21 Tips for Back to School to Survive (and Thrive) as a Family 2022
Check out these 21 tips for back to school to survive and thrive, shared from a teacher AND mom. Make it a happier year for the whole family! And if you don’t have kids at home? No worries! Share this with a friend and then read through for some ways to work on routines and schedules in your home, no matter the season!
Summer flew by but I can honestly say that it was one of the best summers ever for our little family. And while I’m never ready for summer to come to an end, I know there are so many wonderful things about the school year.
Since I cannot slow down time or add any days to summer break, I try to just make the most of it! This year, I am focusing on thriving as a family, not just surviving.
As a teacher, starting my 18th year of teaching, and a mom, here are a few tips for a successful back to school season. Mostly, they are reminders for myself and hopefully they can help you out too!
How to Survive and Thrive…Tips for Back to School for the Whole Family
Is joy even possible for going back to school? If you’re a parent, you may be leaping for joy that the kids are headed back to school and you can finally settle your family back into a routine. And maybe you can actually get something accomplished while the kids are at school!
I get it!
I’ve never been the mom that loves to see my kids off to school. I really enjoy having all of us home together. At the same time, these tips for going back to school do help us not only celebrate back to school, but also feel prepared, organized, and ready for the new season!
Tips to Ace Going Back to School:
How Can We Ace Going Back to School?
- Create a home environment that celebrates school rather than encouraging kids to dread the start of the school year. They pick up on our attitudes very quickly!
- Make home a comfortable, cozy haven for everyone to land at the end of a busy school day. You can find 5 of my favorite tips for creating an intentional home over on THIS POST.
Tips for Back to School to Get Organized
3. Before the school year begins, spend time organizing your home. Prioritize high-functioning spaces like closets, kitchens, and bathrooms. Next, move to the office, playroom, and bedrooms!
You can find some organizing tips HERE: How to Organize and Store Toys, Arts, and Crafts.
Tips for Back to School to Celebrate
4. Take time to do something special with each child to celebrate the end of summer. This one-on-one time is invaluable. It can be as simple as a morning donut date or picking out school supplies together.
5. Toss old school supplies that are no longer usable or need replaced. You just don’t need 201 pencils and 53 broken erasers!!!
6. Schedule a family “team meeting” to work on organizing activities, routines, and schedules. Everyone is more likely to stay on board with the plan if they also helped created it!
7. Be intentional about scheduling after school activities; kids really need down time and white space on their calendars too. Take care to not fall into the well-meaning trap of overscheduling kids!
8. Refresh chore routines or create chore routines if you don’t already have time. I could write an entire blog post about chores, but suffice it to say, building a strong work ethic is extremely important. Find age and developmentally appropriate chores for everyone in the house and help them put together a sustainable schedule so that they can be consistent with their chores.
Tips for Back to School: How Do You Make Back to School Fun for Kids?
9. Our kids are really excited about a new app we’ve been experimenting with this summer! It’s called “Busy Kids” and I can already see that it’s going to be a big help for chore consistency. At the same time, our children are going to all benefit from working on their finance skills too!
How Can I Survive the First Day of School
10. Create bedtime routines and about a week before school begins, start adjusting to a school year bedtime. Children ages 6-13 need 9-12 hours of sleep at night, according to studies. Set them up for success by making sure they consistently get the sleep they need!
11. Stock up on extra school supplies while you’re already in the mode of purchasing supplies. It’s a great time to catch those back to school sales. I keep a small bin with extra pencils, erasers, glue sticks, etc. It saves time and stress throughout the year!
12. Since I know my availability to run out to the store for home essentials gets cut way back when school begins, I try to help myself out by making sure I’m well-stocked with household essentials and personal items for everyone in our home. I treat it kind of like the stock-up and refresh time many of us do in January for the new year!
How Do I Make It Easier to Go Back to School for the Whole Family?
