An Uncomplicated Life Blog: Getting Back To School Ready

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Getting Back To School Ready

Tips and tricks for when your very first child heads off to school for the first time and how to be a Classroom Hero for your child's classroom.


This post is sponsored by Kleenex® Facial Tissue. All opinions are my own.

The day has arrived. It's here. This week! Henry is off to kindergarten. When I first had him and was struggling as a stay at home mom, trying to adapt to life at home with a new baby, I remember thinking about this day and how far away it was. I wondered how I'd ever make it to the day I *could* drop my child off at kindergarten. Now that the day is here, I wonder where the heck the time went. How could five years have flown by so fast when those first few months were so painfully slow?! Now I think about how I *have* to drop him off, not that I *get* to. Starting a new school is scary for both Henry and me, so I figured we needed to start the process early and get him pumped up for his new school with longer days. Here's how we are getting back to school ready - BOTH of us!

It was not Otto's first day of school... But that wasn't going to stop him from taking a photo with Henry, like he's done every year for the past 3 years!

Tips for your child:

We got Henry's school supply list in July. That's when it really hit me that I'd have a child in kindergarten! At his former preschool we just paid a fee and they ordered and managed all the supplies, so getting that official list really hit me with a dose of reality! It was a simple list. He is, after all, just in kindergarten. The first thing on it though? Two boxes of Kleenex® Facial Tissue. It's funny how that's likely overlooked as a classroom supply but it's SO important! Two boxes of Kleenex® Facial Tissue per child for the whole school year just doesn't seem like enough for 23 running noses. I love that Costco has a Kleenex® bundle of 10-12 boxes (depending on the bundle) and they're big boxes too - 43% more tissues than the best-selling Kleenex tissue box in the rest of the market. That's already a great value for our classroom, but what's even better? You can get $4.50 off per bundle between Aug 7 and Sept 1, just in time for your back to school shopping! You'll see the discount on the price tag and it will be applied at the register. If you're an online shopping fan, you'll get the discount there too.


I want to ensure Henry feels as much autonomy as possible for his transition. No, he didn't get to decide on his own that he wouldn't be going to the same preschool he's been going to for several years. All his brothers will be going there this fall - he's the only child going to a different school (although they'll all end up where he is eventually). Because he's leading the change, I want to make sure he feels loved and special. A great way to do that is to allow him to pick out his own school supplies. Now he's only five years old, so he needed help picking everything out to ensure he got the right stuff! But a great way to do that is to say, "Ok Henry, you need 10 folders. Here's the bin you can choose from. Pick out 10 folders you'd like to take to school with you." Then allow him to pick out the colors or prints he likes, and make him count out 10 of them and put them in the cart. Repeat this for all the supplies on the list so your child gets excited about the school year!


Tips for parents:

We bought our home in Dallas because it's located in the 7th best school district in the entire state, and our elementary is highly ranked even within the district. I'm a huge supporter of public schools and wanted to make sure my kids would go to a good one. I've been to several tours, met the principal and all the kindergarten teachers and got linked in to both the PTA group and other kindergarten moms. I'm so thrilled with the school! He couldn't be going to a better place. Parents, that's a huge tip for you as you move through your own transition of having a school-aged child; plug yourself in to the school community! See the place, learn about the programs, and get to know the teachers and staff. All of this information will make you more comfortable as you drop your child off there for full days of learning.

My second tip for parents is to set up any systems, accounts, and/or procedures ahead of time, and practice them with your child. For example, I created Henry's lunch account online and added money to it. Henry will get to wear his PIN for the first week of school, but I'll practice how he will move through the lunch line and enter his code for lunch. The kid hasn't ever had hot lunch before, so practicing this is important! Another procedure that comes to mind is carpool drop off and pick up. I'm going to take Henry to the school and show him where I'll drop him off and pick him up, and walk him through the process. If your child will be riding the bus, you could walk him or her to the bus stop, talk about how to sit on the bus, and where it will drop your child off and pick him or her back up again.


Being a Classroom Hero:

I mentioned earlier that I'm a huge supporter of public schools. In my mid 20's, I was a fundraiser for one of the largest public school districts in Minnesota and it was, to this day, one of my favorite jobs! Through that role, I know that supplies and resources are scarce in schools. Teachers aren't millionaires, but are often left to buy supplies for the students in their rooms who can't afford them. We can complain about the politics of that all day, but I'd rather do something about it and become a Classroom Hero for my son's teacher. That's why I took him back to school shopping at Costco. He could pick out his supplies to use his power of choice and feel good about his new transition to kindergarten, and I could pick up extra supplies to gift to his teacher throughout the upcoming school year so that she doesn't have to buy them herself.


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This post is sponsored by Kleenex® Facial Tissue at Costco. All opinions are my own.

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