Crockin’ Back-to-School Giveaway

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And the winner is…Tiffany M. We just loved her thoughtful tip and one that really touched our hearts, knowing how much family and food mean to us! ha. Thanks Tiffany for a great idea that we hope to begin today for our kiddos that way we’ll have the album done by the time they go to college! Oh my.

“Before I went away for college, my mom gathered all of my favorite recipes from all of my grandparents, cousins, aunts, etc and wrote them down on colorful note cards. She organized them in a photo album and started each person’s section of recipes with a picture of that person followed by their recipes that I loved the most.”

And because we had SOOOO many great tips (really, you should read them all), we selected 4 runner-ups that will a FREE copy of our Slow Cookin’ Companion.

“Plan a super fun family outing for the Saturday that immediately follows the first week of school. Having something fun to look forward to helps to ease the nerves of the kids and lets them be more interested in having a fabulous first week! It also reminds them, that even though school is back in session, family is still there to do fun stuff with :) Celebrating simple things, helps grow the family stronger :).”
Jillian N.

“Be sure the kitlens know their address and phone number, and mommy and daddy’s full names! With so many things happening out there today, make sure they are armed with this knowledge from the beginning.”
Dana M.

“I send a handwritten note in my kids’ lunch boxes every morning. It’s nothing much, just usually “I love u!” (or something similar), but somehow writing that notes usually ends up taking WAY too much time on school mornings. Between finding the paper, a working pen, writing it on a space on the counter that’s not covered in jelly from the sandwich I just made, etc, that little note can usually be the difference between us leaving in time or not. But not sending one is not an option. So I just went this week and bought a cube of paper… and while the kids were watching tv today, I sat down with some colored markers and write a TON of little notes. That way I can keep the pad on top of my fridge and just rip off a new one every morning during the school year. And since I alternated colors in the notes, the kiddos will never know that they were all written on the same say… in July!”
Karen H.

“As an elementary teacher, there are a few things I have learned along the way about preparing little ones for the first day of school. First, buy your supplies in July and early August when the sales are good and supplies are endless. Second, as much as your kids beg for the light-up mechanical pencils or the (insert this year’s top cartoon, game, movie, band, etc.) markers, do not buy it for school supplies- most of the time the students become distracted with it so it is taken away or the student gets bored with it within the first week…save your money and stick to basic supplies. Finally, your kids will have a few “butterflies” the first day, even if this isn’t their first few years of school. Encourage them to have a great day and remind them to keep on smiling! :)”
Rachel H.

———————————————————
To Enter:
Just answer the following question in the Comments section of this post below: “What is your one back-to-school tip?” If you don’t have school-aged kiddos, tell us an organizing tip.

The Rules:
One entry per person.
Winner will be announced right back here on Friday, July 27 at 12PM.
Giveaway sponsored by The Crockin’ Girls.

Prize Pack Includes:
Slow Cookin’ Companion Cookbook, New Slow Cooker, T-shirt and Goodies!

Thanks Y’all!!!

Comments Add Comment
  1. JoAnna M.
    #1 on July 24th, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Buy school supplies in July and early August for the best deals!

  2. Jenn
    #2 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Watch for those back to school deals and stock up. The deals are starting now! Also, take pictures of your kiddos on the first day of school in the same location every year and watch how much they change and grow.

  3. Jennifer
    #3 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Get things together the night before, so if you or the kiddos are having a hard time waking up, you don’t have to run around trying to get everything together!

  4. Heather
    #4 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Try and stay organized – stock up now on supplies so that we are always prepared when we need that extra pencil or noteback later this winter!

  5. Corrie
    #5 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:04 am

    This is the first year my little one will be attending pre-kindergarten so I will be glad to read all the tips! My only one from our time at pre-school was have backpack and snacks ready the night before.

  6. Jennifer
    #6 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Think ahead like the crockin girls. Buy your pencils, notepads and backpacks now while the sales are Hot. Also, think about making a bunch of PB sandwiches and freeze them….easy and ready for a quick-to-grab lunch.

  7. Sarah
    #7 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I think on an eco-friendly note, you should invest in reusable snack bags and sandwich wraps. Ohh….and a lunch box/bag. My heart sunk everyday knowing it was going ot just get chucked in the trash.

  8. Redonna
    #8 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I always get the back to school back packs ready early and put up away from the kids otherwise risk losing items and having to replace at the last minute!

  9. Kristy
    #9 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Keep in mind there are kids out there who’s parents don’t have enough money to buy the supplies they need, so throw a few extras into your basket to donate. Keep your eye out for clearance Back to School as early as September and stash things away ’till next year. Pencils, erasers, binders, etc. They will always be in need.

  10. Jenay
    #10 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I try to get my kids started back on a schedule starting a month before school starts, I also try to plan snacks and stuff for when school does start now, and stock pile what I can!
    Anything to keep the stress level down helps my boys and me!

  11. Cristina
    #11 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Meal planning is my one back to school tip. Load up on the cheap school supplies for our crafts at home.

  12. Jennifer
    #12 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Have a back to school party for your kiddo(s)! Let them catch up w/ friends from last year and hopefully they won’t feel as nervous about going back!

  13. Kim C.
    #13 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:05 am

    If you have younger kids always buy next years clothes at the end of the season…I save a ton of money by doing this on school clothes for my son!

  14. Ashley
    #14 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:05 am

    When it comes to school clothes: Stock up when you catch them on clearance racks, whether it be the season before or just a couple months before!

  15. Angie
    #15 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:05 am

    You save more money buying your child’s school supplies than ordering them through the school. Check the adds in the Sunday papers to see what stores have the best deals. Also, Don’t forget to start looking early.

  16. Jennifer
    #16 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Always pack the backpacks the night before! Saves so much time in the morning not running around. Also lay out clothes the night before. That way you already know what they are wearing (whether they wear a uniform or not).

  17. Vanessa
    #17 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Ad match school supplies so you can stock up on all the stuff u will need to replace through out the year..

  18. Kay
    #18 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Gather everything you need for the morning, the night before. Pack the car with backpacks, so the only left to get in the car besides the kids are the lunch boxes.

  19. Heather
    #19 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:06 am

    We buy the kid’s snacks/lunch accompaniments for the week on Sunday then individually bag them for each day of the week. Then all we have to do is make a sandwich and pop it into their bag. Lunch is all set. Saves us TONS of time and hassle. It’s also good because then the kids just grab a baggie of something when they come home. It’s already portioned out.

  20. Michelle
    #20 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Shop online, Staples has the best deals and free shipping on $50 dollar orders which can easily be spent on one child let alone two!

  21. Nefertiti
    #21 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:06 am

    My husband is in the U.S. Navy and I’m a nurse so sometimes we all get home just in time for dinner. The best tip is using your crock pot! It has been a sane saver and life saver. What else can anyone ask for? Your recipes have been great! Thank you so much!!

  22. Julie
    #22 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Start everything early: shop early, plan menus, organize your “launch pad” wherever everyone puts all their stuff. And then celebrate the first day of school twice- once for you surviving the summer and once for the kids surviving that first day back.

  23. Misty
    #23 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Buy school supplies early, also buy a few extra of everything. They seem to need them when they are no longer on sale. I also have them pick out their clothes the night before. It saves so much time in the mornings.

  24. Carol C.
    #24 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Start out with a great breakfast and be happy.

  25. lkinca
    #25 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:06 am

    We start going to bed early and getting up early the week before so everyone is ready the first week of school. Also, I feel so much better when I make lunches the night before. That just takes one more thing out of the morning rush!

  26. DeAwna R.
    #26 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Have everything ready the night before.

  27. Lynn
    #27 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Start the school bedtime and morning routines at least a week ahead of time so you and the kiddos wont go into shock the first morning the alarm sounds.

  28. Christina
    #28 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:06 am

    We always purchase the kids’ school supplies through the PTA that way they are in the classroom on Back to School Night. I also make sure lunches are packed and clothes are picked out the night before so we are ready on the first day of school. We start going to bed at our regular bedtime vs. summer bedtime about 2 weeks before school starts too. Every little bit helps!!

  29. Jennifer
    #29 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Lay out outfits, pack lunches and backpacks the night before to save time and stay less stressed during the busy mornings!

  30. Emily
    #30 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:06 am

    While school supplies are on sale, buy multiple sets to send new crayons and glue with your children at the beginning of each quarter.

  31. Candi S.
    #31 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Lay out a week’s worth of clothes on Sunday night so there won’t be a scramble to find something to wear in the mornings.

  32. Kayla
    #32 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:07 am

    I usually buy school supplies for the next year after the current school year has started. Our local Wal-Mart starts marking prices down on school supplies around the 3rd week of September so I buy thinks I know will be on my Kid’s school supply lists the next year such as crayons, glue sticks, regular glue, folders, notebooks, colored pencils ect. It saves me A LOT of money!!

  33. Michelle
    #33 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:07 am

    This is our 1st year to do this as my little guy is starting pre school this fall….sigh. I have been making this as fun as I can for him & letting him be involved in picking supplies out. We have a great clearance section that includes school supplies at our Walmart so I steered him over there & let him pick out some fun things. Although he may not need some of the things just to start pre school, I know that we can make good use of them during our play time at home. :)

  34. Lynn

    Lynn
    #34 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:07 am

    My 6 yr old loves to dress herself, so I have a shelf for each day and examples of what to pick, ie. shorts and t-shirt, dress and tights and so forth. Then she can pick out all of her outfits for the week and there isn’t any fighting the morning of school.

  35. Heidi
    #35 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:07 am

    We made bargin hunting a “family” event this year. We had a scavanger style contest on who could find the best deals for the supplies on their list. We scored .01 erasers and .10 highlighters. I have two kids and we bought our supplies for a little less that 36 dollars. It did involve a little driving but in the past I’ve spent over a 100.00 so it was definately worth it!

  36. Jillian
    #36 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Plan a super fun family outing for the Saturday that immediately follows the first week of school. Having something fun to look forward to helps to ease the nerves of the kids and lets them be more interested in having a fabulous first week! It also reminds them, that even though school is back in session, family is still there to do fun stuff with :) Celebrating simple things, helps grow the family stronger :)

  37. Katie
    #37 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Get your school “routine” going a week or two before school starts. My kids go to bed earlier during the school year (rather than staying up late in the summer) so they need to get used to it before the first week of school. They also read a certain number of minutes per night during the school year so we try to start that a few weeks early to make sure it becomes more of a habit than a chore. :)

  38. Kismet
    #38 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Start ahead of time planning lunches or after school snacks by getting the kids together practicing and creating favorite recipes over the last weeks of the summer. Everyone is involved and onboard and then it flows much better during the year. This works great for us homeschool folks too!

  39. Lisa
    #39 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Make sure your kids immunizations are up to date so you are not doing a last minute scramble when school starts.

  40. Monica F.
    #40 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:08 am

    If your school has a sneak peek night before the first day of school take in your mountain of required supplies then so your little one will not have to drag them in on the first day.

  41. Shawn
    #41 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Always buy school supplies in bulk…like paper, crayons, pencils, and other popular supplies…that way when your child tells you the night before at bedtime they are out of something 9 times out of 10 you have it stored away so then you are prepared for such times

  42. Jackie
    #42 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:08 am

    My best back-to-school tip is to shop for the expensive things at stores you wouldn’t normally associate with school supplies. Sporting goods discounters like Academy usually have really good deals on backpacks and lunch boxes. And dollar stores have some of the best deals on paper and pens!

  43. D
    #43 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Don’t buy all your school clothes before school starts – inevitably there will be an “I have to have that!” item seen after the first day.

  44. Patrice O.
    #44 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:08 am

    My number one tip for getting ready for “Back-To-School” is starting the night time routines a week before. This is so it’s not such a big blow to the children when they actually have to get up on time.

  45. Tom
    #45 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Get your kids ready for the school year by making sure that their backpack doesn’t get too heavy and hurt their back.

  46. Kelly
    #46 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Get into a routine immediately & things will go so much smoother!! :)

  47. hope s.
    #47 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:09 am

    buy school supplies early so you can be as organized as possible and i usually make a few weeks worth of meals so i can help the kids the first week with getting into our school routine and not be rushing to make dinner and help with homework..

  48. Rita S.
    #48 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Get as much ready as you can & set it out the night before. Makes the mornings so much easier!

  49. Tara
    #49 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Label everything! (for back to school and organization!) Label your kiddos backpack, jacket, etc. Especially if your kid has new things. It will take a few weeks for your kids and their teacher to learn whose stuff is whose!

  50. Melissa
    #50 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Get your kids on the right sleep schedule at least a week before school starts.– My kids love to sleep in, so the first week of school is always tough for us when the alarm clock starts buzzing at 6:30.

  51. Chastity
    #51 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Plan your meals for the week on Sunday! Do as much prep work as possible and make your week day’s stress free. As a working mom this is the best rule I follow- with two teenage boys that are very active in sports, doing my meal planning and prep on Sunday keeps me sane during the week! Crock-pot meals are the only way to go during football season!!

  52. Leila
    #52 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Prepare lunches, lay out clothes, and have backpacks ready to go the night before. That way you don’t have to rush around in the morning trying to get everything ready! You could even prepare breakfast in your crockpot the night before and by the time you wake up, it’s ready to go!

  53. Elizabeth
    #53 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:10 am

    When you buy your back to school supplies, be sure to buy a few extra when they are on sale to use after the first semester when supplies need to be replenished!!

  54. Amanda
    #54 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:10 am

    When school supplies are on sale, by two. Kids forget things like crayons and pencils and accidentally leave them at school. If they need them for home work you won’t have to run out to the store. If that doesn’t happen you have a set for next year.

  55. April
    #55 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:11 am

    If you have a young one in school make sure you take them to the school so they can see where they will be going. Let them see the lockers, playground, lunchroom, etc. Not all school have an orientation day. I even called the bus garage and they let me tour the bus! :)

  56. Becki
    #56 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:11 am

    If you have small children, purchase or make address labels with their names on them. Makes labeling notebooks, boxes of crayons, etc. easier. Plus, use them on envelopes you send lunch money etc. in.

  57. Kelley
    #57 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:11 am

    I don’t have school aged children yet…8 mos and 2 yrs. So my organizational tip that helps me is hire a nanny! Lol!!

  58. Jennifer T.
    #58 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Picking outfits the night before help a lot in the morning.

  59. Crockin Girls

    Crockin Girls
    #59 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:12 am

    WOW! Such great tips, y’all! Keep ‘em coming :)

  60. Dawn
    #60 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Let your child help pair up outfits when putting clothes away. This way it’s not a last minute “this doesn’t match” battle when getting dressed in the morning.

  61. Nina
    #61 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:12 am

    When the kids get old enough to want all the expensive fashions….give them a clothing allowance and let them choose. It saves a lot of arguing and they learn what is important. With our girls…one got a few designer items and the other bought off the clearance rack. Both have learned to be bargin shoppers now as adults.

  62. Michelle W.
    #62 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:13 am

    As a teacher and mom, I know my life is about to get cRaZy!!! I try to get everyone to bed early, to prepare for our back to school routine. I also try to get as organized as possible–meal plans, cleaning the house, etc. It just makes me feel good starting off the school year on a positive note.

  63. traci
    #63 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Start a few days early to get your kids back on schedule so they can wake up and the morning they go back can go smoothly. One dropped off call your girlfriends for a long over due mimosa. ;)

  64. Tawny
    #64 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Organization!!!!! Less stress means a better attitude and school experience. Planning and preparing means less surprises!

  65. nickie
    #65 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:14 am

    School lunches can be expensive. We post the monthly menu and let our daughter choose one lunch ever two weeks. No surprises, no extra money spent, no forgetting to make a lunch.

  66. Cheryl
    #66 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Shop early for all the deals. If you wait to long everything is picked over and you end up running to a lot of stores to complete your list.

  67. leanna
    #67 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:15 am

    I have 3 in school this year and I always buy extra school supplies so next year I only need to buy the few items the teachers want differently. Also I always get the kids on the new waking up schedule 2 weeks before school begins so they get in the routine of waking up earlier. And boy do they just love that……..NOT. lol

  68. Traci
    #68 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Shop school supplies early to avoid the last minute craziness. Start earlier bedtimes now!!!

  69. Tracey
    #69 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:16 am

    When school starts, take a few minutes every weekend to make several batches of French toast, pancakes, sausage burritos etc all which can be frozen and warmed up later in the microwave of toaster. Makes for a easier morning and you know your kids are still eating healthy

  70. April
    #70 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Make sure to take your young ones to the school they are attending. Let them see their classroom, locker, lunchroom, etc. Not all schools have orientation. You can even call the bus garage and they will let you tour a bus. :)

  71. Shannon

    Shannon
    #71 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Snack Tip for back to school: I found it very helpful to make snacks ahead of time. I would take snack size ziplock bags of different treats/snacks. Prepare them for a week or two. This way when getting lunch and snack ready in the mornings, I did not have to spend time figuring out with to pack, take the time to pace it and it was ready when needed. If I am running low, I stock up my child’s ziplock snack treats on the weekends. It saved tons of time!

  72. Judy K.
    #72 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Always keep a positive attitude and be involved with your kid’s school work and activities. When they see how important it is to you, they will see it’s importance, too. School can be family fun!

  73. Kelly
    #73 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Get into a routine immediately. It really helps:)

  74. Cathy
    #74 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Start the bedtime/wake up time routine the week before school starts so they are not so tired when school actually starts. Pray with them before sending them off into the new year/ day!

  75. traci
    #75 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Start a few days early getting them back into the routine of getting up so the first day back can go smoothly. Once the the kids are dropped off call all your girlfriends for a long over due mimosa.

  76. Kelley
    #76 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:17 am

    I don’t have school aged kids yet. My organizational tip which helps me tremendously is hire a nanny!! Lol

  77. Rosezona
    #77 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:18 am

    My biggest tip is to stay organized. I always make sure that my son has everything ready for school the night before. It helps make the next morning and day flow a lot smoother. I am the same way for myself. I have everything ready for the next day. I make a dinner menu for 2 weeks. I try to do as many crockpot meals as I can so I have more free time to spend with my family and help with any homework. Crock pot meals are healthier and quick!

  78. suzanne
    #78 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:18 am

    As kids get older they need less stuff off the list wait till school starts and get what they need as teachers ask for it.

  79. Serena
    #79 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Start getting the kids up 30 mimutes earlier each day till they are getting up on time for school a week before school actually starts.

