How do you prep for back to school?

Wait just a minute: It’s time for back-to-school already? The supplies, the lunchbox ideas, the early mornings? The school bus stops, the pickup lines, the permission slips? It hardly seems real that the end of summer is coming quickly {and even quicker for families in some Johnson County school districts!}. So we turned to our team of Insiders – our writing staff who are constantly scouring the city for what’s hip and happening for families – and asked…

How do you prep for back to school? Here are the tips from these season pros:

Megan Leahy - Digital Writer Indy's ChildMegan, mom to Ronyn and Finn:

  • School year bed and wake times starts two weeks before for both the kids AND me. It just makes it easier to adjust to a schedule when you don’t have to.
  • Last year I learned: Order the fundraiser school supply kit in the spring. This helps me to avoid crazy shopping in August.
  • Let the kids pick out their 1st day of school outfit to get them excited.
  • When prepping for the first day of kindergarten we read books about the first day. It may be different than what actually happens but it definitely helps get kids ready by helping them understand what it could be like.

Luis Ruvalcaba - Indy's ChildLuis, dad of Maggie, Micah, Mille and Merritt:

  • I watch the kids play iPads for two hours so my wife can buy school supplies without them screaming that they’d rather have the Pikachu folders for $1.50 than the red ones that their school requested for $.05.
  • I remind my wife that plastic bags don’t go on the table and I pile them neatly for her to pick up when she’s done sorting and stuffing their backpacks with the above mentioned supplies.
  • I take the picture of the kids in the clothes Katie {my wife} picked out, washed, dried, ironed and laid out on their beds in front of the chalk board that she spent hours drawing and designing. Then I take all the credit for how cute they look in said picture.

Jeanine Bobenmoyer - Indy's Child

Jeanine, mom to Hunter and Emerson

  • Since our school requires the kids to wear uniforms, I get all of them out of the closet 2 weeks in advance and make the kids try all shirts/shorts/pants/etc on to make sure they still fit. If no, start hunting for replacements. Also gives me a good chance to cross-check for any stains.

Megan Bohrer _ Indy's ChildMegan, mom of Hadley, Deacon and baby #3 arriving later this year

My daughter is starting pre-kindergarten this year, so I am a newbie to this whole back to school thing, My advice to fellow B2S virgins is to not get overwhelmed. There are already many events, emails, checklists, etc. that it’s easy to forget how special and fun this moment should be. I am urging myself to just sit back and observe/get the lay of the land before I start volunteering for everything!

PetePete, dad of 3

My 6 quick tips are:

  1. trend back to regular sleep time
  2. put money in school lunch accounts
  3. buy good reusable water bottles affordable ones too
  4. create a routine for after school days
  5. maybe make the kids shower
  6. give them as much grandparent time as possible beforehand

Creed Anthony _ Indy's Child MagazineCreed {the newest writer and dad of 2!}:

I welcome the new school year with an unorthodox procedure. I wake the children early with the clanging of pots and pans, they get dressed, and we walk to the nearest bus stop. We ride buses everywhere. At each stop we learn a lesson or read a book. Lunch is provided in a brown bag with their name embroidered (by magic marker) on the outside. I fill their backpacks with weights to train them to haul art projects, books, and random things they pick up. For recess we chase Pokeman men things and run laps on a track (again to build endurance). Finally we return home where we do a creative writing exercise. The prompt is simple: “What did you do at school today?” We work on finding as many ways to say “nothing” as possible – including in at least three different world languages. And then we have a cupcake for dinner.

Trisha ShepherdTrisha, mom to Calvin, Clara and Daisy May

I’m sure this isn’t recommended by experts, but I am all for squeezing the last fun, free moments out of summer until the very last day with late evenings, ice cream, trips to the pool, and looser bedtimes. The shock of the early wake-up call on the first day will reset kids’ internal clocks pretty quickly. For school supplies I hit a dollar store first and get everything I can find on the lists there before going elsewhere. Saves a ton of money!

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