same one this year.  My son is on year 2, so he’s up to get a new one now.  When you’ve got so many other things on the back-to-school shopping list, rotating bigger items like this helps!

I also like to let my kids pick out a special accessory or two that they can use throughout the school year.  My daughter picked out one of these super-cute pencil cases from Pottery Barn Kids.  My son chose a fun, glow-in-the-dark water bottle.  Pottery Barn Kids, along with most other big retailers, run some great sales this time of year…so you can usually find a coupon code to use online or in store!

Prep Your Kitchen

Are your kids packers or buyers?  Mine prefer to pack their lunch most of the time, which means I’m always trying to find fun and healthy things that they’ll actually eat and not throw away or try to give to someone else.  Before the first week of school starts, my kids and I sit down and make a lunchtime grocery list.  We work together to come up with ideas and compromise on healthy snacks and sweet treats.  Giving them the chance to weigh in on their food choices makes them much more likely to be excited about eating what I pack in their lunches (I’ve actually found this logic to be true for all meals/snacks)!

One other thing I absolutely have to do is pack lunches the night before.  This helps to alleviate the morning rush and makes me feel less stressed about getting everyone out the door on time.  Speaking of which…

Anticipate Morning Pain Points 

What are the pain points in your morning routine?  Those things that derail the peace, harmony and punctuality that we all strive for.  My daughter is not a morning person, so just getting her up at a decent hour is always a struggle.  Last year, she picked out a fun alarm clock that we set together each night.  It’s helped so much in not only getting her out of bed on time, but also with a smile on her face.  Win-win! 

Thinking through these types of pain points and things you can do to alleviate them can really help to streamline your mornings.  If choosing outfits is a constant struggle with you and your kids, set out the outfit together the night before.  Or better yet, get one of those hanging closet organizers and use it to organize outfits for the entire week! 

Set Goals for the Year

I’m not trying to turn back to school into a sales meeting, but I started doing a goal sheet with my kids last year and we had fun with it!  I created a simple worksheet for us fill out at the beginning of the year.  I included fill-in prompts like “I’m most excited to go back to school because…” and “One thing I hope I learn this year is…”  It was cool to look back on these questions at the end of the year to see what goals they accomplished and what new things were added to the list throughout the school year.  There are a lot of different templates on Pinterest or you can create your own sheet like I did.  Either way, re-visiting the answers is a lot of fun for everyone!

First-Day Hurray!

Finally, I always write a “First-Day Hurray” note for my kids on the first day of school.  I’ll probably do this until they go to college…sorry, not sorry!  Again, Pinterest has tons of fun ideas for this – handwritten note on a banana, anyone? – but I usually just end up making a quick note that is reading-level appropriate.  If your kiddos are younger and can’t quite read on their own, draw a picture instead!  My kids are reading on their own, but they actually enjoy my hand-drawn pictures the best because my drawing skills are not the best.

What do you do to gear up for back to school?  It’s so important to start the school year off on the right foot and these little tips help our household get into the swing of things.  Wishing everyone a wonderful school year!

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