  80. Sharon
    #80 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:19 am

    If possible stop by your child’s school before back to school night or the first day of school to pick up the “paper work” that will need to be filled out, so on back to school night you can give your child more attention and you will have yours done, checks made out and ready to hand in. Also if you have a back to school night or a meet the teacher day before school starts ` take extra big items then, like kleenex, baggies, clorox wipes…whatever you are asked to help the class out with, so on the first day of school your child’s back pack isn’t so huge. My kids always loved taking the list and picking their own things out (once they could read or I would help read) and then I would go throug their basket and make sure they had it all and nothing inappropriate – then I would let them check out seperate and they woud have their own bags. And I would always pick up extra folders, crayons, glue, notebooks…….. so when they need new during the year, I don’t have to run that night and I got them when they were on sale! If we want them to love school ~ we need to set a positive attitude toward it and everything involved! Happy School!!!

  81. Cassie
    #81 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Buy supplies early and buy extras so you have them throughout the year. I always try to get my daughters stuff ready and organized a week before school starts!

  82. cherish r.
    #82 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Do your prepwork on the weekend. I prep the menue for the next week (sometimes 2). I put the meats of the next week int he top basket of the freezer, so I don’t have to DIG every day. Since DS starts K this year, we will also pull out the next week’s clothes too!

  83. Tiffany
    #83 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Before I went away for college, my mom gathered all of my favorite recipes from all of my grandparents, cousins, aunts, etc and wrote them down on colorful note cards. She organized them in a photo album and started each person’s section of recipes with a picture of that person followed by their recipes that I loved the most!

  84. Monica
    #84 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Take pics on their first day! Buy extra supplies while they are on sale for later in the school year when they aren’t. Set an alarm sometimes so they start getting used to being woke up by that for later in life and not always mom/dad.

  85. Rose S.
    #85 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:22 am

    My daughter will be starting Kinder. We drive by the school when we go out and I tell her about how much fun she will have at school. We also start the school routine a month before and will be waking up, eating breakfast, and going to bed on schedule for school. We are going to meet the teacher night. We have done our school supply shopping by July to beat the crowds. All her school supplies and backpack are placed in the closet together. We have a tradition where we go buy our first day of school outfit and have a first day of school breakfast. We will also be doing the first day of school pic and last day of school pic. My husband and I are taking her to her first day of school together and I will have dinner cooking in the crock-pot that day because I’m sure it will be a hectic day that dinner will be the last thing on my mind!

  86. Julie
    #86 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Before labeling school supplies, print your child’s name on thin labels. When you have multiple children in elementary school, this saves a TON of time. File away the extras for next year.

  87. leanna
    #87 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:23 am

    I have 3 in school this year and I buy extra of the general stuff so all I need to get are the few items the teachers want differently each year. Also I get my kiddos on the new waking up schedule 2 weeks before school starts. And boy do they just love that……..NOT

  88. Amy
    #88 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:25 am

    My daughter isn’t in school yet but I am planning on taking a picture in the same spot every year on the first and last day of school to make a collage of how they have changed. I also would suggest making meal plans by the week or biweekly to make your nights of homework and everything else a little easier. I love not having to figure out what we are eating when I get home!!! Would love a cook book to help me with that too!!! :)

  89. Lisa M.
    #89 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Shop around for the best prices. After you purchase the items, label them with your kids names and put them in their back packs. This way they are all in one place and ready for back to school night :)

  90. randy g.
    #90 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:26 am

    hit the yard sales, find a lot of things there from clothes to who knows what,, and kids grow so fast

  91. Carol P.
    #91 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:26 am

    I no longer have school age kids but do have school age grand kids. I have so enjoyed reading all the wonderful and creative tips and suggestions. Most I knew and have used but I did learn a few that I will pass on to my daughter (you’re never to old to learn). Thanks!

  92. kris
    #92 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Stock up on all the back to school items, and keep in mind-some people still can’t afford it, so buy extra-donate to those in need (it’ll make ya feel good too!) :)

  93. Norine
    #93 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:27 am

    The first day of school can be pretty hectic so I like to leave a little note or treat in her backpack or lunch bag to let her know i am thinking of her. Especially this year as she transitions from elementary school to middle school!

  94. Sarah

    Sarah
    #94 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Make a list of everything needed and check them off as you go so you do not forget anything.

  95. Jessica
    #95 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:29 am

    A couple of weeks before school starts we start getting the kids up at the time they would need to be up to get ready for school. It makes the transition a whole lot easier & it even helps mommy.

  96. Janet A.
    #96 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Buy school supplies a little at a time during the summer. Supplies can be too expensive to buy at one time.

  97. Kate
    #97 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:29 am

    We get ready by making a menu. If we keep lunch fun and healthy then she is more likely to eat it all.

  98. amy j.

    amy j.
    #98 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Routines and plan ahead. Weeks before school starts, Get in the Routine of waking up early and getting kids up. Prepare ahead of time which is why I love my Crock! For either helping with Breakfast or dinner.


  99. #99 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Buy all your supplies early and then make everyday fun and exciting with your kids. What better way to start off a school year knowing you had a great Summer and have lots of great memories for your kids to share with their friends and you also get the great memories to remind you how blessed we are having our children.

  100. Megan
    #100 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Streamline dinner preparations. Do some freezer cooking to put in the freezer with prepared entrees for stress-free dinner on sports night.

  101. Allison B.
    #101 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:30 am

    What I always try to do is shop for the back to school clothes and supplies when we have the tax free weekend. Saving money is my favorite thing to do, besides cooking with my crock pot :)

  102. Kim
    #102 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Bento it up by using leftovers! If you cook enough to have leftovers on purpose, you save time making lunch with pre-cooked, pre-COOLED food. That means it won’t steam and get soggy throughout the day, and bento is the cool new thing now so it will make kids more likely to actually *eat* what you send with them to school.

  103. nickie
    #103 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:30 am

    School cafeteria lunches can be expensive. We post a copy of the monthly menu and have our daughter choose two a month. No surprises, no extra money spent, no last minute making or forgotten to make lunches.

  104. Amanda
    #104 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Teach your kids a fun way to make there own lunch. It saves you a ton of time! (especially with 3 kids) The kids think it is very cool.

  105. Sparkle
    #105 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Start the routine a week or two before school starts and go to the back to school sales.

  106. DENISE D.
    #106 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Get the kids on a sleep schedule and when shopping for school supplies I let them help in picking out what they want

  107. Kimberly
    #107 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Stock up on school supplies when you find a great deal! Remember to pick up a couple extras to donate to kids in need or your child’s teacher! A little kindness goes a long way!

  108. Laurie
    #108 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:31 am

    It is so much easier to help your child succeed and stay organized if a good line of communication between home and your child’s teacher is established from the first day of school.

  109. Sarah
    #109 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:31 am

    I have a list on the side of my fridge of healthy school lunch ideas. So when I’m ready to make my grocery list or make lunch for the kids, I can take a quick look at my lunch ideas.

  110. JENNIFER S.
    #110 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Create an online calendar. It is a great way to keep track of all the events/activities your child(ren) has coming up. Set it up so that it sends email reminders right to your inbox.

  111. Heather
    #111 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Meal plan! Plan your kid’s lunches ahead of time so all you have to do is throw them together the night before. Evenings are also taken over by homework and bed prep so planning crock pot meals for dinner will help with having more time available for the kids!

  112. ANGELA H.
    #112 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Keep all school supplies you’ve purchased in one container or location in your home. This way at the end of the year, you know what you have left over. When the new school supply list comes out, double check what you already have on hand, that way you’re not buying repeat items. This is a great way to save time AND money!

  113. Jennifer M.

    Jennifer M.
    #113 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:31 am

    As a teacher, I would always recommend that your child have LOTS of pencils! Regardless of grade level, Kindergarten through 12 or into college, every student will use a pencil in class daily! Also, stock up on those composition notebooks. They are very popular for science as well as math classes and beyond. Watch the sales and you can get them cheap!

  114. Kristy
    #114 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Hit the office suppy stores when the penny sales start in July and stock up. You can save a ton of money.

  115. Jeana
    #115 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Always get everything ready and make lunches the night before…makes the morning less hectic! And kiss your kiddos as much as possible – they grow up too fast!!

  116. Jackie R.
    #116 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Put all your buttons in one of those clear glass cookie jars then you’ll be able easily find them when one is needed to replace a lost one. Lay out school/church clothes the night before and check to see if there are any missing buttons, etc. Saves last minute frustration!

  117. Tracy
    #117 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Get organized and plan ahead — that will help tremendously. Get your meal ready the night before so you just have to plug it in in the morning before you leave for work. That way you are all ready to go when you get home especially if you have a busy night.

  118. Jennifer
    #118 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Get the kids on a regular sleep schedule a few weeks prior to going back to school, so that your mornings are not too hectic!

  119. Melinda
    #119 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:32 am

    My kids aren’t in school yet, but I remember always laying out my clothes the night before so they are ready to throw on before school in the morning!

  120. Malea
    #120 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:32 am

    I make sure that clothes, bags, breakfasts, and lunches are all packed, or laid out the night before so there is very little to do in the morning. That way, there is very little stress before school.

  121. Candice
    #121 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Get everything ready for the week on Sunday evenings. Make sure all clothes are ready for everyone in the family, any paper work that needs to be completed should be done by then and of course have your menu planned out in advance so you never have to have that “what’s for dinner?” conversation.

  122. Jamie
    #122 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:32 am

    I am lovin’ all of these tips!! The one thing that has been most helpful to our family during the busy season of back to school, is shopping in bulk and then using one afternoon nap time assemble the ingredients and bag 10 to 15 crockpot meals then freezing them. That way, when we have a busy day of school, work, and extra curricular activities, the meal takes 1 minute to take out of the freezer, drop in the crockpot, and turn it on and the few extra minutes we save can be spent enjoying our family time!

  123. Renae
    #123 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Plan and make meals ahead of time. The start of school/sports is so busy and hectic.

  124. Mary
    #124 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Watch all the circulars and stock up on everything! You will be able to get things for $.01 and even free!

  125. Sharon
    #125 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Especially as your kids get older invest in a good quality (usually expensive!) back pack. Them it will last at least through one year and possibly through more. With the weight of their textbooks you need to do everything you can to protect their backs too!

  126. Leshelle
    #126 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:33 am

    My family and I are always on the go and my schedule is a lot earlier then my husbands. To make things easier I try to make sure everything is very well organized. Setting clothes out the night before, baths and making dinner before I leave at 6:30 in the am. My kiddos and my husband are both grateful for the ease in our morning routines and incorporating your FANTASTIC meals into the equation has also given me relief for my evenings therefore, I have the opportunity to do it all over again:)

  127. Summer
    #127 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Make a great breakfast in your crock-pot so your kiddos have a great day!
    It’s easy, fast and stays with them all day!!

  128. Annie
    #128 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Make lunch the night before!
    I have a spring rod in an unused space in my girls’ room, on which I hang 2 closet organizers, that holds a weeks worth of outfits. I set them out on Sundays, and they get to pick an outfit! Everyone wins!! And saves time and arguements.

  129. Breanna T.
    #129 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:33 am

    To have more time to love on and pray with your kiddos, get their breakfasts and lunches planned a week at a time and you won’t be in a mad dash every morning.

  130. Denise
    #130 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Get your child back on an early bedtime schedule about 2 weeks before school starts back to ensure they are ready to wake up bright and early on the firsts day of school.

  131. Caryn
    #131 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Have a set routine for how everything gets completed while getting ready everyday – helps when there are sleepy zombie children who just have to wake up enough to stumble through the routine!

  132. Stefanie M.
    #132 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:33 am

    take a good look at the school supply list before you decide you can buy the supplies cheaper than the kit the school sells. I thought I could do it cheaper last year and ended up having to special order several latex free items that were required and went to about 10 different stores and in the end only saved $3-4 but spent a ton of time looking for all the items.

  133. Marianne C.
    #133 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Watch the sales ads to stock up on all the supplies you will need. Also, buy extra for those “middle of the year” needs!

  134. Kathy
    #134 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Start earlier bedtimes one to two weeks early and wake them up earlier so they are not so tired when they start school. If your child is anxious about starting school you can take them up there the week before to show them around. Draw a heart on the palm of the child’s hand and tell them if they feel like they miss you they can look at the heart and remember that you love them and will always be there to pick them up at the end of the day. Start working on school work now to prepare for back to school

  135. Laura P.
    #135 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Getting the whole house organized to help back to school routines run more smoothly. Buying school supplies early so they are all in stock too!

  136. jennifer
    #136 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Buy school supplies and clothes before the rush. I buy school supplies all year and replace the item when the kids remove something from the stash!

  137. Amy
    #137 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:34 am

    My daughter isn’t in school yet but I plan on taking a picture on the 1st day of school every year so I can keep in the scrapbook! Also a little tip, I make my meal plans on sat. and go to the store according to what I need. This helps lower my grocery bill b/c i’m not buying random things or throwing away food I don’t use and It eliminates the “whats for dinner” question that drives me crazy! I love my slow cooker and the crockin girls recipes and would love the book as well!!! thanks!

  138. Jennifer
    #138 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:34 am

    For organizing school supplies use a bin for each child with the supply list attached to the front, along with other “to-dos” (i.e. getting shots, physicals, etc.) As you fill the bin with school supplies, check things off of the list. Also as you accomplish the other “to dos” check them off the list and have a small reward for your accomplishments ready (for you and the kids). After the first week of school, celebrate your accomplishments, the end of summer and beginning of the school year, with fancy crockpot/slow cooker dinner!

    Also, start taking pictures of your kids on the first day, the second year take a picture of them holding their picture from the year before. As time goes on they will be able how much they change from year to year. Save all copies of these pictures and place them in an album for them (along with other pictures) and give to them at their high school graduation.

    Another idea I read about in the news is to take the child’s favorite early book (think Dr. Seuss or the like) and have their teachers write nice comments about them in the book every year (likely works best for elementary school, but as they move on, maybe get comments from their favorite teachers) and give them this gift at graduation as well.

  139. Britney
    #139 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:34 am

    If you can, try to keep each kiddos school supplies, backpack, etc.. in one color. This way it will be easier for you and your children to keep track and know who’s is who’s quickly.

  140. Tracie
    #140 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:34 am

    I buy as much as I can of pencils, folders, and notebooks when I see them on sale. My girls always end up needing these throughout the year, and it saves me from paying full price, or a late night trip to the store where it will probably be more expensive.

  141. Kris D.
    #141 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:34 am

    When supplies are at their best prices in the summer I always buy lots of extras so I have plenty of supplies like crayons and glue for art projects at home and I can pull from the stockpile during the school year when teachers request replacements!

  142. Monica
    #142 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Keep a centralized calendar with everything on it, ie sporting events, meet the teachers, conferences, special project due dates, practices. EVERYTHING with locations times etc. this way everyone knows where to check for what is going on and everyone is informed. Moms, dads, teenagers

  143. Laura D.
    #143 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Using the last week before school to get everyone (including Mommy) on the wake up/sleep time schedule.

  144. TheQueen

    TheQueen
    #144 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Always start your kiddos getting used to the school schedule in advance. Summertime my kids have always gotten off schedule with sleepovers, and in home daycare, (they get to sleep in). Two weeks before school starts we go back to school schedule…early to sleep, early to rise. I learned long ago they are much happier the first week of school this way.

  145. CindyJane
    #145 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Purchase extra school supplies to replenish at the beginning of the new semester in January – as the students start new classes in January they will need new folders, notebooks, pens, and pencils. As a teacher, I also purchase extra supplies for the students who are in need of school supplies.

  146. Beth
    #146 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Practice. Start a week ( or a few days before) with getting the family to bed and awake in the morning on a schedule. Also, cook or plan and prep for a few crockin’ dinners to ease the transition from Summer break.

  147. judi
    #147 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    On weekends,I try to “assemble” my meals by freezing all ingredients together in a 1 gal baggie. Then I can just plunk the brick of frozen food into crock in AM. Ready when I get home!!
    PS:
    Don’t forget to label the bags!

  148. Lori S.
    #148 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    We homeschool our kids. I like to prepare by making a schedule before the school year starts, so that I can be ready mentally for the changes and know which days and times to schedule doctor appts., etc. that won’t interfere with schooltime and activities. Crockpot menu planning is a huge help for homeschoolers. :)

  149. Kathy V.
    #149 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Help your children choose wisely when it comes to all the after school opportunities. Make sure they still have time to relax and enjoy family time, time for themselves, and unplanned time for impomptu events. They will have far less stress. Of course having dinner ready in the crock after the activities that mean the most to them will help with having more family time. :)

  150. Julia S.
    #150 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    My son and his girlfriend are now using a crockpot. They are really enjoying your easy and tasty recipies

  151. Maggie
    #151 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Start night and morning routines the week before school starts so you and the kids can adjust.

  152. Bonnie S.
    #152 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    My children are grown up and have families of their own now.
    Something we did every day after they got home from riding the bus was they would gather around the table have a small snack and they would tell me what went on at school that day.
    After snack time , they had to get their homework done.
    No waiting around till bedtime to do homework.
    Even on Fridays, get homework done and then you have the rest of the weekend for whatever!

  153. Kathy W.
    #153 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Buy school clothes now! There are alot of sales going on summer clothes! But, don’t buy jeans since its going to be warm for a couple months and the kiddos will grow before they need them!

  154. Jennifer D.
    #154 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Start your earlier to bed, earlier to rise routine a week or so before school starts.

  155. Christy
    #155 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Set the timer for one hour when you have a little down time on the weekends. Chop up all your veggies and fruits for the upcoming week. If I have time, I put them some in baggies for single size serving snacks. Keeps the kids out of the chips!

  156. Tina
    #156 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Surprise your kids with their school supplies. I find it much easier to make a big scene about all the cool stuff I bought them than to take them along and let them pick it out themselves. :) Seriously, they love sifting through and sorting everything out after I bring it home and that they didn’t have to go to the store with me.

  157. Stacy
    #157 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I start our school bedtime routine about 2 weeks before school starts, that way their bodies are used to the new bedtime. We also go thru the school lunch menu and plan what days they will pack so I can make sure I have enough leftovers for them to pack for lunch

  158. Chantal
    #158 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:36 am

    In addition to the fabulous ideas/theme of the other commenters, ie. “Plan Ahead”, is that I keep an extra set of clothes in the car for each kid. Someone IS going to have a a catastrophic spill or accident, and an extra set of clothes has saved the day many times. If your child has a locker at school, make sure and leave an extra set there too.

