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When my son first started kindergarten, it was bittersweet.
On one hand, I was looking forward to having a few hours to myself to get things done during the day (this was before little brother came along). On the other hand, I was a big ball of emotions because it meant my baby wasn’t much of a baby anymore.
I remember walking away from his classroom on the first day of school… a sobbing mess. Pretty sure I even shed a few tears on days 2 and 3 too.
Since we didn’t do the whole preschool thing, this was all new territory. We had some chaotic mornings. I even forgot to pack his snack once (or twice), but as I went along, I slowly managed to stumble upon a few things that reallyyy made things a lot easier!
Kindergarten tips to simply the school year
1. Prep snacks for the week
This is one less thing I have to worry about during the week. I’ll just lay out 5 storage bags for the week and write his name on each one. (I still write his name on them, even now, because another kid tried to claim his snack once!) Then, I just fill them all up with a snack or two and a drink. If it needs to be refrigerated, I keep them in the fridge in their own container to keep them separated.
2. Make a plan for breakfast
I’m not very fond of blankly staring into the fridge on early school mornings, so I’ve learned to plan ahead. My son loooves pancakes, so sometimes I even prep some ahead of time if I’m feelin’ up for it.
I just try to keep it simple and somewhat calorie dense since I have a little skinny minny that isn’t a fan of big breakfasts first thing in the morning.
Related: 28 Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
3. Choose outfits the night before
Even socks. Socks are so important. If you ever get behind on laundry, trust me when I say you don’t want to wait until a school morning to go on a matching sock hunt. Finding a match at 6 am in the morning is nearly impossible.
Anyway, if it’s going to be a cold day, I even get his jacket ready to go along with the rest. Everything is ready to go. Outfit, socks, shoes, backpack, etc.
4. Establish an after school/evening routine
There’s only one thing that’s [almost] as annoying as not being able to find matching socks, and that’s realizing that you either forgot to do homework or waited til the last minute. Because now, everyone’s tired and cranky and not in the mood to deal with Pig in a Wig.
Our routine looks something like this:
When we first get home, I let him have some chill/play time and he’s usually ready to devour a snack. (I don’t know what they do to them at school, but my kid comes home hangry, y’all.) After his snack, he’ll either spend some time outside with his kitten or play on his tablet (we’re rollin’ with the Kindle Fire HD 8).
While he’s doing that, I like to take a look at his folder ahead of time to see what’s on the agenda for the day as far as homework, signing papers, etc. goes.
Then, bath time, dinner time, and homework comes next.
Sometimes dinner comes before homework and sometimes homework comes before dinner. It just depends on how everything is moving along, but my main goal is to not wait until the last minute to get his homework done and backpack ready.
I finish the day off with packing his lunch for the next day (if he’s taking it), putting his snack in his backpack (or having him do it), and then doing a quick kitchen and living room area clean up. It just makes for a much better morning when I wake up to a clean living area.
Related: My Evening Routine
5. Take pictures of important papers
Papers get lost so easily. Too easily. So what I like to do is if something comes home in his folder that’s important and might need to be referenced later, I’ll take a quick pic of it.
You could even file it away in categorized notebooks or tags in Evernote, but I usually just take a quick pic and leave it at that.
6. Set reminders
If you’re like me and you sometimes forget to check your planner or calendar, I would recommend setting reminders for sure.
You definitely want to make sure the reminders are set up to notify you a few days before the event or whatever it is so that you have time to prepare if it’s something that had slipped your mind prior to the reminder.
7. Save a copy of your child’s schedule
This is nice to have for a couple of reasons… first of all, make sure you know what day your child’s library day is. Maybe it’s just me, but it bugs me when things aren’t turned in on time, so I like to stay on top of that.
When you know what day it is, you can help your child make sure their library book is in their backpack the night before.
The second thing… if you ever have to check your child in, it’s nice to know whether or not the class has had lunch. I checked my son in after an appointment once and the class had already eaten. We hadn’t grabbed anything since it was still pretty early (so I thought). Luckily, his teacher let him grab a plate real quick!
Has your little one started kindergarten yet?
What are your best kindergarten tips for moms?
Let me know in the comments!