It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
I don’t mean Christmas (although that is a wonderful time). I’m referring to back to school time.
Don’t get me wrong – I love my kids and I enjoy doing things with them over the summer. But there comes a time when parents are ready for the kids to go back to school and return to regular schedules. For example, my kids are up to 2:00 or later, then they sleep until noon (you’ve got to love teenagers). By the time I get home from work they are just getting up or too tired and grumpy to want to do anything.
A lot of my daughter’s friends work (she’s been looking for a job with no luck). That means there is no one around to hang out with so she’s been very bored this summer. We also haven’t been able to do as much as we wanted to due to financial reason (lack of $$$).
Surviving back to school time is a whole other story. Getting the kids up, ready and out the door, keeping on them to study and do homework, making sure they pack a nutritous lunch… it can get crazy!
Parenting expert and mom blogger Jenny Ingram from Jenny on the Spot has some great tips for surviving the Back to School season.
Keep Smart Snacks within Reach. Back to school isn’t only exhausting for kids. Moms and dads get worn down too so smart snacking is important. Pack a supply of nutritious snacks to have in your purse for when you’re running errands or going from school to practice. ItzyRitzy’s reusable snack bags are perfect for keeping your on-the-go snacks organized and always handy. Fill them with grapes, almonds, carrot sticks and Balance bare bars for a healthy snack sure to satisfy both busy moms and kids until dinner!
The (digital) calendar is key. To make sure no one misses an activity, homework deadline or playdate, color code each kid in your calendar so you know exactly who is doing what and where and when. I love the Cozi app – it’s free and great for organizing your upcoming activities and goes everywhere you do since it’s on your phone.
Pack bags within your bag. If you’re like me, you have a huge bag. It’s great for storing lots of things, but it can be a wasteland and hard to find anything if you’re not organized. I keep a mini bag that holds my chapstick, hand sanitizer and other items I regularly reach for in a brightly colored small bag that stands out. An Itzy Ritzy snack bag can even double as an organizational bag that’s stylish too!
Miniature First Aid Kits. It’s helpful to have some first-aid basics in your bag for everyday incidents that are bound to happen. My homemade first aid kit includes Band-aids, Neosporin, Kleenex and wipes. Trust me on the wipes – they’re much more effective than napkins at cleaning up whatever messes my kids have.
Be prepared for homework. With after-school activities, keep homework supplies in your car and bag so your children can do their work while you’re waiting for soccer practice. Keep rulers, pencils, pencil sharpeners, scissors, calculators and a clip board in the car to make sure you’re prepped for any homework assignments.
Label everything. With 3 kids, and all the supplies and gear that come with them, I’ve learned to love labels. Before schools starts, I put Mabels Labels on their lunchboxes, backpacks, jackets, shoes, sporting equipment and anything else I can get my hands on. You’ll never have to hear “she’s wearing my sneakers” again and also helps avoid lost items in the school coat closet.
Pack healthy school lunches efficiently. Trying to accommodate everyone’s lunch needs is hard. Make their sandwiches and then let them choose 3 snacks for themselves. In your pantry, have mom-approved snacks (like Mixed Berry Balance bar bars) in three drawers and every kid is allowed to choose 1 item from each drawer to add to their lunch.
Transitioning summer bedtimes. Yes, I’m probably guilty of letting the kids stay up a little too late during the summer. But that’s what summers are for! However, those late nights are not going to work once school starts, so I like to gradually transition their sleep schedules. 4-5 days before school starts, I’ll move their bedtimes up 10-30 minutes. It’s a slow process but really helps to ensure they’re rested and ready for the first day.
These are some great tips!
Check out this infographic too.
Getting my kids back on their bedtime routine is really hard. They are teenagers in high school and feel like they shouldn’t have a bedtime. As parents we disagree. They need ample sleep to do well in school. Not only that they are beasts when you try and wake them up when they are tired. Plus when they are super tired they tend to not hear the alarm clocks and then they end up missing the bus and we have to drive them into school late.
We normally have them start cutting back about 10-14 days before the first day of school so that we can get them to go to bed by around 10 PM which we feel is a decent time (although I would rather it be 9-9:30).
I already try and keep school lunch foods and supplies with an easy access (after school snacks too). My kids are old enough to make their own lunches but as a mom I want to make sure they have plenty of healthy options to choose from.
Speaking of school lunches and snacks, have you tried then new Bare Balance Bars? They are YUMMY!!!!
I received a few samples to review. They are delish!
Bare Balance Bars are currently available in three flavors – Mixed Berry Nut, Sea Salt Caramel Nut and Sweet & Spicy Nut. All three flavors are Non-GMO, gluten free, soy free and dairy free.
To be honest it’s hard to pick a favorite from the three flavors. The Sweet & Spicy Nut and Sea Salt Caramel Nut are both vying for top position. Don’t get me wrong, the Mixed Berry is yummy too.
My family has always loved Balance Bars. The Bare Balance Bars are not coated in chocolate like regular Balance Bars. That is why they are called “Bare”. All you see are the nuts, fruits and other natural ingredients.
Look for Bare Balance Bars where ever Balance Bars are sold. You can also purchase them online on the Balance Bar shop website. There is also a store locator on the site too.
Visit www.BalanceBars.com for more information. You can also find the brand on the various social media sites.
Jenny Ingram and Balance Bar are hosting a Twitter chat tomorrow (August 19th) at 2:00 PM (EST). Those who attend are invited to ask Jenny for her tips and tricks for staying organized during the busy back to school season.
The official hashtag is #BalanceisintheBag. Those who attend the Twitter party and use the hashtag will be eligible to win prizes from Balance Bar and Itzy Ritzy products.
Balance Bar is also hosting a fun Pin 2 Win contest on their Pinterest page. From August 19th (today!) to September 12th fans can pin or repin images of how they keep balanced in the bag with all of their back to school must haves. I hope you’ll enter and join in on the fun.
*I received free product samples in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.