  159. Sherrey S.
    #159 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I can’t really think of anything that hasn’t been said. Definitely get stuff ready the night before. Also get them used to waking up and going to bed for school a week before. When purchasing back to school items including clothes a lot of states have a tax free weekend in August.

  160. Misty
    #160 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I feel like if my kiddo can start the year off organized then it helps keep her on track. In each of her class notebooks I add, 1 pencel holder. In the holder I stock it with pen, pencil, mini highliters, mini post its and 3×3 post its, and a stack of index cards held together with a ring. then I take the 6×9 mailers and punch 2 wholes in them and place then behind the pencil holder. I love to start one set in the top ring and the 2nd set in the bottem rings so it looks like 1 big envelope but its 2 small and I finish the notebook with dividers. My kid loves these.

  161. susan
    #161 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Stock up on the back to school supplies while they are cheap, and prepare as much in advance as you can!! I have four school aged children so cheap, and in advance is always up my alley.

  162. Elaine
    #162 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:36 am

    My best tip is always have a breakfast that is easy to grab and go. My oldest loves mini croissants. He grabs two and munches them on the way to school.

  163. Krista
    #163 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I always stress about buying all the back-to-school clothes before the first day of school. I’ve realized that (depending on where you live of course) they really don’t need all the fall/winter clothing until a month or two into school. This allows me to budget my money much easier not having to buy everything (back to school supplies, backpacks, running shoes etc. ) all at once!

  164. Julie C.
    #164 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Start getting your kiddos back in the school schedule of bedtime and getting up time 10 days before school begins so everyone will be back in the groove on the big day!

  165. Sarah
    #165 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Since our bedtime routine is much more lax during the summer, we start getting back to normal in the beginning of August…lights out earlier, pick out clothes for the next day, etc. This really helps our 12, 8, & 8 year olds transition back to school!

  166. Elizabeth
    #166 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:36 am

    When you buy your back to school supplies, buy extras when they are on sale to replenish used supplies for the second semester!!!

  167. Leesa
    #167 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Make lunches the evening before. If your child has access to a microwave at school, crockin’ supper leftovers can be put in containers for lunch the next day or frozen in smaller containers for lunches down the road. This can be done as you clean up from the meal and the kids can help. :-)

  168. Cynthia P.
    #168 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Start your school routine a week early so the kids can adjust to back to school. Wake up as you would for school, eat breakfast, etc. Go to bed like it’s a school night! Good rest is important!

  169. Stephanie
    #169 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:36 am

    My LO is not school-aged yet, but my biggest organizing tip is meal planning! If there is one thing that I would be lost without it would be my weekly meal plan.

  170. Wilson
    #170 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I don’t have children but everybody ought to stock up now on notebooks, pencils, pens, folders and so many other daily supplies needed so readibly available and cheap. Notebooks today are 17 cents that will be about a dollar after Labor Day. Remember notebooks, pencils, rulers and legal pads will last for years…not just one school year.

  171. Debbie B.
    #171 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Try to get some of the things you need for school when they have the tax free weekend. Get everything together the night before and get a good nights sleep so you can be refreshed and ready to go.

  172. Gena
    #172 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:37 am

    I always start the week before school putting everyone back on “School Hours” and plan out my menu for the next week. Less stress with getting everyone out the door on time.

  173. Teresa N.
    #173 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Walk the route to school with your little one so they know what to expect the first day and you know how long it will take!

  174. Sue
    #174 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Start early getting the bedtime schedule moved back for school to get into routine. Stick to routine as much as possible. Get homework done right after school to leave plenty of time.
    Moms make a menu for the whole week or month if you can around school calendar and lunches
    Don’t sweat the small stuff.

  175. Rebecca
    #175 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Get the house cleaned and in order as part of the “back to school” prep. This will make you feel more in control while the kids are getting used to new routines.

  176. Sheryl
    #176 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:37 am

    I put a wipe-off board labeled with the days of the week on the front of my refrigerator and write down any tests or projects so we always know what’s coming up.

  177. Kristen
    #177 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:37 am

    I Iike to have a fun dessert ready in the crock pot for an after school treat! My kids love to sit around the table and share about their first day back to school!

  178. Melanie E.
    #178 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Stock up now even on things you might not need for school because it is a given you will probably need them! I also buy all year long when I see clearance school supplies especially for items that I had to buy full price on during the year. With have 1 in Kindergarten, 1 Middle School and 1 in High School this year someone will need everything all year long! LOL One last tip…leave the library book in the backpack…always put it there when you are done reading it.

  179. Kristen
    #179 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:37 am

    For those of you with kids who are starting school for the 1st time, help transition him/her to this big change. One, get on the school schedule in advance (early bedtime, early rise) so he/she will be well rested and adjust easily. Two, create a book of pictures and a few words that teaches him/her what to expect. Try to include pictures of teacher(s), classmates, the classroom, playground etc. Explain the schedule and when/who will pick him/her up from school. Read this book with your child several times before school starts. Some kids with separation challenges and difficulty with transitions will benefit from taking a “transitional object” such as a favorite stuffed animal, blanket, or a picture of Mommy/Daddy. Laslty, take your child to visit the school before school starts so he/she becomes more familiar with the environment. Play on the playground if you can! Some kids won’t need a lot of support with this transition while others need a lot. Let your child guide you in how much he/she needs this support. And, of course, seek out a professional if this transition seems extremely stressful for either one of you.

  180. Ashlee
    #180 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:37 am

    When packing food for your young child, pack their snack and lunch in separate bags so they know which is which and not eat it all at one time :).

  181. Melissa

    Melissa
    #181 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:37 am

    No school ages youngins’ yet, but a 21 month old with a head of hair! I store the elastics neatly on an empty toilet paper or paper towel roll. No more searching and keeps them from getting tangled!

  182. Nicole
    #182 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    only get what the kids absolutely need, otherwise, everything they don’t need will be sent back home with them, my son’s school sends a letter home at the end of the school year from the next grade teachers with everything they will need and things they don’t need!!

  183. Neige
    #183 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Let your child go to Meet the teacher & allow her (or him) to meet new friends and their NEW teacher. They will be extra excited (mine always were) to see what the class, teacher, and new friends looked like. It eased anxieties about going to a new place, too. I have a 12, 8, and 5 year old so I’ve been there, done that. My last is finally in K….can’t believe it. C’mon crockin girls, here’s hoping I win a crock pot, I’ve got a lot of mouths to feed. : ) Thanks in advance for your wonderful giveway!!!

  184. Tina
    #184 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    I have cubbies on the wall (one for each child). To keep important papers for the week. This way I make sure notes get to the right teacher and I clean them out every Sunday evening.

  185. Ryan S.
    #185 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Keep your routine as normal as possible, start the getting up early routine before school starts so they are used to it, lay out clothes the night before, get backpacks ready the night before.

  186. Maria
    #186 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Mine is not organizational but more uplifting that can lead to better habits. I would suggest taking the time to write a quick encouraging note. For younger students put it in their lunch for older students hide it somewhere where they can find it but may not embarrass them. It’s always nice to know your parents take the time to think of you. If you don’t want to put a note for them to find at school. Hang a dry erase board by their room and write encourage notes on it. Nothing else just words of encouragement.

  187. Trish
    #187 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    With 4 children, I learned alot of tricks , one that helped me was when the specials for school supplies started coming in. I would buy extra of everything. Paper, pencils , notebooks ect…Put it in a big Rubbermaid container for the year. the kids would always come during the year and say, “Mom I need this for school.”
    Another great tip, to save money and time. I would prep all the lunch snacks, cookies, desserts and vegetables in advance. I would buy in bulk and then put in little individual baggies or containers, I made Jello and puddings for desert in little containers. Then prep for lunches went much faster.
    With all the prep work, on the weekend. I would definetly do a crockin meal. Then I could devote my time to the lunch prep. Love you crockin girls.

  188. WenDee
    #188 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Do as much as you can the night before- pack lunches, set out outfits, breakfast choices, and have all school items ready to go. And – of course- get your crock pot meal going so when you come home you can enjoy the evening as a family!!! :)

  189. Pam I.
    #189 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Lay out clothes, pack backpacks, sign permission slips, gather homework, etc the night before. Making sure everything is ready the night before=nicer, less hectic. mornings!

  190. Carla M.
    #190 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    My daughter-in-law is a middle school math teacher so I stock up on school supplies that she needs in her class room throught out the year. That way she and her students always have what they need. Since I keep their son at their house during the school year, I get my crock pot ready the night before so that my husband and I have dinner ready when I get home and I often load my son and daughter-in-law’s crock pots in the morning for their dinner. I try to keep chopped garden veggies in the freezer for those “easy load” crock pot times…. Right now I have an easy pasta sauce going……

  191. TESS
    #191 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Prepare some quick stuffed biscuits or wrapped breakfast tortillas on the weekends and freeze them in one or two packs, so they are ready for those busy school/work mornings as a quick 30 second micro fix and grab&go breakfast for those rushed mornings. Home cooking without all the fuss and clean-up & us teachers thank you for skipping the sugar overload too :)

  192. Sue s.
    #192 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Clean out the closets!!!

  193. Cheryl
    #193 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:39 am

    shop early for the deals but also to make sure you can purchase everything from one store before everything is picked over.

  194. Hollie
    #194 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:39 am

    CLEARANCE- buy school supplies that you know they will always need (notebooks, pencils, folders) when the stuff goes on clearance in like October or November. This way you will be prepared for the next year or if they run out during the school year! Do the same for clothing if you have younger ones that don’t care what is going to be “in style” next year!

  195. Karen D.
    #195 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:39 am

    NOW is the best time to buy socks, underwear etc. I buy enough to last the whole year.

  196. Laura
    #196 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:39 am

    As everyone has said – get everything ready the night before and start the week before getting into a routine. Not only do the kids need to get prepared, but Mom’s do too! Get those crockin’ recipes ready so everyone can come home at night to a delicious smelling meal!!!

  197. Diana
    #197 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:39 am

    I try to shop during Tax free day.

  198. Sheryl
    #198 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Schedule your kids health check ups in July or August to make sure they have all of their needed shots well before school starts.

  199. Beth
    #199 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Food shop during the week in the evening for the following week, make all your recipes on Sunday and freeze. Great to just heat up after work/school on weekdays. Also, using the crockpot a lot during the busy week makes life so much easier… set it and forget it. Always a great dinner waiting when you get home!

  200. Samantha
    #200 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Prepare the night before. Pack everything, let the kids pick their outfit, and figure out what they want for lunch. That way there is nothing to worry about causing delays. Smooth, stress free mornings are a great routine to start.

  201. Missy
    #201 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    As a single mom of 3 teens, full time kindergarten teacher, and full time graduate student the best thing I ever did was to wash, prepare, and cook all the meals for our week on Sundays. Coming home late from school or sports was less hectic and more nutritious if dinner was easily put together! We also sit down more as a family which is completely worth it! This year, each teen will be picking a night to cook, should be fun!!

  202. Krista
    #202 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    This is the time of year that I clean out my children’s closet. I donate all their old clothes that don’t fit anymore. Then I have room for all their back to school clothes.

  203. dawn a.
    #203 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Crock breakfast overnight to save time in the morning and everyone gets out the door with a full tummy!!

  204. Audrey
    #204 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    I have a school supply box that I keep things like glue sticks and pencils and when I see them on sale throughout the year, I put them in the box for future use. After the kids go back to school, you can find some real deals on school supplies, backpacks and lunch boxes. I also invested in better quality backpacks instead of the character backpacks. They have already lasted through the entire school year last year and we will still be able to use them this year.

  205. Anjie

    Anjie
    #205 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Have a homework box prepared for each kid. Pencils, crayons (or colored pencils), erasers, scissors, glue sticks, anything they will need to successfully complete their regular homework each night. Our other crayons/markers/colored pencils have their own space and we don’t mix the two. I even have a box for me with a stapler, staple remover, pens, extra erasers and pencils, so they know I’m serious about helping them get their homework done.

  206. Jodie
    #206 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Some of us moms get together and buy in bulk during the Staples back to school sale where you can get things for pennies if you spend so much total. We take a list of other items we need in order to bulk up to that total. Then we trade up the school supply purchase that cost pennies. Other items we buy elsewhere in large quantities and share. I usually spend about $10 on elementary school supplies. However, I notice the middle school list is particularly longer! UGG!

  207. emily
    #207 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Do a crockin breakfast the night before to make your mornings go more smooth!.:)

  208. Heather
    #208 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    I wake my kids up a little bit before I want them to actually be up. That way they can stay in bed a few minutes, and really wake up. Getting stuff around the night before is mandatory in our house. It makes mornings go much smoother. I also recomemd getting up early enough to prepare a good breakfast for your babies. Remember how lunchtime seemed to take forever to arrive in school? Make sure their bellies are full so they can concentrate on learning and not counting down the minutes until lunch!

  209. Jennifer F.
    #209 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    A new school is always a time of high anxiety for children and parents alike (teachers too!). One way to reduce your child’s anxiety about meeting new people and making new friends is to role play with them at home. We often do this around the dinner table. One of our favorites is how to approach a new friend…”You see someone standing by the swings alone, what could you do?” We even do sharing role plays since my oldest is only in Pre-K. “What should you do if someone has a toy you really want?”

  210. Christie Q.
    #210 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Make sure to get extra school supplies this summer while the deals are still out. Especially pencils and loose leaf paper. They are much more expensive during the school year! Hope everyones kiddo’s have a great year!

  211. Dyna
    #211 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    A week before school starts I start waking my son up at the time he would have to wake up durning school so he is not so tired in the mornings of the 1st week of school. He also has to go to bed at the same time he would if he was in school.

  212. Nancy
    #212 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    My tip is to identify a box or office type tray to put all school papers in. How many of us have searched all over the house for a missing homework assignment or school field trip note? If the entire family gets used to putting all school papers in the box as they enter the house, it will save a lot of time and stress.

  213. Gail P.
    #213 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Shop now for back to school specials. Take the kids with so they can help with the shopping, read the list to them and let them pick up the items, with your guidance of course! When school starts have them pick out their clothes the night before so there’s no problems in the morning.

  214. Kristi
    #214 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    See what gently used items you can reuse from previous years or donate those items to Sunday schools, after school programs, etc. to reduce costs & clutter.

  215. Julie V.
    #215 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Buy school supplies after school starts for the following year. When the kids come home that last week of school, I pack up their bags for the end of summer….no worries all summer long!

  216. April A.
    #216 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:41 am

    What I like to do with my kids is have them pick their outfits for the week on Sunday night. That way I can double check everything works like no shorts with a sweater lol and its a time saver in the mornings! The kids just just get that days complete outfit stack and they are dressed :)

  217. Rhonda W.
    #217 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Ease children back into a school year routine gradually. During the last two weeks of summer, re-introduce a school year bedtime. Begin waking late sleepers earlier and earlier, closer to the hour they’ll need to rise when school begins.
    Get things together the night before for the next day.

  218. Jenni
    #218 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:41 am

    We don’t have kids, but we pack lunches every day, etc. I always pack lunches while cooking supper if I’m not crockin’. It gets done quickly and I don’t have the option of “forgetting”. I try my hardest to plan meals every week by Monday – chicken, Tuesday – ground beef, etc.

  219. Beth
    #219 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:41 am

    We make “future sandwiches”. Basically two to three loaves of bread, lunch meat, cheese and mayo or mustard. Wrap individually in sandwich bags and freeze. When packing lunches, just pop them in the brown bag and they are thawed by lunch time. No worries about no refridgeration and they keep other items slightly cool at the same time. This is great for those for older kids who will no longer take an insulated lunch bag. Also saves time doing lunch prep.

  220. Competent
    #220 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Find out when your school’s open house is, usually a day or so before school starts, and bring the (already-organized) school supplies along to leave at your student’s new desk & lighten the load on the first day.

  221. Karen
    #221 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Buy supplies early, get everything organized, shop Dollar Stores, and stock up the freezer for Crockin meals.

  222. Lisa
    #222 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:41 am

    I keep a plastic bin labeled school supplies and stock up in July and August. When the kids get low on supplies during the year, they know I always have whatever they need!

  223. Lynn K.
    #223 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Designate a spot for your children to place their school belongings as well as a place to put important notices and information sent home for you to see. Explain that emptying their backpack each evening is part of their responsibility, even for young children.

  224. Jennifer
    #224 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:42 am

    This is a big year for us! My son is entering 8th grade and will have football and soccer nights, my daughter is entering kindergarten, and I am entering nursing school! Organization will be key to our survival, and Crockin’ Girls recipes will be used often and much appreciated. For me, keeping a master calendar with everyone’s schedule/activities on it is very important. If it’s on the calendar, no one will forget it!

  225. Kathleen S.
    #225 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Have a garage sale in early August, and use the proceeds to pay for school clothes! We do this every summer.

  226. Renee L.
    #226 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Start shopping for school supplies in July when they start appearing in the sales ads. This will save you a lot of money.

  227. Emily
    #227 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:42 am

    I have a “School Day Drill” the day before school starts. Wake up and get ready as if was a normal school day but instead of going to school go out for breakfast and do fun activities all day. Its nice having a dry run for you and a day of fun with mom for the kids. :)

  228. Pam
    #228 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Don’t stress over “getting it all ready” for the first day. Let them go, find out exactly what is needed, then plan your trip.

  229. susan
    #229 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Stock up on all the deals now while they are so cheap. And prepare in advance all you can.

  230. Lindsay
    #230 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:42 am

    I agree setting things out the night before is key. That and having a supply of quick to prepare breakfasts.

  231. Brenda S.
    #231 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:42 am

    I love to have everything ready the night before, including my meal for after school, Clothes out, bags packed, lunches made, and our Crockin’ meal ready to go in the Crock Pot. Much easier for the whole family if there is a plan in place to begin the new schedule.

  232. Christin
    #232 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Most states have a tax free weekend or several weekends before school starts on supplies and clothes before school starts. Search the web to find when yours is. Every little bit helps when you have a lot of supplies to buy. You can also take advantage of the savings if you buy a computer or software during that time as well.

  233. Paula
    #233 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Don’t over commit. So many kids (and parents) have way too much going on. Not only does that not leave time for homework and family time, it also leaves everyone worn out. When we are that tired, we can’t do our best and tend to get on each others nerves.

