How do you feel about school starting again? I love my hour I spend with the High School choir every day, and I love that my kids go to school in a place with small classes where the scriptures are woven into every subject. One the other hand, we trade a little bit of peace and calm in the mornings and evenings for that privilege (vs homeschooling), and all day alone with a 3 year old is harder than it sounds. Last year was so stressful and the summer was so awesome, that I’m not ready to let go of that yet.
Part of what made last year so hard was our level of disorganization at home. I love being organized, but half of last year we didn’t have a functioning kitchen. There wasn’t a room in our house untouched by the chaos of remodeling. The kids were going in all different directions and every night had an activity of some sort. I craved a quiet evening at home. We were often late or forgot to show up places, stayed up all night to finish assignments that were assigned long before, tried to dress when there were few clean clothes (We own 10 red ties and you can’t even find ONE?!!!), and THIS:
“Hello, This is Angela.”
“Um, Mom…..Were you going to pick me up?”
I became “That Mom.”
So instead of freaking out about doing that again, I’m getting organized. I <3 labels. I just bought these from Amazon, and have been using Power Point to print Business Card Size labels on cardstock to slip inside. Here they are in action.
Next I will be putting labels on each shelf so the baskets end up in the right spot. Don’t hate me because it’s beautiful.
And yes, we labeled both sides, so no matter which way you put the laundry basket away, it’s still labeled.
In honor of not freaking out because school is starting, I made a little printable lunch planner gift for us. I printed mine out on cardstock and then laminated it to use over and over with a dry erase marker. You can download your own here: Brown Bag Lunch Plan.
It comes with several different background choices. But they all have cupcakes and cookies (over the top of headings like produce and protein) just because I’d rather look at a cupcake than a carrot–true story.
The one thing we did well last year was the kids made their own lunches every day. It’s the only way we got out the door on time. Even my kindergartener made his own lunch. The only thing more stressful than packing 5 lunches every day is paying an extra $300 a month to buy them, lol.
Sometimes the kids are late/lazy or forget their lunch in the car. Then they borrow money to eat a school lunch and pay back the cafeteria from their own piggy bank. Yes, it feels really mean and I’m sad when this happens. But if I helicopter mom in every time my kids are irresponsible, they’ll never stand on their own. (Ok, I did go back a couple of times when I saw it in the car before getting all the way home.)
Here’s how we do it: After dinner I pack leftovers into lunch containers and stick the in the fridge.. In the morning, the kids choose from those or make a peanut butter or meat sandwich instead, then choose a couple of side dishes from their snack basket. They drink water, so no juice boxes for us, unless it’s a special occasion. The school provides silverware and napkins and has a couple of microwaves to use. Though sometimes the line is so long, there’s no time to eat once they get their food warmed up.
This year, I plan to cook the packable lunch dishes from the GSP menu with Grant at noon. He and I can eat together and then have the leftovers ready to go for everyone else the next day.
How do you stay organized for the school year? Seriously, I need ideas, (especially if they involve labels.)