We all have our bad days. As much as I try and be an organized, together person, a lot of the time it just doesn’t happen. I love the routine that comes along with the kids heading back to school (or in our case now, back to homeschool) but we’ve had a steep learning curve over the years as I’ve adjusted to being the mother of school-aged children.
When my oldest went to kindergarten, I was prepared. I sent him to school with a backpack stocked with new school supplies and a lunch box that was so full that it really would have taken in a week to eat the entire thing. I didn’t want to miss anything. The first day of school went beautifully and I went home so proud of my new ability as the parent of an elementary school child.
The second day, sadly, didn’t go as well. Our morning was perfect but early in the afternoon I got a phone call from the school.
“Did you forget something?” the school secretary asked me.
I mentally ran through the list of school supplies and back-to-school requirements that my son’s new teacher had. “I don’t think so.” I said, although obviously I knew that there was something I was missing.
“We have your son here. Today is an early release day. School got out 20 minutes ago and he’s been waiting to be picked up.”
I can’t even tell you how my heart sunk. I had remembered everything else but forgotten the most important thing in the world. I had forgotten to pick my son up from school. Apparently I missed the memo in the stack of back-to-school paperwork that told me when early out was.
I rushed off to the school to grab my son and still feel terrible about that to this day. . . although if I’m being perfectly honest, early out was a serious stumbling block for me and I *may* have forgotten my son a few more times that school year.
Hopefully this year you can prevent any major back-to-school mishaps with a little bit of preparation. Here are my tips for staying on top of things:
1. Create a family schedule. Once you have a child who is school aged, everything gets more complicated. Suddenly you have multiple schedules to keep track of and it can be overwhelming. Keep a family schedule so you can keep track of where everyone needs to be each day (and when they need to be picked up).
2. Label everything that goes to school with your child. During my son’s second grade year he lost 3 coats at school. Three. I can’t even count the number of lunch containers he left behind. Finding those lost items was nearly impossible because I hadn’t yet learned to label everything. Include labels with your child’s first name and phone number on everything that goes to school. By having a label on your child’s things you can cross your fingers that they are found by someone honest who will then have a way to return them to you. Bright Star Kids has some great products to label your back-to-school gear, including stick-on or iron-on that are durable enough to even stand up to the dishwasher.
3. Don’t over schedule your child. Mishaps happen when we are overwhelmed. Keep things simple and you’ll avoid as much craziness as you can. If you find that your schedule is too full, don’t be afraid to scale back. It’s easier to change things around at the beginning of the year than half-way through when other people are depending on you to be consistent.
4. Find an easy way to communicate with your child’s teacher. So many problems can be solved with a little bit of communication. Your child’s teacher will likely send home information but find a way to communicate with her if you need any clarification. Many teachers are willing to receive text messages or emails during the school day so they can get back to you when they have a spare moment. If that doesn’t work, find out when the teacher is available for in-person meetings as needed throughout the school year.
5. Prepare your child for the first day of school. Children are learning social skills as they go and things that may seem like common sense to us as adults may not come naturally to them. Talk with your child before the first day of school and find out if he’s confused about anything or worried about what to do in certain situations at school. Be sure and talk about what to do if there is an emergency at school and establish a meeting place for after school pickups.
Special Offer from Bright Star Kids
Join in the conversation below and you’ll receive a coupon code good for $5 off an order of $40 or more from Bright Star Kids to help you get started labeling your back-to-school gear!
Do you have a crazy back-to-school mishap (please tell me I’m not the only one)? How do you stay organized?
Put a label on it! Kick off the school year right and prevent unnecessary mishaps. Reply below for $5 off your Bright Star Kids order.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bright Star Kids. The opinions and text are all mine.