  234. Maralea
    #234 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Watch for all the great back to school deals!

  235. DIANA B.

    DIANA B.
    #235 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Kids can tear up a binder in no time. Last year they wanted the binder that has a zipper and strap to use for all of their classes. We bought the Staples brand for $20. It was falling apart within a couple of months. So, I bought the Staples Better Binder, which is a traditional binder with three D-rings, no zippers or straps. It is VERY sturdy and lasted the rest of the school year. I even use these for my work because they are more durable. I also bought one to hold all my recipes, except my treasured “The Crockin’ Girls Slow Cookin’ Companion,” which is proudly displayed on my new recipe stand in my kitchen. The Staples Better Binders are made of plastic, not cardboard. They cost more than traditional Avery binders. But if you watch for their sales or use your Staples Rewards, it is definitely worth it. I notice they have some on sale this week, but not their really large Staples Better Binders yet, which my kiddos need this year for school. Happy Crockin’!

  236. Stephanie E.
    #236 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:43 am

    We buy all the school supplies for our son and then we take a rubbermaid tote and fill it will all the same school supplies to give to his teacher for the kids that can not afford them or for when they run out. We also make sure to send some healthy snacks the first few weeks for the kids to have before lunch time so that they could get back into the swing of school schedules.

  237. diane g.
    #237 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:43 am

    My kids are grown, but have grandkids and they always want to do crafts so I take advantage of back to school sales and replenish crayons, pencils, glue,scissors etc for the craft box that is always at Grammy”s

  238. april
    #238 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Have baskets for each child/person in your household for daily use belongings (backpack, shoes, umbrellas, etc). Everything will always, hopefully lol, be in the same spot and easy to find and grab. Pick up extra school supplies throughout the school year and save unused supplies for the following year.

  239. Claudine
    #239 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:43 am

    As a single mom.. always trying to SAVE and STAY AHEAD… I grab the next years, grade list (ie if you have an ingoing 3rd grader, grab 4th grd as well) the supplies don’t change much year to year and buy all next years supplies when they go half off! Place in a LABELED box (where kids can’t get into it!) Then you are about 90% for next year Back to School at HALF the price or more!!! Me LIKEY! :)

  240. Jessica
    #240 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Lay out school clothes the night before so that the morning is not so hectic

  241. Nicole
    #241 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Create a weekly menu for your child’s lunches to make sure you provide variety and healthy food items. Doing this will also provide you with a list of what items to buy at the market on a weekly basis. Planning ahead will ensure our children have healthy lunches.

  242. Christine
    #242 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:43 am

    I loved reading all these great ideas. I wanted to try to add something I hadn’t seen yet, so besides my other ideas that I’ve seen posted already, I’d say remember to write “love notes” for your child. My daughter in preschool has often asked for one and carried it around with her part of the day when she’s especially missing me. I sometimes leave them in her lunchbox as a surprise or in her school cubby where she’ll find it later. It makes the separation a little easier when she feels like she has a little part of me to keep with her. I think this will especially help us when we get back into the routine after being together so much during the summer.

  243. Cherie W.
    #243 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:43 am

    With two college age kids living off campus I like to build a recipe file of easy crocking recipes. We cook for a week and freeze meals to stock the freezer, then write the recipes
    on note cards and put in a small file for the kitchen. We also take advantage of all the buy one get one 1/2 off shoe deals and buy shoes two at a time!

  244. Jessica
    #244 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:43 am

    I echo Jennifer…having clothes laid out and lunches packed the night before is a huge time saver. It makes for less stressful mornings.

  245. January
    #245 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Start a bedtime routine a week before school starts. Makes mornings easier!

  246. Amy
    #246 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:43 am

    I don’t have school kiddos yet, but my organization tip is this:
    Tackle one small area each day. Do just 5 minutes of work. That way you won’t get overwhelmed but you’ll still make progress.

  247. Trista
    #247 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Do not wait until the last minute to buy supplies because they always run out of some items. Do not wait until last minute on clothes and assume last years uniforms will fit this year LOL they grow fast.

  248. Jennifer
    #248 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:43 am

    The weekend before school starts, I do the make ahead freezer meals so that while we acclimate to the new schedule we always have a healthy, hot meal for dinner.

  249. Sharon
    #249 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Re-establish the bedtime and mealtime routines. Plan to re-establish the bedtime and mealtime routines (especially breakfast) at least 1 week before school starts. Prepare your child for this change by talking with your child about the benefits of school routines in terms of not becoming over tired or overwhelmed by school work and activities. Include pre-bedtime reading and household chores if these were suspended during the summer.

  250. tiffany
    #250 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    To stay organized we use over the door shoe pouches to keep hair bows, brushes, lotions…. we lay out our 3 year olds clothes the night before and put the baby in her clothes for the next day the night before so all she needs is a clean dry diaper in the morning.

    I hope I win the green and yellow would look awesome in my kitchen plus i have really been wanting a second slow cooker. :?)

  251. Shelley V.
    #251 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    At least a week before school begins, start waking the kids up earlier! That way the first few mornings of school are not so rough!!

  252. Julie
    #252 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    On the same day that you are doing all your prep work for dinner for the week, also prep for school lunches. A bin/tote for desserts, one for chips, or if you don’t do chips, you can still divide up the crunchy carrots or whatever in baggies and place in fridge, so that all you have to do in the mornings (if you send them off to school)is grab and go. If you do lunch at home during homeschooling then you aren’t spending 1/2 of “YOUR” allotted lunch time for finding and prepping. Its done and ready for minor assembly.

  253. Lindsey
    #253 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    As a teacher, Marine wife of multiple deployments and mommy my best advice is to spend lots of quality time with the family. Do fun activities, make memories and make your children feel extra special :) As far as preparations for returning to school, start with regular bedtimes and routines so that it is not such a shock to your children when they start a new and exciting year. And lastly, don’t sweat the small stuff!

  254. Heather
    #254 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Start getting the kids back into the school bed time & get up routine before that first day back. I start weaning toward school bed time & wake up time about 2 weeks before the first day. That way we are all back on the schedule ahead of time. And it makes that first day back so much easier for everyone.

  255. Lynn
    #255 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Talk to your kids about one of YOUR first days of school. Kids love to hear stories about their parents at their age.

  256. Kristel
    #256 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Do up all the snacks the night before with the kids and then in the morning you can ask them what they would like for their sandwich or pasta and it’s quick and easy.

  257. Alissa
    #257 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    If your school has a Back To School night, GO! Lots of information is given that may help you and your child throughout the school year! And buy your schools supplies early!

  258. Sandra
    #258 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    My tips would be to have a routine, makes life so much easier for you and the kiddos. Prepare backpacks, clothes, lunches, etc the night before so the next morning can go smoothly. Shop for school supplies while they are on sale or go during tax free weekend. Sometimes the best sales for supplies and clothing is after school starts so if things can wait a few weeks then check for good sales after. Stock up while prices are cheap, ex. Paper can be used all year long and even the next year…

  259. tamatha
    #259 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    coupons for school supplies and shop early and 2 weeks before school I get my son back on a schedule bed at 830 and up at 7am..

  260. Erica C.
    #260 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I don’t have any kids but I do know academy puts there uniforms on sale right after school starts. Also remember Walmart matches prices so if you don’t want to go to a lot of stores take your ads there! Remember to always check the Clarence racks for clothes.

  261. Diana
    #261 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Treat planning lunches like you do your family meals. Work on a menu with the kids and shop ahead. Eliminates the nightly confusion and gets the kids excited.

  262. Lisa
    #262 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I always purchase school supplies from OfficeMax and Staples when they have their penny sale. Last summer I bought 10 packs of paper and 10 spiral notebooks for a penny each. Then I sent my mom to the store and she bought the same thing for me. I still have paper and notebooks left to start the school year.

  263. Lisa A.

    Lisa A.
    #263 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    My best back to school tip is to start praying by the end of last school year for the teacher that will be the right fit for your child’s learning, personality & faith this year. For a class that works well together and protection for a safe year. : )

  264. Annette W.
    #264 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Start buying school supplies in July!

  265. Stacey
    #265 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Buy school supplies all summer! Keep up with sales. The earlier you buy the better selection there is as well. But a good reusable lunch box that will last all year. Always make lunches the night Before as well as lay out clothes! The least amount of stuff you have to do in the morning the better

  266. Nicole
    #266 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Get the kids on a “school” schedule soon! We’ve been staying up later than usual and sleeping in a bit. Time to start that transition back to a 9pm bedtime and 7am wake-up! We already bought ALL school supplies! Now time to watch for good BOGOF sales at our grocery stores and STOCK UP. My 3 kids eat like grown adults!

  267. Stacy
    #267 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:45 am

    As soon as I see school clothes at the store…my son and I head over to stock up….shorts and tees…size large…men’s….this size tends to sell out quick….

  268. jennifer
    #268 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I start the back to school routine a month early. We can be on routine and ready for school! We also have his backpack packed and clothes laid out the night before.

  269. Jaimee
    #269 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Sharpen your kids pencils before sending them to school. Don’t buy the little sharpeners…teachers hate them bc they make a mess.

  270. Natasha
    #270 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I have 3 kids, some at the end of their Elementary Career’s, and I just realized that giving the Teacher a small present of supplies can make a huge difference in their day. Many students will come to school the first day without markers, paper, folders etc, and if you give extra’s to the teacher, she can make all the students have a fun start to their future!

  271. Cheryl B.
    #271 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:45 am

    My kids had A-day and B-day schedules so if you have the same I would suggest having 2 backpacks. One for each day so that you don’t have to carry so much in one backpack. Also planning meals in advance saves so much time and stress.

  272. Vickie
    #272 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Set up everything the night before

  273. Ann S.
    #273 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I used to teach school and if you are either new to the school or have a child who is new to school I suggest finding out when the teachers are back in the classroom, prior to the first day of school, and stop by for a quick meet and greet. Awesome way for your child to alleviate some potential anxiety that first day!

    Also, our state does a “no tax” day the first weekend of August for school clothes, etc. so great time to shop!

  274. Melissa
    #274 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:46 am

    As a teacher, my most important tip is to take time to meet your child’s teacher! It’s important to know who your child is with all day and to maintain open communication. Remember, it’s his or her job to help your child succeed and teachers need parent’s help, too!

  275. Jori W.
    #275 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Take a picture of your child on the first day of school in the same place every year. Then you can compare the pictures as they grow older and get bigger!

  276. Kammy M.

    Kammy M.
    #276 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Get organized is my biggest back to school tip. Use a calendar to plan what the kids will be taking for lunch that day/week and what I will be cooking for dinner at night. Pay attention that they don’t end up eating the same thing for lunch and dinner. Get bags packed the night before with supplies they need and keep a extra stash of pencils, paper, etc., for those “MOM, I forgot I was out of _____” school supplies.

  277. Pat
    #277 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Make sure kids get to bed early so they get enough sleep. Also up early enough to have a healthy breakfast for a good start on the day.

  278. Linda
    #278 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Buy school supplies before school starts…no way would I go into a supply store the first week of school!!

  279. Kelly
    #279 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Buy school clothes, shoes, even new underwear and socks, when they’re on sale. But don’t let your kids wear them until school starts! Wearing new stuff makes kids excited for the first week. And label the tags on all coats jackets or you can kiss them goodbye!

  280. Pennie S.
    #280 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:46 am

    I always start back to school shopping early in order to spread it out. Got super cheap crayons and glue. Picked up a few nice shirts for my son on the clearance rack for $5. Little by little we will get all the necessities.

  281. haylie
    #281 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:46 am

    First is to shop early, find the deals. Pack bags at least the night before and have clothes laid out. The kiddos will be so excited to wear their new gear that you may not even have to fight them to get them to bed by 8!

  282. Caciona
    #282 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Find out if your kids school lets them use a microwave!

  283. Sally H.
    #283 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Not only do you need to get the kids’ clothes and backpacks together the night before, you need to get YOUR OWN items together the night before, too, AND get yourself up at least a half hour earlier to allow some time for the Sweet Chaos of the First Day Back to School :)

  284. Darlene L.
    #284 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Make sure you get your kids back in the habit of going to bed and getting up early. Start about two weeks befor school starts.

  285. Kim
    #285 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:47 am

    I like to get my recipes ready a week before so I can get everything needed and put together the night before. Then when you get home from work it’s “eating” time.

  286. Janet
    #286 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Every year our city does a fill the bus campaign. I like to stock up on clearance items all year as well as making out on the back to school bargains to help make a nice donation.

  287. Meagan
    #287 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Prepare all of your crockpot dinners for the week in large ziplock baggies. Store them in the fridge or freezer. Take one out each morning and pour it in the crockpot. Switch it on and there you go! Easy dinners using whole ingredients. No cooking required during the week! Makes those school nights super easy.

  288. Cristin
    #288 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:47 am

    I’m an American living in Norway, and my kids do not buy their lunches which is so common to do in the US, we pack ‘em! Every day! And my back-to-school tip is to be sure to buy their lunch meat, fruit, etc, before school starts or else I’m scroungin’ around the kitchen trying to find something to pack in their lunch boxes. (My daughter doesn’t like peanut butter sandwhiches…). And make sure the lunch boxes are laid out so I dont have to find them in the morning. I dont make their lunches the night before…gets too dry in the refrigerator!

  289. Caryn S.
    #289 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Lay out clothes and pack up book bags/back packs the night before!

  290. LAUREN
    #290 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:47 am

    If you haven’t purchased your school supplies, now is a great time to fill the list. But stock up for next year in September when the school supply clearances begin.

  291. Samantha
    #291 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Create a central calendar so you can keep track of everyone’s activities during the year.

  292. Samantha B.

    Samantha B.
    #292 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Get my classroom ready and organized for another great year! Watch the Staples ads for great deals and buy a few supplies each week so that the expense doesn’t hit you all at once!

  293. Leigh
    #293 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Have a special send off breakfast each year! Makes the day start off right!

  294. Kim C.
    #294 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:48 am

    We start getting the kids to bed early a week or 2 before school starts since they stay up pretty late all summer. This helps them to be ready for those earlier bed times!

  295. Debi
    #295 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Don’t have school age kids anymore, but I’m more organized now (lol). I make a weekly menu, then shop from that menu. I usually do a large family meal on Sundays, so I try to incorporate the leftovers into the next weeks menu. When I’m making soup, meatloaf, etc., I always put the leftovers, labeled in the freezer for quick meals later. One big tip – buy the cheap hamburger and cook it all (I boil it), then put in meal usable sizes in zip bags in the freezer. I do about 10 lbs. at a time, then put in bags of 1 or 2 lbs, which will work for soup, tacos, chili, hamburger skillets, etc. Cook ONCE, eat TWICE or MORE!

  296. Jill K.
    #296 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Do everything the night before. The menu for the next day, make sure all papers are signed and put in the right backpack. Lay out all clothes for the next day and let the child know what the next days schedule is. Being prepared has made morning so much easier! Also getting them used to carrying a planner if the school doesnt make them already has worked wonders for notes home from the teachers too!!

  297. Penny
    #297 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Do as much as you can the night before. Make lunches, lay out clothes (ironed and ready to go), and book bag packed up. Get the kids involved and make it part of the dinner clean up routine. It makes life so much easier the next morning

  298. Sue
    #298 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Make all sandwiches for lunches on Sunday evening. That way making lunches throughout the week is a snap!

  299. Denise
    #299 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Buy EXTRA school supplies to replace worn out ones after Christmas. Also, prepare easy to grab bags of snacks and lunch items. They don’t need to be prepackaged, make your own ziplocks of snacks.

  300. Tracy
    #300 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Do your supply shopping in July so you aren’t running around town right before school starts.

  301. Dawnette
    #301 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:48 am

    I have a special shopping date with just one child to purchase all their school supplies. Afterwards we go out for a special treat. I really try to make the entire experience a celebration.

  302. Beth K.
    #302 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Plan your menu ahead of time so that you can spend as much time with your kids in the evenings. And of course, use your crockpot to minimize kitchen time so you can focus on family.

  303. alyssa
    #303 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Start shopping asap. Deals are all around. I too send extras for the teachers and make sure to ask them at back to school night what they still might need.

  304. Beth
    #304 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Try and get the kiddos on a back to school schedule about a week before it starts. Have them go to bed on a schedule and wake up like they were going to school so that they are ready when school starts.

  305. Rachel P.
    #305 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Take all of the school supplies to school on Meet the Teacher night. This allows for a stress free morning on the first day of school, where all you have to get ready is your child.

  306. NaDell
    #306 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:49 am

    My best tip is to make lunches the night before. No one likes to rush in the mornings.

  307. Kimberly
    #307 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:49 am

    We have tax free weekend and I make my list and go then but I still look for the deals before then also.

  308. Carmen
    #308 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Lay out clothes the night before. Get lunches prepared the night before. My children take showers at night to make the morning go faster. After homework, get backpacks in order for the next day. Parents sign all papers. Also, don’t forget to plan your crock pot meals for1 to 2 weeks. :)))

  309. mary
    #309 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Start getting kids back onto their “school schedule” about 2 weeks before school starts to ease the transition.

  310. barb
    #310 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Keeping all supplies in their new backpack and hanging up the new clothes in one section of their closet. Of course that leads to closet cleanup!

  311. Danielle
    #311 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Start back to school routine 2 weeks before school starts. That always helps my son transition into the school routine better.

  312. kelly
    #312 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:49 am

    At the end of a school year, put all your reusable supplies, backpacks, lunch boxes in one place..I have ours in a rubbermaid tub. Then when August rolls around and you get your list you go to the tub first and then shop later.

  313. Rachel
    #313 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Start school bedtimes a couple of weeks before school starts!

  314. Emily
    #314 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Get everything ready the night before to make the mornings go smoothly.

  315. Sherry W.
    #315 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Run a couple of wires near the ceiling to lay wrapping paper on for out of the way storage.

  316. Michelle H.
    #316 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Write your child’s name and number on his/ her belongings.

  317. jessica
    #317 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Shop early in august or better late july to get the hottest deals on back to school supplies, clothes and even lunch items… Plan a menu so its easy to make the lunches that nothing

  318. Cindy
    #318 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:50 am

    A hanging closet organizer with 5 little shelves is a GREAT way for them to PRE -PICK each of their outfits throughout the week. This way there is no waiting on them to decide what they want to wear that day! It’s already picked for the entire week!

