Ready for School

Okay, I know I said I was going to take a break from this blog this month. But my oldest child is starting kindergarten in a week, and I’m a little anxious. I’m sure she’ll be fine, but still, I’m sending my baby out in to the world! Will she be safe? Will she have a kind teacher and make nice friends? Have I taught her everything she needs to know?! Ack!

So of course, as is my habit, I’ve been doing some research to make sure I send my little girl off right. Today I’m sharing some of our preparations, and some of the interesting ideas I’ve found.

School Shopping
For clothes, shoes, supplies, etc. Our school district just implemented a uniform policy that requires shirts with collars and solid colored bottoms. My friend and I were resourceful and dyed our own pink polo shirts to appease our girly-girls and their need for pink!
The Ant Bug picked out her own cute backpack, with attachable lunch box.

Don’t you love new art supplies? My cupboard is now stocked with 7 bottles of glue and 13 glue sticks to fill the Sweet Bee’s need for glue throughout the year.

Making Lunch
We’ve got the lunch box, and we’ve got the containers. Most importantly, I’ve made sure the Ant Bug can open everything by herself.
Have you heard of Bento lunches? They seem to be all the rage now. You can get all the details on Bento Box Basics from the alphamom. Basically the gist of the idea is to make lunch cute and appealing to your kids. Use cookie cutters for shapes and cute little containers to section out the food.

I’m not a good enough mom to think that I can make some of these impressive cuties everyday, but I think I can handle a star shaped sandwich, some flower-shaped cheese slices, and a little cup of fruit on occasion.

Simply Modern Mom has a great post with lots of ideas for making kid lunches fun and healthy.

I like the idea of the Ant Bug finding a surprise little love note in her lunch box. Teach Mama has some great templates available to download here.

A few recipes that I would like to try:
Family Fun Peanut Butter Balls
Snackpicks After School Muffins

For the First Day (and the night before)
My husband grew up with the tradition of receiving a father’s blessing with the start of each school year. We’ve done this in previous years before starting preschool, and it is an important tradition in our family now. I take notes on what is said to include in the Ant Bug’s journal.

On the morning of the first day we’ll have our camera in hand, ready to document the monumental occasion. I like the idea of having your child hold up a large cut-out letter showing what grade they are in (see an example here).

I’m thinking about holding a special “Back to School” dinner, either the day of or the night before. We’ll serve “alphabet foods” like alphabet noodles or cereal. I like the idea of giving a little gift with a card wishing good luck in the new school year. There is a cute card template here at Sugardoodle, but I haven’t decided what the gift should be yet. I like this Back to School bag idea, but it might be better for older kids.

Reading Books
I just picked up a stack of kindergarten prep books from the library today. There is a plethora of books available on the subject, but one that looks really fun is Miss Mingo and the First Day of School by Jamie Harper.

Routines for School
Once the excitement of the first day (or week) wears off, it’s important to have routines in place to keep things running smoothly. I have plans for a morning check-off chart which will include things like get dressed, eat breakfast, make lunch, brush teeth. We will need to be out the door by 7:15 each morning, so there won’t be much time for anything else.

I’ll also be adjusting our daily schedule, making time for homework, piano practice, housework, and playing. Meck Mom has lots of helpful ideas for organizing your home and routines for back to school here.

Lastly, I was reassured with the Ant Bug’s abilities when I read this article: What your child should know before starting kindergarten.

Now tell me, what back to school traditions do you have? What tips do you have for a first-time mother of a kindergartener?
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