13. As much as possible, tie up the loose ends of any remaining projects around home. Not only does it feel good to start the school year fresh, but it also frees up a lot of time for you as YOU adjust to the kids being back in school. You can appropriately gauge your next project based on how much time you see your kids will need from you after school each day.
I know some days get really busy for us between chauffeuring kiddos to activities and homework! It’s just a great feeling to start the school year fresh! (That being said, I am currently in the middle of a couple of projects myself, so number 12 may not happen here this year! Haha!)
How Do I Budget for the Back to School Season?
14. This may not apply to everyone, but for us, it is helpful to take a little time and reassess our budget. A new school year brings new fees, different activities, and unique needs. It really takes the strain out when we plan ahead and realign our budget to fit those needs.
15. As you look at the budget, consider any help you may be able to add. We are adding a little extra house cleaning and some home maintenance. Some of those things got stressful last year so we are making it a priority to get help in those areas.
As our children get older, I’m finding that there are some things that get easier. Time is NOT one of those things and I need more of it to be available for their needs.
Tips for Back to School: Don’t Forget the Snacks!
It’s one of my kids’ favorite parts!
16. Have the kids go to the grocery store with you and stock up on items for lunches and snacks. It can save some money to purchase those items in bulk, so it’s definitely best to make sure you’re getting what they love and will actually eat!
How Do You Celebrate Back to School?
17. One of my best tips for back to school is to prioritize family time for each day. It may need to be a different time on some days because of activities, but make sure there is at least a little time each day that your family all connects. This is increasingly important to me as our children get older. It’s not always easy, but I feel like it is essential.
18. Schedule a little weekend trip for a few weeks into the school year for everyone to look forward to. It can help everyone to realize there is still a lot of fun to be had and the end of the summer doesn’t mean the end of family fun!
What’s a Good Back to School Gift?
19. Connect with your child’s teacher before the school year begins. I know I’m saying this as a teacher, but trust me, it means a lot for a parent to reach out before school begins to see what you need and how they can help. Consider putting together a simple little gift to give them after the first week of school…gift cards are always appreciated! (If there are any of my students’ parents who read this, I’m NOT talking to you!!!! Haha!) A simple card or note is always encouraging too!
As a teacher, I deeply appreciate parents taking the initiative to connect before the school year begins. I love getting to know my students and their families. So don’t be intimidated to reach out.
Let them know you’re supporting them, praying for them, and excited for your child to be in their class! It really can help everyone get started on the right foot!
Tip to Get Organized for Back to School
20. If you don’t have a good planner system in place, this is the time to get one together! I use THIS PLANNER and find it extremely flexible while also meeting the variety of organizational needs I have. Take time to pencil the school calendar into your own calendar so you don’t miss any of those important school dates!
As I mom, I am so aware that the success of our family’s schedule largely depends on my own level of organization. I choose to view it as a way that I can serve my family, rather than being extra work or a burden. (That’s not to say that it isn’t overwhelming, at least, sometimes!)
If organization isn’t your strength, look for some tools that can really work for your family. For me, it is old-school paper and pencil. A family command center, like THIS, could be really helpful too!
I find it very helpful for our family to practice our schedule and routines a week or two before school begins. This helps us to not be trying to tackle all new things on the first day of school!
Now…the countdown is on for me to finish implementing these things myself. Having a list is a great way for me to celebrate what we’ve done and reminders of a few things I still want to do to help my family start the school year with as much success and joy as possible!
Do Tips for Back to School Actually Work?
Ultimately, I think it’s important to remember that the most important tip for going back to school isn’t a perfect science for anyone in the family. You won’t ace back to school on the first week and the first day might feel like nothing worked right at all!
Give your children, your spouse, and yourself LOTS OF GRACE! Even if your kids are older and going back to high school or college, there are new challenges, fresh nerves, different schedules, and a lot of new stuff to get used to.
At the same time, planning ahead and being as prepared as possible can make going back to school a little more smooth and a whole lot easier for the whole family!
What back to school tip would you add to this list?! I’d love to hear in the comments!