  319. Louise G.
    #319 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Just like your slow cookin recipes…take this time slowly for back to school. Savor the moments of putting it all together for the first day of your childs day back to school. We live in a fast food, fast lane, fast moment of life. For one day, plan to take it slow, enjoy the moments, savor the time with your child or children and pick something to remember for the rest of your life to make it special and that they will remember for the rest of theirs. Ya’ll are special ladies to do what you do and have children. Love the moments.

  320. Naomi
    #320 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:50 am

    We HaVe theme nights. So it’s easier to pick a recipe if you know you’re having ‘Mexican’ ‘pasta’ ect. :)my kids and I scour the ads to find the best deals on school supplies and hit the penny sales too :)

  321. nancy
    #321 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Uncrustables are great frozen, put them in their lunch and they will be thawed by lunch and they act as an ice pack to keep other foods cold.

  322. Lora M.
    #322 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:50 am

    After my weekend grocery trip, I assemble my crockpot meals in freezer bags before placing them in the freezer. I add vegetables, seasoning, marinade, etc all to the freezer bag so that I can take it out of the freezer and toss it right in the crockpot all in 5 minutes or less before getting the kids off to school and leaving for work. This is such a huge time saver and makes me feel much more organized during the week. It makes it so much easier for my husband too since he gets home before I do and puts dinner on the table.

  323. Misty
    #323 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I would say plan ahead . . . get all things ready the night before so you just get up and go :)

  324. Randi
    #324 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Don’t wait till the school is within a month of starting your clothes back to school shopping, shop all year round and ketch the clothes/shoes and everything else your kids need on clearance! i have done this with my kids year around and i never have the problem of needing something for them and not having the money! i never go over $5 for jeans, $3 for shirt and shoes $7. and stock up on supplies while they are at there cheapest! last year i got all stocked up on crayola crayons for free ;) can’t beat that!!

  325. Tammy
    #325 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Shop online I find awesome deals and usually free shipping as well. I start shopping end of July early August for best deals

  326. Stephanie
    #326 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I have two teenage girls, so with the start of school also comes the busy extracurricular schedule. Crockpot meals have saved us MANY times when we have JUST enough time to grab a plate or bowl and eat. I also always stock up on school supplies throughout the summer. Whatever is left at the end of the school year (which is usually a lot), is donated, and I start again with stocking up for the following year.

  327. Sharon
    #327 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Organize, organize, and organize some more!

  328. Bob H.

    Bob H.
    #328 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I am raising my girl alone so I have to budget as much as possible, so Go ahead and buy extra supplies when they first put them out, the kids will need more during the year and I know I have bought boxes of crayons before school started for 20 cent a box and in January have to pay almost $2 for the same box. So extra crayon’s, a pencil box or paper is not much until you either cant find them in the middle of the school year or pay double…

  329. Leah
    #329 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Start getting back into a bedtime/wake up routine a week before school starts. Have a positive attitude that will rub off on your kids!

  330. Chris H.
    #330 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I buy double school supplies, and always keep extra school supplies on hand at home…notebooks, folders, pencils, pens, index cards. Even poster board, for those last minute…”Oh Mom, I forgot I need…” times!! When my kids left elementary school and no longer needed wide ruled notebooks, I had plenty of extras, so we donated them to our elementary school!

  331. allison
    #331 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:51 am

    When i buy big bags of snacks at the store (pretzels, trail mix, ect) I immediately turn them into small, individual portions so they are handy for lunch boxes or on the go!

  332. sarah
    #332 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Avoid crowds by shopping early, if you do this you have time to look for great sales and clearances!

  333. Jenny
    #333 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Back to school is a busy time for everyone… I will usually make 2 meals in one night putting one directly in the inner container of my crock pot. Before I leave for work Ill put dinner on and be ready to go… Plus having a ton of leftovers on a busy week are great for lunches!

  334. Michele
    #334 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Get an organizer that hangs in the kids closet with shelves. On Sunday put outfits in for each day – socks undies shoes and all. Hang a weather appropriate coat or jacket nearby.

  335. Michelle G
    #335 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:52 am

    I have a few tips that I use every year… I buy all school supplies early. About a week or so before school starts we get into our bedtime routine, they go to bed earlier, my girls like to set their alarm, so they get up at that designated time every morning to get used to getting up early too. Lunches made and clothes picked out the night before, this way there is no scrabbling for lunches or deciding what to wear (I have all girls). I also take a picture of them on their first & last day of school. You can also have them hold a sign with the grade & date. Homework is always done as soon as they get home. They play sports so I try to plan meals (that is where the crockpot comes in handy) for those nights that there is a game or practice. Happy Back to School !!

  336. Mallory
    #336 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Buy school supplies all year long a little at a time so you will be ready for the new year!

  337. k
    #337 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Have bins set up for each child so they can just grab and go as they go out the door.

  338. marie
    #338 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Each kid has a hook with their name. The night before, about an hour before bedtime, make sure everyone’s backpack is packed and hanging on the hook. If weather calls for cold or rain, hang a coat or umberlla there also. Put shoes on the floor underneath the hook with clean socks inside the shoes. This makes getting out the door so much easier. And gives the littlest one some independence.

  339. Darlene L.
    #339 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Make sure you get your kids back in the habit of going to bed and getting up early. Start about two weeks before school starts. Also stock up on school snacks before school starts.

  340. cheri
    #340 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Dont buy all of your kids fall clothes for school now .. they wont fit !!!

  341. Sandra
    #341 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Start a week before school on the school schedule so its not so hard on the whole family. Also every Sunday pick out the outfits for the week. :)

  342. Erin
    #342 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:53 am

    My kids pick their clothes the night before so there is no argument in the morning that could delay us.

  343. Lisa
    #343 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I use basket/bins and label them for each kid. They keep all their school papers and notes in their.

  344. Lori
    #344 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:53 am

    My oldest will start pre-k, so I don’t have back to school experience, but I use a plastic silverware drainer as a craft caddy to hold crayons, markers, colored pencils, glue, and scissors.

  345. Christa
    #345 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Make sure to get all school supplies & backbacks packed a couple of days before school starts. Then you & the kids can enjoy the last couple days of summer vacation!

  346. Susan
    #346 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Only buy 1/2 their new school clothes before school. Wait until after school starts to see “what everyone else” is wearing to buy the rest.

  347. Helena

    Helena
    #347 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Set up a designated area as a homework station. Redecorate with bright colors, kids photos and artwork and maybe large bulliteen boards. Have the kids help and then don’t let anyone use it until school starts and then only for homework. Kids can hardly wait for the first homework assignment to start using area!

  348. Vann
    #348 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Prepare all the weeks items on the weekend, when you have a chance to have calm from the hectic week. Do laundry on saturday/sunday, prep kids meals, have kids help prep said kids meals/snacks, and get homework done together as a family!

  349. Megan
    #349 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:53 am

    This might sound strange, but in my house we tend to get the kids dressed and ready and do breakfast and lunch while we’re still in our pajamas. My biggest tip (for myself) is to get dressed before going downstairs. It’s amazing (and sad) how much easier it makes my morning….and no worries about going to the bus stop in my sleep clothes when time is tight!

  350. Janet
    #350 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Remain positive and upbeat about school beginning. Many kids still want to stay in the summer mode and dread school starting. Parents can dread it also because those lazy, hazy days are over. Now it is back to schedules, routines, homework, after school activities, etc. If the parent can remain upbeat, the children will also be upbeat about school starting.

  351. Toshia F.
    #351 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I start getting my son used to going to bed earlier and getting up on time now so it’s not so hard when school starts. I do it a little a time and he doesn’t hardly notice.

  352. Stacey
    #352 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Be organized!!! Have everything done before you are running around in the morning!

  353. Melissa
    #353 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Plan the entire week’s worth of meals & prepare all you can ahead of time. Start getting the kids (& yourself!) to bed early & get up a little earlier each day so the 1st day of school won’t be such a shock.

  354. Sarah
    #354 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Getting up in the morning was always difficult for us as kids. My wonderfully smart mama always had us start going to bed early several weeks before school and getting up at the time we would have to for school so we would be used to it when the first day rolled around! I will do the same for my kiddos when they start!

  355. Vicki
    #355 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:54 am

    A great organizational tip for the kitchen: Spend one day a week (Saturday for me) chopping veggies and preparing meat for recipes to put in the crockpot for the week or the month. Put all ingredients in a ziplock bag with instructions. When you want to cook that recipe, lay it out in the fridge the night before and pop it in the crockpot! Some recipes you can pop in frozen. depending on the recipe. Love it!

  356. Penny
    #356 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:54 am

    I dont have kids in school anylonger they have left the nest. I do like the back to school sales however. I stock my house with things i need during this time. Pads of paper, envelopes, pens, pencils, folders for tax time, etc…. even if you dont need it now its a good time to stock up.

  357. Glenda S.
    #357 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:54 am

    “Being a mother” of a Teacher, I would say to her, while planning the next days lessons, plan your next dinner & prepare the ingredients before heading to bed. Then put in the crock pot in the morning. Meal will be all ready when you get home from a busy day of school.

  358. Sarah
    #358 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Start a back to school schedule with the kids a couple of weeks before school starts so that they are back into the routine of things when it is time to start school. Always worked for us as kids.

  359. Beverly L.
    #359 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Get out school clothes at night for the next day and always place them in the same spot. Pack book bag(s) at night and put in the same spot to be easily picked up on the way out the door.

  360. Heidi
    #360 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:54 am

    I would have to say buy your school supplies early. I waited too late one year and couldn’t find anything.

  361. Jennifer
    #361 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Put the little one to bed early enough for them to wake up happy the next day. It is hard during the first few weeks, but they adjust and NEED the sleep when they are young and growing. It makes a huge morning difference at my house!! As does picking out clothes and packing the backpack the night before!!

  362. Christine M.
    #362 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Get deals early!

  363. Shannon M.
    #363 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:55 am

    My tip is to ENJOY every last minute of summer that is left!!!

  364. Jenny
    #364 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Organizing tip since my kiddos are preschool and younger…everything must have a “home”! This takes time to establish, especially with young kids who destroy everything, but it saves you time and stress in the end! I’m still trying to tackle this concept with their toys :) ongoing battle…ha!

  365. Hilary
    #365 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I don’t have school age kids, yet! But j do almost all
    My shopping online. You can google coupon
    Codes for certain stores where you want to shop and double your buying power! You can print the coupons and take them in store if you prefer to shop that way. Shop before the big back to school rush! Buy off season and save for the next year.

  366. Tiffany
    #366 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:55 am

    When it comes to young kids, check their backpack when they get home for letters/homework. Have the backback hanging in one spot and ready for the morning!

  367. Shelly Nel
    #367 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Have fun! Shop early and laugh and pump the kids up for a great school year. Let them feel proud of themselves as they try on new clothes, get their individualized supplies and enjoy time with you! FUN. :-)

  368. Shannon M.
    #368 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    ENJOY every last minute of summer time left!!!

  369. Beth
    #369 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    If you are a working mom, print out the school calender of events and have those request off from work in early so you dont miss out on the special events with your child. I missed out on a lot of these events because last minute papers were not sent home with my child, but having them ahead of time works out :)

  370. Sarah
    #370 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Start bedtime routine early!!

  371. Cherie G.
    #371 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    As a mommy of two little ones I don’t have a lot of time :)
    The crockpot is my saving grace. For organization we have lots of fabric bins that allows my 2 year old to have easy access to toys and he can help with clean up.

  372. Ruth
    #372 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Here a few things that I do every year…
    –1st day of school pictures
    –everyday I write an encouraging note on the kids’ lunch time napkin (good for encouraging reading and the kids look for it every day!)
    –buy snacks in bulk and split them into serving size baggies so when we are packing lunches, the snacks are already bagged and cheaper than pre-packaged

  373. Yvonne M.
    #373 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Have everything ready the night before so in the morning we just have to get dressed.

  374. Dusty
    #374 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I think everyone has an idea of when to buy school supplies and stocking up when things are on sale. I think that the best tip anyone could ever have given me was to take a few days before school starts and make them as special as you can for your child(ren). Creating memories are the best things you can do for them!

  375. Tracy G.
    #375 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Start the routine of going to bed on time, having the next days “stuff” organized and letting them prepare their clothing and lunch plans for the next day the last week of August so they have a full week to practice.

  376. Patty
    #376 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Purchase the school supply pack from the school in May. Saves so much time and hassle.

  377. carolyn
    #377 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    keeping a plastic 3 drawer roll pin, stocked with lunch supplies, like chips, healthy easy snack, fruit cups, drinks in the drawers. then in the evenings the kids get to pick a chip, snack fruit cup and drink. so all i have to do in the morning is make sandwiches.

  378. Kasey D.
    #378 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Allow time in the morning for a healthy breakfast by setting out clothes, bookbags, etc. the night before. A good breakfast is so important for a child’s energy and concentration during the long school day!

  379. Sheila
    #379 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:57 am

    After 27 consecutive years of having children in school I could truly list a bunch, this is a favorite , take a picture of your child on the first day of school standing by your current vehicle , it’s intersesting seeing how your vehicles change over the years as well as your children. This will be the last year for seeing someone off to school my son is going into his senior year :)

  380. Christina
    #380 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Get back on school schedule a couple of weeks before school starts. Put kids to bed at the time they would go to bed for school and get them up at the time you would normally get them up for school. It will give their bodies time to adjust and they won’t be near as cranky when school starts back.

  381. Andrea
    #381 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Shop early! I’ve been also reading books about starting school to my boy so he knows a little of what to expect and is excited.

  382. Carol
    #382 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Begin several weeks before school getting back into a bedtime routine. It makes waking up each morning the first week of school much easier. And that is my tip.

  383. Terry B.
    #383 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Try to meet the teacher on the first day if at all possible. Remember that the teacher is meeting many new parents on the first day and may need to meet you 2 or 3 times to remember which child you belong to. Also, if your child has any special needs or concerns it is a good idea to put it in writing. This also prevents the parent from having to discuss these needs with the new teacher in front of others in a busy classroom. A conference can also be scheduled to fill the teacher in on special concerns. And all of that can go on while dinner is in my NEW crockpot at home!! What a great way to end the first day of school!

  384. Beth G.
    #384 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I love getting school supplies throughout the summer, but come August I start making breakfst things for the freezer. I sure makes mornings quicker and easier!!! Thanks for the chance to win this wonderful prize package!

  385. Rachel
    #385 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:58 am

    For our house, check off sheets are ESSENTIAL in the AM to get to school on time…there are specific pictures next to each little chore or activity that needs to be done each morning such as making the bed, brushing teeth, etc. He gets ready on his own and I don’t have to nag and argue with him every morning! He’s taking charge of his day

  386. Heather
    #386 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Make sure your car is in good running shape. You all know how much running we do as moms.

  387. Michelle
    #387 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:59 am

    If this is your child’s first year of school, see if you can tour the classroom and/or meet the teacher beforehand if they don’t have a formal “orientation”. My oldest also had an easier time transitioning into pre-K if he was one of the first kids to get dropped off (less overwhelming with fewer kids). We also love re-usable sandwich and snack bags – fun and money saving!

  388. Paula M.
    #388 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Get organized and have every thing together the night before. It also helps to have a schedule for the morning routine.

  389. Kaelynn
    #389 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Make sure the kiddos are still reading and doing academic activities over the summer so they don’t have the summer slump and struggle when they go back to school. The kids and I are doing a summer Olympics chart tracking medals won by each country – fun and educational!

  390. Daleen
    #390 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Shop sales and use coupons! My kids are teens now and it is so hopeful even at this age to lay things out the night before, including breakfast plans. Less eyerolling and loud verbage! :) Make lists and set routines. If you have a child that wears the ID lanyards, buy a backup to have in the car or their backpack…way worth the few dollars extra, esp if your child is ADD. Hope these help someone…thanks girls for all your hard work helping us feed our families!

  391. Karen B.
    #391 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Everything that could be done the night before is done…period. Lunch, clothes, backpacks, and go over schedules etc, so there are no arguments or forgotten field trips.

    Also, when the children are old enough, have them set their alarms. If they take longer to get moving in the morning like mine did, I set the clocks a few minutes fast. ;-)

    When crockin’ a meal, I would do all prep the night before and only have to add it to the crock pot and turn it on in the morning.

  392. Tresha
    #392 on July 24th, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Start kids going to bed early and waking early the week before school, as well as practicing laying out clothes and packing lunches the night before.

  393. Brandi L.
    #393 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Stock up on school supplies now – whenever you see awesome sales! Buy now to last throughout the year, if at all possible.

  394. Kristen
    #394 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    I don’t have school age kids but I feel it is important to have a family calendar and keep everyone’s activities in different colors so that with a quick and easy glance you can know who in the family has something scheduled for that day/week. It also keeps it easy to separate kids activities!

  395. Anna
    #395 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Organization is the key! Get things ready the night before, and make sure the kids have plenty of rest!

  396. Liza
    #396 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Plan your meals for the week!!

  397. Jennifer
    #397 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Stock up early on the school supplies, buy double what the supply list says so you can restock in January or february when they have used up the pencils,crayons, erasers ,paper, glue and colored pencils.

  398. Karla
    #398 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Planning, planning, planning! It’s all about getting everything you need before the school year starts from school supplies to clothing to stocking snack/sandwich bags for meals. This also includes revising your schedule to cook all meals on Sundays and freezing for the week :-) Oh, and before I forget, create labels for EVERYTHING and for EVERYONE!! This will make life easier :-)

  399. Michele B.
    #399 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Start your school year routine (bedtime, wake up time and getting ready) a week or two ahead of the first day to help the kids adjust to their new schedule.

  400. Leigh Ann K.
    #400 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    I like to shop for supplies early & keep a list of needed supplies on my notes app on my phone and cross them off when I get them- that way I always have my list with me & I can keep it update with items I still need to get. I do the same thing for groceries.

  401. Barbara K.
    #401 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Now that mine has gone off to college I try to keep non-perishable food treats, body sprays/gels and small doo-dads/pens/journals and inspirational notes on hand to send sporadically as a pick-me-up! I am SO sure she misses me as much I miss her!!! And I always have her favorite slow cooker chicken-n-dumplins ready for her home visits with extras to take back to school!

  402. Lisa
    #402 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Shop for school supplies throughout the year-if your kid can’t use them, there is always a school supply drive that can. And have your kids participate in the donation. A good way to create understanding and compassion-a little bit at a time.

