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back to school

Motherhood

5 Ways to Handle Back to School with Multiple Children & Schools

Last year was my first time dealing with 3 children in 3 different schools. I had one in Pre K, elementary and middle school.

For me, that was 3 different:

  • Start times
  • End times
  • Locations to drop off/pick up
  • An abundance of rules to follow & remember
  • A slew of teachers to befriend

In the morning, my children’s bus pick up/drop off time started between 7:30am – 8:20am, and ended at 2:30pm – 4:30pm. All of my children were home by 4:30pm. By the end of the 1st semester, I had our schedule down. Which means, going into the 2nd year of 3 different schools should be a breeze. It should be. But, please pray.

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Going into this year, I feel confident and prepared. Today, I am sharing with you 5 tips that can help ease the multiple children/school transition if you start early and work your families plan. Although these tips are simple, it makes life easier – trust me.

1. Schedule doctor’s appointments early – Don’t wait until the week before school starts to make their back to school doctors appointments or to get their correct paperwork. My youngest is attending a new Pre-k, and needs new paperwork. Luckily, he doesn’t need a check-up right now and his paperwork is up to date.

However, because he is attending a new school I still need to visit his pediatrician. If I would have waited until school started to call his doctor’s office, it could have pushed his start date back. Doctor’s have different policies and wait times for getting paperwork. If you call early, you should be able to meet your deadlines. 

2. Get started early on school supply list. My husband was adamant about beating the school shopping rush. Over the years, we’ve experienced the back to school rush in stores (Ex: Walmart) and everyone is pushing and pulling over pencils and hand sanitizer.

This year, we got their supply list as early as possible and started comparing sale prices. We actually saved a lot of money doing it this way. Well, my husband saved the money. He’s the bargain shopper/price research agent in this relationship.

3. Go school clothes shopping on an as needed basis. At the end of the school year, no one is thinking about school clothes. They are in vacation mode. You will probably get the best deals in May (clearance) for August (when school starts).

Also, do your children really grow that much in 2 months, that they need a whole new wardrobe for school? Ours don’t. We go through their clothes and see what still fits (they keep), what doesn’t (give away), and what they really need now (we buy).

With 3 children, we aren’t buying new clothes every Fall because you’re going to a new grade. 

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4. Develop a system for the school year & stick with it. In our home, our children do not watch TV or play electronic games (unless educational) during the week. It’s worked all these years and we will stick with it.

Don’t get me wrong, our children try to buck the system and beg us to lift this ban. However, they know the rules and follow them all year long. What works for your home? Is it TV time only 30 minutes a day? Is it homework as soon as you come home, then you play outside? Is it snack time when you walk in the door?

Whatever works for your family, make sure that the children understand the rules so your home can run like a well oiled machine as of the 1st day of school.

5. Become friends with your children’s teachers. The great thing about my younger two children is that they only have 1-2 teachers. It’s easy to get to know them and let them see that you are engaged in the success of your child’s education.

My oldest is in middle school and now has 8 different teachers. WOOOSAAA!! Last year, I emailed them when I had questions, made it to every conference and anything else my son was involved in. On one occasion after a parent-teacher conference, I had a teacher say to me, “You work with him at home don’t you? I can tell. He is always prepared and his work is always complete. You can tell when the parents take time with their children.”

Teachers already have a hard job, and when they see that parents have their back, in addition to working with their children at home, it makes their job easier. 

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Do you have children in different schools? What are your tips for parents? How do you make it work? What challenges did you initially have, but found a way over the hump?

I am happy that I am doing this Back to School Series with my four other Fab Five Bloggers today. Check our their post below:

Mimi | Unlikely Martha |5 Ways to Get Organized for Back to School
LaShawn | Everyday Eyecandy | 5 Gluten Free After School Snacks
Kita | It’s Really Kita | 5 Tips for Middle School Newbies 
MJ | Fab Haute Mama | 5 Affirmations for Kids

Motherhood Motherhood Monday

Top 5 Things That Change at Home When School Starts {FabTopFive}

OMG!! Summer is over already! Was is good for you like it was for me? Honestly, this was one of the best summers for me (I hope for my children too) because I actually spent the whole summer vacation with them.

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I was able to plan our days or not plan our days. I truly think we got closer during this time as well. It was so many more hugs, smiles and “Thank you for doing this for me mommy!” than I had experienced in a long time. It really felt good BUT on the flip side, it feels good to drop them off in car pool on Monday morning too!

Momma is tired OKAY!!