  403. Jean A.
    #403 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Think and plan ahead. Schools are really good about sending out lists early. Shop the sales in the paper and stock up. Sometimes, I shop for the next year as the current year sales wrap up. This way, I’m getting alot of items on clearance. Then I keep a school box and my kids go shopping in that box before we head out to the stores. Save a tone of money.

  404. Michelle B.
    #404 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I find the best tip is to be organized the night before. This includes supplies and lunches. You never know how your morning will go, so having things ready the night before helps outs.

  405. Heather
    #405 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    We start going to bed earlier by 10 minutes each week in August so when school starts it is not a big deal to go to bed early! This is especially helpful with my older ones that like to stay up!

  406. Stephanie
    #406 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Check to see if teachers have a list of supplies your kids will need so your not buying things that are not required.

  407. Heather L.
    #407 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I plan my meals for the week every Sunday (including school lunches). Then I prep or pre-pack all I can to make the morning and meal time at least a little more stress free!

  408. Jennifer
    #408 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I try and plan a months worths of meals for the first month of school-just so there is no scrambling at the last minute to figure out dinner when all is crazy already!! I always keep 3 or 4 meals in the freezer too for those extra crazy nights! It never fails that we would have dance, football and PTO all on the same night! Need to have the back-up plan in order!

  409. Jane
    #409 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    As a high school teacher with my own High School and College age kids, my tip has tip has to do with study habits. Make sure that you set up a routine for after school. Our high school started really early, 7:30 am, so when my children returned home at about 3pm or later if they were playing a sport…they were ravenous. They had snack time, and then got right down to homework time until dinner was ready. It is important to set up a quiet work environment for kids where they can get work done. School is their job, and it it important that they do it to the best of their ability.

  410. nancy
    #410 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Be very organized. Have everything ready the night before.

  411. Kristen
    #411 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I don’t have school age kids but I feel it is important to keep a family calender where each family has a different color for their activities. It helps make it easy to understand with a quick glance and know who has activities each day!

  412. Jessi
    #412 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I start looking for the best deals of the week at the beginning of the summer.If I really have my act together I will hit the back to school clearanced items the year before.

  413. Peggy L.
    #413 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Plan your meals ahead and make sure you have everything for lunches. A lot of lunchbox foods — peanut butter, jelly, fruit cups — go on sale when school starts, so stock up.

  414. Jodi L.
    #414 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Back to school tip is to personalize a lunch at least once a week. I personally every Monday decorate the napkin included in my childrens lunch. It usually is a paper towel I use, but I color a picture of an activity we did over the past weekend, or a success, or an even that may be coming in the week a head. My 14 year old still has several I made when she was young…she refused to use them!!

  415. Christina M.
    #415 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Consistency is key in my house. Get prepared the night before, and let the little ones have some responsibility. Don’t try to do everything yourself!

  416. Lisa
    #416 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Take a pic the first and last days of school so you can see how they’ve changed thru the year and over the years!

  417. Jariann
    #417 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Get organized and let your kids know how much easier getting out the door in the morning is when you make a little effort the night before!

  418. Kim
    #418 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Stock up on Publix BOGO’s before school starts – they always have great deals on snacks for the kiddos

  419. Lisa
    #419 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Let your children pick out a few tops they like. If they like it they feel better in it!! The first few days send them in comfortable shoes. Sometimes new doesn’t mean comfortable.

  420. angela
    #420 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Start getting ready for back to school a week early-start making the bedtimes earlier and get the kids up earlier so the school routine is not such a shock when school starts.

  421. Diane
    #421 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Buy backpacks at the end of the school year for the following year. They are on sale and most have free shipping on line.

  422. Ann C.
    #422 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I always start the week before make sure everything is packed and ready. Clothes are sorted, tags are off. This gave me enough time to see if anything was overlooked.

    That day before we shopped for lunch snacks, juice & any food they wanted.

    The night before we always laid out their colthes, shoes and backpack.
    Then we would pack lunch and discuss breakfast.

    It worked beautify. No problems in the morning it all ran smooth.

  423. Cynthia
    #423 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I put a plastic storage container on my kitchen counter that way when the kids come home from school they put all their papers in the container for me to go through! No more missed forms or school information! Having triplets all those forms can be hard to keep with-this keeps everything in one place!

  424. Johanna
    #424 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    For the kids I start getting them back on their school schedule for bed and wake up starting 2 weeks early. Slowly moving the time closer to where it needs to be. The beginning of the school year is very hectic around my house. I’m a teacher and go back the week before my kids do. I not only make sure we have not only school supplies ready, but I also spend the few weeks before school prepping freezer meals. My goal is to have about 20 meals in the freezer ready to thaw and heat for those busy nights.I plan my menus so I know what we are eating which night and get my slow cooker ready the night before with the ingredients sitting by it (shelf stable of course). The beginning of the school year is a drain on my system so it’s nice to know that when I come home I have meals ready when I walk in the door.
    Also, there are students who come to school unprepared for the school year. Please consider donating extra supplies to your kids classroom teachers. The teachers will greatly appreciate having a stock of pencils and paper available for students who are not able to get it.

  425. Sarah
    #425 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I lay out all my kids outfits for each day of the week so there is less commotion in the mornings.I also plan all my meals for the week to make school nites more relaxed.:-)

  426. Andrea
    #426 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Clip coupons and combine them with sales to get supplies for free or just pennies!

  427. Jeana
    #427 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Talk about it in a positive, exciting way, gearing them up for a great experience:) I also take a picture the morning of the first day each year. So cute to see the changes:)

  428. Rachael R.
    #428 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I put up a bulletin board in my dining room/kitchen area. Half is for all my daughter’s preschool papers and calendar and the other half is for my son’s 2nd grade papers and calendar. This way I am always sitting down to eat whatever meal and I can glance up at the board and see who has what to do that day.

  429. Katie
    #429 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Be organized. Have lunches packed and clothes picked out the night before.

  430. steffany
    #430 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Make bedtime a little earlier a few days before the first day of school. The kiddos will be used to getting up earlier when the first day arrives.

  431. Jennifer
    #431 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I am not a big morning person. So to save time and energy I let my 3 year old son eat breakfast on the couch watching cartoons. I get him up and dressed and give him a poptart or something as equally “not messy” and let him chill while we finish getting ready. I do make sure we always eat dinner together to make sure we get some good family time with our crazy schedule.

  432. Kim
    #432 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    clear out old homework area, make it clean and inviting for the kids new school year.

  433. Julie W.
    #433 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I always plan my meals 2 weeks at a time and use my crockpot almost on a daily basis. It always came in handy when all three my kids were going in different directions and sometimes me trying to be in three different places at the same time. Plus it seemed we were always dragging in late so it was always nice to walk in the house and smell supper that had been cooking all day. I would set up a buffet line and we would all sit down and eat supper and discuss our day before hitting the homework. My kids are grown now and I miss those days but I’m still using my crockpot alot because now I’m in school to get my nursing degree and working full time so it helps me out after being in school all day or working a 12 hour shift at the hospital. Also my husband enjoys it alot because then he doesn’t have to cook lol.

  434. Dianne S.
    #434 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Set the breakfast table the night before and make a little menu as part of the setting. (a small chalkboard works). That way there are fewer arguments in the morning about what the kids want for breakfast.

  435. Kim C.
    #435 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    My advice would be not to go crazy buying everything before school starts. You can save a lot of money by waiting for items to go on sale after the rush. Also, you are never sure what supplies your kids need until they have gone to class. (Even though there are lists galore, each teacher has preferences) This goes especially for clothes and backpacks, your child may think they want a certain shoe or jacket, but once they see everyone else has a different one, they will want that instead. So get the esentials for the first week, and fill in the spaces with items you know will be wanted and needed after they have started.

  436. Amie
    #436 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Get the clothes picked out, lunches packed and backpack together the night before. This way there is less frantic running around in the morning and less chance something will be forgotten!

  437. Andrea
    #437 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    During the summer the kids really don’t have a bed time like they do during the school. To make this transition a little easier a week before school starts the kids start going to bed at the “school time” bed time so when school starts it’s easier for them to get up in the mornings.

  438. Karen
    #438 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    We try to prepare all of our clothes for the week as well as a week long menu and list of weekly activities on Sunday nights so we are ready for the week ahead!

  439. Allison
    #439 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I think its a good thing to make it fun for them. Make them their favorite breakfast and let them pick out what they want for supper. Also,pack a little note in their bag telling them you love them and to have a good day!

  440. Jenny
    #440 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Get a good calendar organizer!!! Start filling in all school activity dates that may already be set.

  441. Diane M.
    #441 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I work in the School District full time and need a plan for dinner. I get out the ingredients after the clean up from the dinner I just enjoyed.

    I put all the ingredients into the insert, cover and refrigerate.

    The next day at 6AM, I take the insert out of the refrigerator, give the contents a stir and place it into the crock, set it to low and go.
    If the recipe has a shorter cooking time, I can call home or leave a note for hubby to place the insert into the crock and set on the correct setting.This works best for lasagna or a “3 hour” recipe…….

    I just love walking into the house smelling the dinner and knowing I can put my feet up for a bit with my reviving cup of coffee before “changing hats” to be homemaker.

    Thank you for making me a Crockingirl!!

  442. Lisa S.
    #442 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Start the “getting up early” a few days before and gradually work to the first day. Make the getting up early fun…for a trip to the zoo, looking for shells at the beach, whatever and get a little one-one-one time, too!

  443. Heather
    #443 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    This is our first official year of school! I started with a schedule on a dry erase board, a pin board for art, and hooks for backpacks….we will see how it goes!

  444. Leslie
    #444 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Do a “dry run” the day before so you know you have timing right. With kids with different drop off points, it helps with the new routine each school year. After you make it to school “on time” treat yourselves to some family fun!

  445. Julie
    #445 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Baskets, file boxes and plastic storage bins, I buy them on sale and clearance and they come in handy for all types of organizing. Ie as. waste baskets, clothes, kids toys, holiday, bathroom products under cabinets and on counters.

  446. Jen
    #446 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    As a teacher with no children that are school aged (yet, she’s only 1) my first tip in preparing myself for back to school was planning a menu for the entire month of August. The two weeks that I return to school we are having nothing but crockin’ meal! I have spent a lot of time searching recipes and have my menu ready to go. The week before school begins I will prepare as many as possible and freeze them for another added convenience to crockin’.
    My second tip for back to school is to stock up on school supplies! Since I don’t have kids in school I buy crayons, notebooks, pencils, pens, etc…and they are given to nieces and nephews at Christmas so they can take them back to school following the Winter break and have fresh products! What teacher doesn’t love a student who has extras to share?

  447. Amy
    #447 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    I like being ready well ahead of time. Get all supplies in July, have kids clothes picked out the night before. Have their lunches ready with a note inside. That way the first morning is nice and smooth.

  448. Stacey
    #448 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    For those with children in middle school or older take them to school before the first day and let them walk their schedule and practice their locker combination!!

  449. Julia S.
    #449 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    I always have to start about 2 weeks before school starts back trying to get my son back on the schedule of waking up early and going to bed earlier. That way his body will be adjusted when school does start back. Plus we always take a weekend right before school starts and we have a family fun day!

  450. Kelli M.
    #450 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    My little one isn’t old enough for school but when I’m packing or have a lot of things I need to take somewhere I love having a list…feels so good to scratch things off! Also, my life goes much easier when I pack up my litttle girl’s diaper bag the night before. I don’t always do it and is usually the reason why I am late. Packing up a bag always takes more time that one thinks. :)

  451. Lauren
    #451 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Get summer reading done a little at a time, 1 book per month so it does not come down to the wire!

  452. Tammy
    #452 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Start early to bed and early awake now!

  453. Tammy
    #453 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Definatley crock your dinners so you can spend after school time with your kiddos and husband and not in the kitchen cooking!

  454. Juli
    #454 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Give kiddos (even the smallest ones) responsibility when it comes to school. Have them prepare their own backpack or lay out their clothes. Helping kids be responsible for themselves makes the later school years a whole lot easier!

  455. Joy
    #455 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Make the night before school starts a special event. Either give each child a verse for the year or an encouraging word and post it somewhere. It is great family time before they embark on a new adventure.

  456. Katie
    #456 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    We practice our back to school bedtime and wake up time for a few days prior to school starting. This way my boys know what to expect on the first day of school.

  457. Kaitlin
    #457 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Now is the time to head to Walmart or Target and get the $0.25 crayons and $1 notebooks!! As a teacher, I stock up on these things now for all those kiddies that don’t come in with supplies.

    Also, take a picture of your child the first day of school (with a little sign saying “First day of ___ grade”) then take a picture on the last day (with a little sign saying “Last day of _____ grade”). It is a perfect way to see how much your child grew in a single year!

  458. Chris
    #458 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Best back To school tip Is to use an over the door shoe organizer for all your kids’ school supplies and craft items…with all those pockets its great for glue sticks, erasers, buttons, etc.!

  459. L D.
    #459 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Get as much together the night before and leave yourself a note for the morning so you don’t forget anything!

  460. Rick

    Rick
    #460 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    We usually stock up enough to last the entire year, and then some. Hit the sales early and take advantage of tax-free weekends!

  461. Randa
    #461 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Make their lunch exciting. Vary the food so it doesn’t get bored. Plan ahead so each day’s lunch is planned ahead. Turn a regular sandwich into something exciting, by using their favorite cookie cutter. Don’t forget to prepare a little note of your child’s napkin in their lunch sack.

  462. Jamie
    #462 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Back to school can be a very exciting and stressful time for all. My best tip for success is let the kids help pack their lunches and then when they are not looking I always put a note of encourage inside. So when lunch time comes they have a nice surprise!

  463. Devina
    #463 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Plan weekly menus for lunches and dinners…especially crock pot make ahead dinners for more family time :)

  464. Lisa H.
    #464 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Stock up early and keep things organized. Have a place for each child to study and for their school stuff. Have them get everything ready the night before from backpacks to clothes to save time in the mornings if you wake up late or they just have a hard time waking up. Begin now to adjust their bed schedules if they are different during the summer months.

  465. Kendra
    #465 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Make a School Schedule and put it into effect atleast 3 weeks in advance! From what time you get up in the morning, what time breakfast is served to dinner and bedtimes. As well as a menu to go along with the schedule for the weeks of school so life is not so hectic and you can simi have things prepared and ready to go. Get lots of practice the weeks in advance so that when shcool starts all the kinks have been worked out!

  466. Melissa
    #466 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Make sure to start getingt school supplies in the early summer months, don’t wait to the last minute…

  467. Lacey
    #467 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Have a schedule for before school getting ready breakfast etc. also a schedule for after school homework, play, dinner, bath etc. staying organized is the key to school year. Especially when you have kids in sports also.

  468. Kristen
    #468 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Pack lunches the night before! With three kids, it is a must!!!!

  469. Jamie
    #469 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Tip for homeschoolers- follow a routine not a schedule especially with younger children. So many things happen throughout the day that lots of times you are off your schedule before the day even gets started. If you at least keep a routine your kids will know what to expect. This has little bit of advice has changed my life. I no longer feel defeated b/c I haven’t completed 100 things before 8 AM.

  470. Nicki
    #470 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Get a new haircut after you get all your supplies in order. You’ll be ready and confident for your 1st day!

  471. Michelle B.
    #471 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Best tip is stocking up on school supplies for the whole school year. Buy more than 1 pack of crayons if they are on a great sale. Put them away and bring them out later during the year :) can’t go wrong with always having a stockpile of things do to crafts with the kiddos.

  472. Nickie R.
    #472 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    As a single mom, I buy in bulk and divide items up and share the cost. It’s usually a little cheaper.

  473. Lisa H.
    #473 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    And don’t forget to use your crock pot to make dinner quick and easy so you have more time for homework and family.

  474. michelle
    #474 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    july and august is the time to think of others who attend your childs school. I am a preschool teacher and always ask my little one parents to fill our donation box for the children whom may need a little box of school goodies to start thier year off great! Just a box of crayons can mean a lot to a child who comes to school their first day with no supplies to put away! :) Decorate an old shoe box with contact paper and stickers and fill with cheap supplies and donate to a local school with the way things are right now so many are in need this year…

  475. Melanie
    #475 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Pray for the teachers that have your children for that school year! :)

  476. Cindy
    #476 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    This is my 1st year with any in school so I plan to buy the supplies early in order to help make it less stressful. The new routine will be hard enough to adjust to we don’t need to stress about not having time to get everything we need.

  477. debbie
    #477 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Set out therel cloths the night before so they are ready to just put on. They get to pick them out. It helps the morning go a lot better

  478. Melinda
    #478 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    I always take a picture of them in the same place. It’s fun to see them change through the years. As for a tip for the first day. Mine are always so excited to go that I don’t have to wake them up or worry about them getting out the door. For the other days though, I’ve found that having the clothes set out the night before and the room picked up before bed help make for smoother mornings.

  479. Mary
    #479 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Thanks for all the generous give-away’s offered on your website! Your recipes are a gift in itself!
    Organizational tip –
    prepare for the next school day, the night before – this creates less hassle in the a.m.!
    This theory works for “grown-up’s” too, preparing for the next busy day, and, it might help kiddos feel more content, when heading back to the classroom!
    Even though we aren’t blessed with kiddos yet, I always pick up a batch of school supplies to donate, as there is always someone in need.

  480. Linda
    #480 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Buy enough school supplies to last the whole year now while on sale. Later in the school year prices will ne quite a bit higher than they are now. Stock up now to save money later.

  481. Krystal
    #481 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    One week before school starts, already have them in a good sleeping routine. Have things set out the night before and speak positive about returning to school!

  482. Christina
    #482 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Don’t wait until the night before to to switch back to school night bed time schedule. Start adjusting back to your school night bed time schedule a few days before hand.

  483. Pam J.
    #483 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    We bring our new teacher a “Back to School Survival Kit” on our meet & greet night. It can have anything you want, we usually have small items like tissues, asprin, candy bar, hand santizer, post it notes, etc. The teachers love it!

  484. Sarah
    #484 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    My best advice is to start early, not only on school supplies but also on back to school clothes I have been picking up a piece here and there all summer in preparation for school to start so I am not out a lot of money all at once! (slowly but surely I will have it all done, just like a crock pot! )

  485. Melody
    #485 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Keep one calendar with everybody’s schedule where everybody can see it.

  486. Lori
    #486 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Make sure you get school all summer long. Then you won’t worry about affording everything at once. (Especially since schools around here decide to fundraise early.)

  487. Amy
    #487 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    To get young ones adjusted to a new schedule- the week before school starts start waking them up on time and ‘playing’ school at home! Making a new routine chart helps, too, so they can visualize how their days are going to go :)

  488. Kim
    #488 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Meal Planning is the key! Try to plan at least two weeks worth of meals, freeze meal ingredients so it is easy to toss into crock pot. Also, make sure you have solid plates, and containers to transport food on the way to practices.

  489. Beth
    #489 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    As a teacher myself, my tip is very general! Anything you can do to make life easier during those busy school weeks is worth it!

  490. Christine
    #490 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    During the year pick up stuff as you see it on sale or clearance. If you don’t need it you can always donate it :)

  491. Abbie
    #491 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Start getting your kidlets up at school time a couple of weeks from the start of the year. (If you have a sleeper like I do.) That way the first day and week aren’t so hard, on everyone!

  492. Brooke
    #492 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Organization is key. Organize family dinners at least a week ahead so that when you are too tired to think of what to make for dinner, you already know. I usually make out a list of meals and then grocery shop based on what meals we are going to have for the week. I keep the list of meals on the fridge so when the question “whats for dinner” comes up I look at my list and rattle the options off. Huge time saver (since we know ahead of time what we can make for dinner) and money saver because we are not going out to eat as often. Also have kids help pack lunches the night before. If they are involved in the process they are more apt to eat their lunch.

  493. Wilma
    #493 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Our state has a no tax weekend on school supplies & clothes, best time to s hop

  494. Amy
    #494 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    I purchased a organizer that hangs in closet with a slot for each day of the week. On Sundays we choose one complete outfit to place in each day of the week!! My daughter helps choose… makes each morning much smoother..;)

  495. Wanda

    Wanda
    #495 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Get up early before everyone else so you have time to plan your day and have a cup of coffee before the craziness starts.

  496. Michelle H.
    #496 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    My best school tip is to start the kids morning off right with breakfast. My kids love a cup of milk with a granola bar and a banana or a cup of milk and a homemade trailmix of multigrain cheerios, raisins, and peanuts.

    I so want to win this prize. My slow cooker broke just a couple days ago.

  497. Sarah
    #497 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    A couple days before the first day of school the kids start going to bed at their bed times again so we don’t have any issues going to sleep the night before school and waking up in the morning.

  498. Jennifer C.
    #498 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    I start getting my kids back into their school routine of bedtime and wake up time about a week or two before school starts. This way they aren’t so worn out the first week of school.

  499. Leigha
    #499 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Always have everything ready to go the night before. Backpacks, questions, cameras ready and a good nights sleep.

  500. Melisa
    #500 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    My back-to-school tip is to always write a note with a Bible verse in your child’s lunch box/bag! Mid-day encouragement goes a long way!

  501. Gretchen
    #501 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    I use a label maker to mark my children’s pencils, pens, highlighters and other small school supplies. It helps them keep track of their stuff and discourages borrowers from keeping the item.

  502. Lynn W.
    #502 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Always shop the back to school sales. Look for coupons online and in the paper. Stock up and donate when you won’t use. My daughter’s school always needs extras of things like wipes and tissues. Since I’m a single, working mom, I’ve always got my crock pot cooking dinner so we can stick to a schedule. I stock up on canned soups and other essentials for all the yummy recipies I find on this site.

  503. Kim
    #503 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    My tip would have to be a tool for comparison shopping for the school supplies. You can get the Walmart app on your phone that allows you to create a shopping list with prices for which store/location you choose that you can take with you to other stores and you can compare prices that way! I thought that would be a great tip :)

  504. Julie C.
    #504 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Stick to a routine….morning AND night. A wake up & bedtime routine is key in my house. Just make sure you do it every single day!!!!

  505. Nicole
    #505 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Buy back to school clothes and back packs now while you have a good selection. Get organized.

  506. Allison
    #506 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Start the bedtime/wake-up routine at least 7 days in advance. I know for my kids that seems to be the hardest adjustment of going back to school. Makes mornings a lot more tolerable with well rested eager to learn kids :)

  507. Dee Dee
    #507 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I buy food in bulk, do as much prep work as possible (chopping/dicing, browning ground meat and storing in containers in 1 lb increments, freezing broth in ice cube trays, throwing blueberries in a gallon freezer bag, etc) and place in freezer for quick use)

    I also plan ahead, have all canned ingrediants out on the counter so in the morning I just have to open and toss in crock pot.

    Even though I only have 1 child at home, this is a real time saver and we all get to enjoy a relaxed evening at home with a home cooked meal.

  508. Diana T.
    #508 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    What ever you want to drink the next day, freeze it and put it in your lunch bag to keep lunch cool and it will be thawed by lunch to enjoy!!

  509. Ericka
    #509 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Get kids on a schedule at least one week before school starts. Put them to bed early and wake them up early.

  510. Heather
    #510 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    When you’re doing your Back-to-school shopping (preferrably starting now, in July when everything starts going on sale) Be sure to buy extras! I have a box just for extra school supplies. Gauranteed, sometime throughout the year, your child(children) or one of their classmates will need those extras and you won’t have to go out and buy them at full price.

  511. Pauline H.
    #511 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    always shop for supplies at the end of the school year, that is when you will get the best prices, never wait until school is about to start.

  512. Debbie H.
    #512 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Back to school no tax week-end Aug. 17-19.

  513. michelle w.
    #513 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    don’t fret getting the kids up early a few days before school starts. just remember everyone is going to be tired on the first day… Enjoy…

  514. Amy S.
    #514 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Make lunches ahead of time so there is no rush in the morning. Then that frees up time for you to make a fun/healthy/delicious breakfast that will give the kids energy and ready to take on their day at school!

  515. Lisa
    #515 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Set out everyone’s clothes, backpacks and lunch boxes the night before. It’s easier for the kids to dress themselves with no decisions to make! Also, I just have to make the sandwiches or heated leftovers in the morning. It makes our morning a lot less stressful : )

  516. DEE D.
    #516 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Shop earlier and use lots of coupons that the different stores offer for early back to school shopping.

  517. Laura
    #517 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Remain calm. Kids feed off your stress and anxiety which makes theirs’ worse!

  518. Judith E.
    #518 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I’m not a mom, but I follow a lot of blogging moms, and one thing I never thought of doing is buying my yearly planner when school supplies come out – you can find some cute planners that are less expensive than they would be around gift-giving time in December.

  519. Lisa
    #519 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Every year we have a “First Day of School” cake. The rest of the year , after school snacks are healthy. But on the first day of school, we sit down to cake and a big glass of milk and talk about their day. They have loved it so much we continued this tradition via Skype when my oldest went to college!

  520. karen
    #520 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    buy all the supplies early and buy extra to last the year

  521. Angela
    #521 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    The best way to be organized is put things on a calendar on your fridge! Dates of meeting the teachers, when school starts, put a day to shop for supplies, another day for school clothes, and put things in differ colors so it will catch your eye! Plan ahead! Do things early so you have no busy stores and crowds! :)

  522. Debbie
    #522 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I always take vacation the first week of school. I can attend all the meetings at school and I am able to take my girls to and from school while they settle into a new year. I also cook recipes by the Crockin Girls to ensure great food and less time in the kitchen!

  523. Kelly
    #523 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Start waking your kids up earlier 2-3 weeks before school starts. They will want to go to bed earlier and it makes the first week of school a little easier.

  524. LaDonna
    #524 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    While the supplies are on sale buy extra so it will last the whole year. Also buy extras for your teachers to have class sets.

  525. Saundra N.
    #525 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    It’s been years since my son was in school, but this is something I found extremely helpful: I would visit the school with my young son, especially if it was a new one, and we would meet his teacher, locate his classroom, coat room, etc. to help alleviate the anxieties. He then was able to look forward to the “big day” with his shiny new lunch box and back pack.

  526. Valerie
    #526 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Go to your favorite store, competitor ads in hand – one stop shopping. Most stores will price match. Also, my favorite back to school shopping: start the end of the season for next year. I was able to complete my school shopping for $2.22 this year.

  527. Elizabeth
    #527 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    My mom would always get us color coordinated school supplies so that we could quickly tell what belonged to who during the morning dash! We also buy double school supplies and donate the extra to kids in need.

  528. Wendy-Sue
    #528 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I garage sale all summer to stock up on jeans and school clothes.

  529. Corinne

    Corinne
    #529 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Make mornings easier by keeping healthy grab and go breakfasts on hand. You can make and freeze breakfast burritos loaded with eggs, sausage, cheese and peppers and always keep baggies of fresh fruit in the fridge you can eat with your hands. It’s a must if you have teens that think doing their hair and makeup is more important than sitting down for breakfast.

  530. Emma
    #530 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Starting two weeks before schools starts we get back on a school-time sleeping schedule. After the lazy summer days, school mornings come super early. :)

  531. Jodie
    #531 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    On the night before first day of school and thereafter, lay clothes out for the next day and prepare lunches the night before so there is less to do before heading off to school.

  532. Linda
    #532 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Pack lunches and/or snacks the night before! It’s always a crazy rush in the morning it gives you one less job you have to worry about during the rush.

  533. Erica W.
    #533 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Start early to get the sales.Also take supplies to back to school social night if that’s allowed at your school. It saves a lot of time that first morning back and gets the kids excited to get started instead of worrying if they have everything.

  534. Jan
    #534 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Shop for school supplies a couple of weeks before school starts. I used to shop early in the summer but could rarely find any sales. Although it goes against my nature, this is one area that is worth procrastinating on. :)

  535. Kelli
    #535 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Planning the clothes for the week helps and then let your little one choose which clothes to wear out of what was already chosen for the week. This helps with the morning I want to wear this and the delays that it may cause.

  536. Kim
    #536 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Establish a routine a couple weeks before school starts. Getting back on a schedule will help the transition back to school go more smoothly.

  537. Lana A.
    #537 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Many moms say “I’m so glad the kids are going back to school.”

    I’m always a little sad summer break is over. My tip is remember it’s about them. The night before the first day keep supper simple, a crockpot meal. Spend quality time with your family. Go in late to work the first day of school so you won’t feel rushed and get them off on a positive note.

  538. Nichole
    #538 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Start your back to school shopping early to avoid the crowds. And start early putting your kids to bed earlier so they are not shocked the night before school.

  539. Michele
    #539 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Shop early or all the stuff you need/want will be picked over.

  540. Elizabeth
    #540 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    As soon as you see the school list at the store shop then. The deals and supplies don’t last long so if you wait you will spend 3x as much on a product. Also, buy bulk especially if you have younger kids so you have enough supplies to last the year. :)

  541. Kim
    #541 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    I have each person in the family pick a week night meal and on their designated night they have to either make it or help me make it. This way everyone is included in the process and I don’t no longer wonder what I’m making for dinner.

  542. Lauren
    #542 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Shop EARLY before they run out of supplies. Also, this is the time of the year that school supplies are the cheapest so stockup!

  543. Jennifer N.
    #543 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    To save time during the busy back to school season prep freezer meals on the weekend. Prep your favorite meals in freezer bags (meat, veggies and seasonings) then freeze. At the beginning of the week take two or three meals out of the freezer for the nights when you won’t have time to prep and cook a full meal. In the morning toss one of the freezer meals in your slow cooker and dinner will be ready when you are! This also cuts down on prepping food for the slow cooker during your busy mornings.

  544. Michelle
    #544 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Start getting ready early!!!!

  545. Cindy
    #545 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    I slowly start putting the kids to bed 15 min. earlier until we get back to school bedtime. So when school starts they are rested and ready. Shop early and have things ready so your not doing it last minute. We live in a small town so supplies can to quick!! Night before school starts…..have outfit out and lunches packed so you can enjoy that morning and not be rushed!!

  546. Barb
    #546 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Always get ready for school the night before! Make a space for crockpot on counter so it’s always ready!!!

  547. Shannon C.
    #547 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Start going to be early a week or two before, and stock up on school supplies now while the deals are available!

  548. Nita
    #548 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    At our church in Texarkana Tx Williams Memorial UMC, we have “Blessings of the Back Packs” to start off our new school year!!! All the children & adults :) starting school & college bring all lunch boxes and breifcases etc. carry down to the alter and they are all blessed!!!

  549. Jennifer C.
    #549 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Two things that help our large family are: Do not take all the kids at once to go back to school shopping, with 6 kids it has made me crazy in the past, so this year I will be doing either 1 or 2 at a time and making it a date. The other thing we do is the week before school starts, we start getting back into the school schedule. It takes my kids a little bit to get used to getting up that early again, so we start a week early that way the first day back is not chaotic.

  550. Diane
    #550 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    My tip is to have all my school supplies bought early so I am ready and there is no stress for the first day. I take the day off work to get them situated and on the right bus. I then set up and use my slow cooker so Im ready when they get home and I have dinner ready and have time to sit down and hear all about their exciting day.

  551. Karen
    #551 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    My advise is get ready the night before.

  552. debbie
    #552 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    plan your favorite crock pot recipes for the busy nights ahead!

  553. Susan
    #553 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Pack lunch and snacks the night before whenever possible and get supplies when sales are good and stock up!!!! Make sure you get your kids back into a school night routine before school starts!

  554. Lauren
    #554 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Snuggle ‘em, love on ‘em, and cherish every moment you have with your kids before back to school time creeps up on us!

  555. Stephanie
    #555 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    This year will be little different in our house! Not only do I have a 3rd grader and a Kindergartener heading to school, but I also have a husband going back! Talk about chaos and needing lots of organization! We do everything before bedtime…that won’t change. Backpacks and lunches are packed, clothes are laid out and honestly, bowls and spoons for breakfast are laid out on the kitchen table! What will be different is getting homework done with Daddy instead of Mommy and making sure everything makes it into the backpack when they are done! This mommy will still check everything but more of the responsibility is going to the kiddos. We are definitely looking forward to a great school year in our house!

  556. Melissa

    Melissa
    #556 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I don’t have school-age children, but when the school supplies first come out I stock up on crayons, pencils, paper, rulers, etc. and donate them to our local fundraising drive for school supplies. As far as organizing, I label and categorize everything. I find that bins are extremely useful.

  557. Teresa H.
    #557 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    With permanent marker write child’s name in jackets, sweaters, backpacks

  558. Ruthie Z.
    #558 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I always buy extra supplies right before they disappear in stores. You can get them at an even lower discounted rate. We always need extra folders and notebooks so they never go to waste.

  559. Kellyn
    #559 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Oh so many tips! We buy our supplies early, and buy extra to help the kids in my daughters class. That helps the teacher a HUGE amount come the start of school. So many can’t afford school supplies.

    We also start early wake ups 2 weeks before school starts, and earlier bed times. This helps the adjustment, not as big of a shock to their system when the school year begins.

  560. Candice D.
    #560 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    A solid bedtime routine. A set time for making lunches, preparing for the next day, bath time, and story time. This gets the kids to bed on time (without any fuss) and makes for a smooth morning!

  561. Stacy
    #561 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Have everything ready the night before to make the morning run smoother. Plan out and shop for the weeks lunches and meals.

  562. Donna E.
    #562 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I started to get the boys up early the two weeks befor school started so there was no trouble in that area and made sure back packs and clothes were ready. Most of all tryed to stay calm

  563. Cheryl G.
    #563 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Buy school supplies when the sales start, and if possible buy extra, so when the teacher ask for more pencils later in the school year you are prepared. And start sending the kids to bed the month before school starts to get everyone back on schedule. Go through the kids closet and see what they need so they don’t end up with too many of one thing and not enough of another.

  564. regina a.
    #564 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Make sure to get those kids to bed early for a week or so before school starts and wake them up early too. That way they will be used to it.

  565. Elizabeth
    #565 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Do something fun every once in a while with your kids while you are shopping in chaos for the back to school stuff. It will leave fun memories before school begins. Unfortunately for me, I have 2 teenagers in right arm slings from a shoulder surgery and soon to be shoulder surgery… and a husband with a fractured back. Our fun may be board games this year!

  566. Trisha
    #566 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Prepare their favorite lunch to take to school and enclose a little love note (or “coupon” for older kids so they aren’t embarassed.)

  567. Laura D.
    #567 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Trying planning your meals for the week….that’s my goal for this year anyways. Your recipes will certainly help me with this!!!

  568. Cindy G.
    #568 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Buy extra school supplies when they are on sale as you will need extras during the school year. Also check around and see if you can help a needy child get stuff for school.Then stock up on your crockin supplies for all those yummy recipes. You can pop the crock on in the morning before school and then after a very hectic day come home to a wonderful meal all ready to go. Thanks Crockin girls for making our lives that much better!

  569. Linda B.
    #569 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Wait until the kids see what’s in style at school before you buy the bulk of your back to school clothes. Heaven forbid they don’t have the ‘in’ clothes.

  570. Traci
    #570 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Save yourself time, money, gas and the hassle of dragging kids all over the place by getting the best prices at all the stores, and heading to Walmart to price match it all!

  571. Robin
    #571 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Have them decide the night before what they want for lunch, and in the morning, make them fix and pack their own meals. Children as young as 5 can do this with only a little help from mom and dad.

  572. Emily

    Emily
    #572 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    I thought I didn’t have enough time in my day to be an amazing mom, incredible wife, and loving school teacher AND work out. When my boys and get home from school, we get our comfy clothes on and tackle homework. If they don’t have assigned homework that night, then we’ll read. Sometimes I read to them and sometimes they read to me. Once our school work is finished, we pack our school bags for the next day and get started on dinner. We sit down and enjoy our yummy dinner and then get to cleaning. My husband will take the boys and help with bath time. That gives me time to tackle the kitchen. I’ll clean up from dinner, make tomorrow’s lunches, wipe down everything that will stand still, and then prep for the next evening’s dinner. I keep a basket on my counter that I can put all of the ingredients, cook book, and equipment I’ll need for the next evening. That’s my chance to move things from the freezer to the fridge to defrost. By taking care of school bags, lunches, and dinner all at once, I’ve bought myself a significant chunk of time that I can use the next morning so I can get my daily work out completed.

    Oh! And I’ve programmed my coffee pot to turn on while I’m exercising so that it’s ready for me when I’m ready for it!