I tried to do something blog related, work related, anything outside children related daily, but having school age children to entertain can be challenging especially if you don’t want them sitting in front of the TV all day.

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5 Things That Change When School Starts:

So although my children had a relaxed atmosphere, sometimes good things do come to an end. I had to prepare my children slowly to the unavoidable fact that the following things would soon stop:

1. Bed Time: During the summer, my children still had a bed time – just later. I need my children to go to sleep. I need a couple of hours of silence before I head to bed. For school, I started them one week before school getting back on their regular school schedule. They tried to fuss, but when school officially started and that 6:15am alarm went off – they realized why its important to go to bed!

2. Electronics: Whether its my son’s 3DS, my daughters tablet phone or the Nintendo Wii – when school starts, all electronic play will cease during the week. The only exception is computer learning games.

3. Eating any & everything: It seems no matter when you feed them, they are always running back in the pantry or the refrigerator for something. “I’m hungry!” or “I want a snack!” If we were out, I would get but them something, “Pizza, ice cream, french fries, etc.” I let them eat freely but now that school is starting, I am going to plan better for when they come home. NO MORE EATING OUT! I will have a snack ready and hopefully dinner ready too. Hopefully.

4. TV Time: I think the best thing about summer for my children was TV everyday. Although they didn’t watch it all day, they did look forward to getting up and turning on Netflix every morning. Well, during the school year they don’t watch TV during the week. You should have seen their faces the Sunday before school started! They were trying to watch TV until the minute before they went to bed.

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5. Activity after activity: I tried to keep them busy and make them smile with different adventures. I was their summer camp! Camp MAMA! Well, when school starts I wanted them to know that education is first and you all can pick one sport & one after school activity this Fall. We will not be running all across the city for 3 & 4 activities per child. So my son picked Flag football (sport) and my daughter picked Gymnastics. We are waiting to see what the school will offer for after school.

Every first Friday of the month, I along with my FAB FIVE BLOGGER CREW write about one topic from 5 different perspectives! Check out these other great post:

Kita (Kokoa Mag) Top 5 Non Sandwich School Lunches
MJ Top 5 (Fab Haute Momma) Top 5 tips for organizing and scheduling for the morning
LaShawn (Everyday Eyecandy) Top 5 Ideas for Back to School Photos
Mimi (LipGloss & Binky) Top 5 Back to School Teacher Gifts

Motherhood Monday

Back To School Supplies Stocked at Family Dollar #MotherhoodMonday

When you have three kids, I am always thinking how can I get the best deal or keep most of my money in my pocket. It’s back to school time for my children in two weeks so that means it’s school supply time. I will be completely honest with you, my children’s back to school supply list is CRAZY! Not in a good way. There’s so much on there, that my husband and I wonder is this for MY CHILD or the class? Either way, with two kids in grade school – it can add up.

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How We Shop: We don’t buy our school supplies at one store, we shop around. My husband is better at this than I am because he takes the time to research the sales, papers, coupons, etc. I just follow along and put stuff in the buggy! This past Saturday he said, “It’s time to head to Family Dollar to get some school supplies!” I was actually shocked they had school supplies, but again my husband does his research.

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We went inside and there was an immediate $1 display of School Supplies! My children tried to grab everything, “No, no children let’s check the list!” Let me be honest, I didn’t really say it like that.

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And you know the shopping trip wouldn’t be complete with us using a coupon! We already had a $5 off coupon to use & a 10% off total purchase, but found this little gem on the store isle! To sign up, you get a $10 off coupon on site!! Yes, on site!

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With everything that we bought off the list an after our coupons, our total came to $24.74!! We also had a $25 Gift Card so you do the math!! Booyaah!!

Now Summer is almost over and school starts soon! Please join me and fellow blogger Joyce, Mommy Talk Show for a twitter party discussing Summer & School!! RSVP HERE

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TWITTER PARTY: Date: Monday, July 28, 2014

Time: 8-9 p.m. EST ~ Follow the event on Twubs.com/MomSummerSeries

Hashtag: #MomSummerSeries

Host@MommyTalkShow Co-Host: @BernettaStyle

RSVP: Leave HERE you’ll be eligible one of five prizes during the event.

Prizes: $50 Target Gift Card, $50 Restaurant.com Gift Card, Sally B’s Skin Yummies Gift Card,Business Idea Guide for Moms E-book (value: $12) and leave a link to your Twitter Profile below to RSVP (ex. @MommyTalkShow)