    Many blessings to all of you as we all try to make this our kids’ favorite year yet! :)

  573. Nicole
    #573 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Be sure to get everything ready the night before! Get a goods night sleep and eat a wholesome, healthy breakfast! You’ll be alert and fueled all day.

  574. Kim
    #574 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Label supplies with a sharpie in case they get lost. All supplies were purchased in July with a huge discount! Watch flyers for sales.

  575. Lori
    #575 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    I always make the first day of school a day our family celebrates. We celebrate by going out to dinner on the first day of school. The children look forward to it and they know they get to choose the place. We look forward to hearing them share the details of their day.

  576. Lori
    #576 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    We all let our kids stay up later during the summer, so start a week early to get your kids back into an earlier bedtime routine, and waking them earlier in the morning, just to get them used to the change. The transition into the school year should be much smoother!

  577. Margaret
    #577 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Since mornings are hetic and busy a tip to make sure everything is packed and ready for school is to place everything back into backpack the night before. This prevents forgetting homework and books. Another tip I have for older students and college students is make a calendar and write test and due dates for homework to help with success in school. This will keep you focused and help you prepare for success.

  578. Mary Jane
    #578 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Every summer I made sure my childrens scrapbooks were updated from the school year before, so as they entered the next grade all pictures/memorabilia were all saved. By doing this, at they High School Graduation party, each album from Grade School, Middle School and High School were on display for friends and family to enjoy.

  579. rachele c.
    #579 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Begin the back to school sleep schedule at least 2 weeks before school starts! My son will have it extra hard this year as he is starting middle school and it starts and hour earlier than elementary did. So we will have to start going to bed extra early!!!

  580. Eva
    #580 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    I love school supplies so I buy them as soon as they come out.. I buy extra crayons, markers and glue because they always come in handy at home. We get everything ready the night before, too.

  581. Francine B.

    Francine B.
    #581 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Take your kids the day before the first day of school to meet the teacher and get familiar with where their room is. On the first day of school plan a yummy meal that will be cooking/crockin’ when the kids get home so the house smells wonderful and comforting after their long day at school. The smell of food makes wonderful memories. I love first days of school and all the excitement!

  582. Heather
    #582 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Pack the kids lunch & bookbags the night before so there is no out the door scramble & have everything in the same spot so there is no question as to where things are!

  583. Kendra
    #583 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    We always do one stop shopping for clothes. Hubby takes the day off of work and we head down to an outlet mall. We get it all done on one day. As for school supplies I watch the flyers closely and buy when I see a big sale.

  584. Jana
    #584 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I always pull out all the ads from Sunday’s paper and take it to Target (who will price match just like Walmart) and load up on school supplies for my three children.

  585. Allie
    #585 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I think it’s fun to play the “back to school fairy”. The day before your kids start school, wrap up a gift (new backpack, lunch box, etc.) and have your kids open it when they wake up in the morning. It will get them excited to go to school the next day! What child doesn’t love a surprise?

  586. Niki
    #586 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Buy supplies early, and be religious about bed time helps the kids get up in the mornings.

  587. Michelle
    #587 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    We start having the kids go to bed at their school year bedtime a week before school starts. That way it isn’t quite as much a shock to their systems.

  588. Danelle
    #588 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I think the best tip I can give people for back-to-school time is to wait until after the rush to buy new school clothes…if you wait until a week or two after school starts, everything goes on sale at great prices, so you can get more for your money!

  589. Brenda
    #589 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    To get back on the early rising schedule, bedtime is set back 15 minutes (until school bedtime is reached) each evening starting a week before school starts.

  590. Brenna A.
    #590 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    We’ve only been through one year of school at our house but my tip is discuss hot or cold lunch the night before & if they choose cold then prep it the night before so you aren’t scrambling in the morning!!

  591. Diana C.
    #591 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Weekly meal planning with crockpot meals planned for busy days!

  592. Colleen L.
    #592 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Have everything organized the night before to put a meal in the crock pot first thing in the morning.
    When the little ones come home from the first day at school they’ll be excited and want your attention to tell you everything.

  593. Lisa
    #593 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I always put a special note in the lunch bag for the first day that talks about how much spending time together throughout the summer meant to me and I list a lot of the fun things we did. I also include a clue about something we will do that day after school to celebrate. Then I tuck a few Hershey’s kisses in and make sure there are plenty of x’s and o’s along the bottom of the note. The lunch, of course, is always something we made in the crockpot the day before :)

  594. Traci
    #594 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I make sure my sons name is on everything from his scissors to his coat and shoes. It’s amazing how things get lost at school!

  595. Stacey
    #595 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    When my kids walk in the door, especially during cold season, they know the drill. They come right in and get out of their clothes and put them in the dirty wash and wash hands immediatly to keep germs far away!!!! My kids have gotten perfect attendance at school the last 2 years!!!!

  596. Jenny
    #596 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    start a scrapbook as soon as you can. I made one for my son who just graduated, and also plan on making one for my upcoming junior, just wish I would have started it earlier! it’s a great graduation gift!

  597. Jennifer
    #597 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Gradually start going back to a school session sleep schedule about 2 weeks before school starts. Let the child pick out clothes, lunchbox, supplies, etc. so that that are more invested in school (especially if you have a child who is not so thrilled about school). Start the child reading again (if they took a summer break from reading) or increase reading as the beginning of school approaches….most important thing about school is reading!!!! Help the child start remembering things about their summer by looking at pictures and talking about what they did. That way when they are asked about it or have to do something in school about their summer, the ideas will be fresh and ready to go!

  598. Kimberly
    #598 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I do not have children but for my husband and I we cook a couple slow cooker meals on the weekends and eat leftovers during the week.

  599. Hilary D.
    #599 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Practice getting up early a few days before and of course crock your favorite dinner on the first day so you can chat with the kids after school about their first day instead of making dinner. We will be crocking Chicken and Dumplings on the first day of school! We ALL go back to school since Mom and Dad are both teachers. Thank heavens for your site! You have no idea how much it helps us out!

  600. Amanda
    #600 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    The beginning of a new school year brings different feelings for all. To help gear up for a new school year I always liked to get new school supplies and few new outfits to wear. If its within your budget- letting the kids pick out their school supplies helps excite them. They can pick out what matches their style. I don’t have kids of my own yet but from my experience I loved picking out my own supplies and even decorating my coloring box, folders and notebook covers. Creating something of their own style really helps get the kids ready to go back to school because school can be fun and I definitely want my kids to experience that.

  601. Leslie
    #601 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    My daughter starts pre-k this year and we have started putting her to bed and waking her up at times that she will this school year. I have also started feeding her meals and giving her nap time at the same times that her school uses this way she is ready for school. I have also made a time to review her of what will be expected this yr so she can be prepared. Hope this helps :)

  602. Monica K.
    #602 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    I have a nice Brother label maker and I label Everything! You can print out like ten of your child’s name at a time and cut them small. Put a little name label on each crayola marker, colored pencil, pencil box, etc… the rest I label with a sharpie- like each crayon…. but the actual labels are very nice and stick the whole school year. So when they drop that red marker on the floor, it’s not lost for ever, the teacher or other students know exactly who it belongs to!

  603. Jessica
    #603 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Get everything ready early! Shop early for good deals & stock up for the school year! And absolutely set everything out the night before each school day for a smooth(er) morning! :)


  604. #604 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Make sure you start the “back to school bedtime and rise-n-shine” schedule started in plenty of time for them to adjust before the first day of school.

  605. Laurine
    #605 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Have a special place in your home for your kids to do homework. Have it stocked with all those back to school “goodies” like pens, pencils, scissors, erasers, crayons, glue, markers, dictionary etc. You can even have a tote, or a box to store all of your “goodies.” Make homework time the same time every night so they start those great study habits….and read, read, and READ!!

  606. karen
    #606 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    You gotta make it fun for the kiddos! We buy various school supplies throughout the year when we see the ones that they like and stock pile them for later . . . I also try to make a bunch of individual snack bags with veggies, fruit, trail mix, crackers, etc and place them all in a container in the frig so in the morning they can grab 2 of whichever they feel like that day! My boys have learned that going to school can be fun and they look forward to it each morning!

  607. Annie
    #607 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Shop early and wait to buy pants, sweaters, long sleeve shirts, etc until it starts getting colder since kids grow so fast.

  608. Nicki
    #608 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Put everything together ahead of time. It is a real time saver, especially that first day back to school. School supplies – hit that Tax Free Weekend and look for coupons!! Best way to save money. Also, never buy the real big stuff until you verify with the teachers that they really need it. We have had quite a few things on a list and then the teachers never used it.

  609. Sandra T.
    #609 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    When shopping for school supplies be sure to have your list ready and a marker to check off everything you’ve picked up. Also, set boundaries for what your kids can purchase for back to school clothes and shoes. With having as many as three kids at a time to outfit for school, it could get really expensive at times without setting limits.

  610. Celecia

    Celecia
    #610 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Place your child’s name on gear and inside clothing so items don’t get lost right off the bat.

  611. Lynn
    #611 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    If their school has a lunch account make sure you sign up for it. Running late no longer means finding change for lunches. Also I keep a few singles and change in a special compartment of my car so if she forgets her water, she can grab the money while in carpool line. No more scrambling for change for vending machine in the car.

  612. Tara G.
    #612 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    make sure the camera has fresh batteries for first day photos!

  613. Sheila
    #613 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    After 26 consecutive years of first day of school here is a favorite, take a picture of your child standing next to your automobile on the first day of school. It’s intersesting to see the different automobiles and how your child has grown over the years. Happy to say this is my last year of first days of school, my youngest son is going into his senior year :)

  614. Leanne
    #614 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I always make school lunches and lay out what the kids are going to wear to school the next day, the NIGHT BEFORE.

  615. Kari C.
    #615 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    As everyone else has mentioned, be prepared! Whether it is the menu for the week or outfits for the week…do it ahead of time so that your mornings can be as calm as possible.

    Also, don’t forget to take that “First day of School” picture! Those are items that will be cherished always!

    I always think that a little something for the teacher is nice as well. Start everyone’s day on a positive note. :)

  616. Serena
    #616 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Start getting the kids up on time for school a week before school starts.

  617. Jessie
    #617 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I take picture of my daughter every year with her back to school outfit, new backpack and lunchbox. It is fun to see how her tastes and style change as she gets older.

  618. Kelly R.
    #618 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Two to three days prior to the start of school start getting the kids back to their school time sleep routine. This makes the transition to getting up early for school much easier and the kiddos are less likely to fall asleep on the bus or in class.

  619. Laura
    #619 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    To help the kids get used to getting up early, get the neighbors and kids together in the morning for a breakfast gathering in your pj’s. You can either host or a couple mornings before school each neighbor has a turn hosting!

  620. Linda
    #620 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    I buy up alot of extra school supplies before school starts and put them in a designated drawer. When the kids need something throughout the year, they just go to the dresser drawer full of supplies and take what they need. Saves alot of money and hassles later in the year. Also nice to have extra crayons, etc for last minute BD presents. I buy alot of extra crayons, fun pencils, etc for Christmas stockings as well.

    Thanks for the opporunity to win!!

  621. Janet H.
    #621 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Get rid of everything you don’t use regularly. If is something you might use put it in the attic or garage.

  622. Ryshelle C.
    #622 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Well I’m a college student, so I’ll give a college back-to-school tip. Be organized and early! When you register, immediately go and try to find out what books you’ll need for that semester. Then go to the local bookstores and see their prices then look online at websites that allow you to rent. Renting textbooks are so much better because they give you something to do with the books you don’t want to keep forever AND save’s you literally HUNDREDS of dollars!!! But if you don’t want to rent, buying online is still a money saver- just make sure you read comments from sellers and the conditions of the book. Also, plan your budget accordingly before hand so you can plan for other expenses (ie parking permits, other school supplies etc.)

    Everyone have a great school year!!

  623. Brandy
    #623 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Get back into early bedtime routines at least 1 week before school begins. Make sure to get lunches and backpacks prepared the evening before, just in case you have anyone running behind in the morning. Along with her backpack and lunch, I have my daughter help choose her clothes the night before, so we’re not arguing in the morning about what she’s going to wear :)

  624. cheri d.
    #624 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Buy school supplies starting in July when prices are best. Label everything! Especially for younger kids :)

  625. Charity
    #625 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    My back to school tip is start early! As a mom of 4 …3 school age the biggest tip that helps me when those first days roll around is menu planning early & organizing meals this is a huge help all year but especially when transitioning back to our busy school year schedule. I love picking up the kids from school knowing a great meal is crockin and another is organized and ready for assembly the next morning!

  626. Bridget
    #626 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Buy extra school supplies now while they are cheap! You know you will need them throughout the year! Don’t forget items for projects, like posterboard that might not be on the teachers supply list but you know they will need!

  627. Nina V.
    #627 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    I shop for clothes and supplies during the summer so that I am not in a scrambling a week or two before school starts.

  628. Sharon
    #628 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    I am going back to school in the fall. a little nervous as i haven’t been in school in quite some time (i’m 38!) and i have a 2.5 year old busy boy! i am planning on getting a freezer for my basement and cooking a lot of meals to have on hand when i start school! would LOVE a new cookbook!


  629. #629 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Buy your supplies early when the sales start. You can also get a better selection.

  630. becky firszt
    #630 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    When things get busy we tend to eat out more since we are always in a time crunch. I plan Sunday as my prep day for the week. I go grocery shopping and get things for the week. I prep all the lunches, and prep everything that I need for a dinner meal in one gallon size freezer bag. In the morning my kids make thier own lunches by choosing what I have baggied for them, and I just open the gallon size freezer bag and dump it into the crock pot. When I pick the kids up from school on my way home from work, dinner is done for the family! Sundays are a bit busy, but the pay off is worth it when the weeksdays are the MOST busiest for us!

  631. Michelle
    #631 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    The best thing I can suggest for Back to School is, getting back into the routine of BTS, bedtimes, meals, homework, etc. a few weeks before school starts to ease the stress that going back can have on the kiddos and Mom ;) Summer has a different kind of “structure” and we cannot expect kids to bounce back right away once the first school bell rings! Good luck everyone

  632. Holly P.
    #632 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    get a big erasable white board monthly calendar to write down activities and lunches so the kiddos can decide the night before if they want to take lunch or buy lunch can also look and see if any projects are due.

  633. jacqueline
    #633 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    we do things a little bit different because we homeschool the last few weeks of july we re organize the den into our classroom for the upcoming school year my oldest daughter and I planned meals for the month ahead and what we call freezer bags crock pot meal s for those busy nights we have sporting events or some kind of dance practice

  634. Rebecca
    #634 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Eat a good (crockin!) breakfast! And a gift for the teacher helps! ;-)

  635. Marie

    Marie
    #635 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    I always stocked up on plenty of nutritious snacks including fruits & veggies for my sons to have when they got home from school as they seemed be starving even when they got into high school. We always got things ready the night before so it didn’t take long to get around in the morning.

  636. Michele
    #636 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Plan school-night meals a month in advance so I will not be running to the grocery store every other day. The kids get input and since I am a single parent and work full-time, I use my slow cooker at least once a week! :)

  637. Amy
    #637 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Always plan out meals at the beginning of the week for easy shopping and meal planning. And always have clothes and things laid out the night before for easier mornings;)

  638. Michele
    #638 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    I love getting a great deal just like everyone else but memories are most important to me.. I get a 2-3″ binder with clear front pocket. I put a school pic in the front and fill the binder with sheet protectors. Throughout the year I drop in report cards, favorite drawings or writings, pictures, awards…anything significant to that school year. Its fun to look back on for me and the kids. And if you have little ones and your not sure what that drawing/word is..write on the back of the picture word for word how they describe it to you.. Priceless!

  639. Serena
    #639 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    My best tip is that you need to get your kids involved in back to school shopping and planning. They need to feel a part of things rather than just one more thing to deal with. This is true for 3 rd graders and College kids (of which I have BOTH). Everything works better when your a Team!

  640. Donna L.
    #640 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Monday night is a crockpot meal. Since it is the beginning of the week, it makes the evening le stressful knowing food will be ready to eat.

  641. Nickole
    #641 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Before the school year starts purchase a clear bin (about 24in long and 6in high) for each child. When school work and projects come home file into bin. All work is kept separate and takes away the piles. Kids love to look through their work and see the progress they have made over the year. We start back to school routine 2 wks before school starts to help get back into a schedule.

  642. Brenda

    Brenda
    #642 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Start a school night schedule before the night before school starts … a “regular” schedule keeps everyone on track for a good start to the school year. Let your children help plan their first day outfit and pack their backpack for the first day. Also let them help pick out the crockpot meals for the week … if they don’t “like” school … at least they’ll have something to look forward to when they get home. :)

  643. Michele
    #643 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Plan school-night meals a month in advance. Then I shop for groceries I need by the week. That way, I am not running to the grocery store every other day. I give the kids input on the meals. Since I am a single parent and work full-time, I use my slow cooker at least once a week! :)

  644. Kate
    #644 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Save time in the morning by packing school lunches the night before!

  645. Jami
    #645 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Do the school shopping early and in multiple trips so it doesn’t feel like so much at once!

  646. Cindi H.
    #646 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Make sure the kiddos have a good breakfast before going to school!

  647. Jennifer F.
    #647 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Start buying stuff early,get clothes laid out the night before and get lunches and snacks in lunchbox the night before,also get the kids showered the night before

  648. Lisa M.
    #648 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Nothing calms school year chaos like Calendar Central: a centralized site for all family calendars and schedules.

  649. Ricci L.
    #649 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    I put a file folder holder by the phone with a folder for each child. I use these folders for any information I need easy access to (soccer team schedule, phone lists, etc). I also have a space/folder for “urgent” items, which is anything that needs to be dealt with that week — forms, bake sale reminders, etc. With three busy children, its a big help!

  650. Kim G.
    #650 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    My biggest tip for during the busy school year is to bounce meal ideas off of your friends and to share recipes! Just when I get burnt out on all my usual crock pot recipes, I simply ask them what they make all the time and they give me new ideas!

  651. Rebecca
    #651 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Try to keep things together. Instill the habits when they are young for the shoes to always go in the same spot. Must be working our not quite 2 year old already is doing it! :)

  652. Naira M.
    #652 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    School shop now for their new school outfit and school supplies! If the supplies ate wrong u could always return them..u will be relieved and not stressed when school starts.

  653. Becky
    #653 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    I’m never in a rush to buy school supplies because I pick them up all year long when I see them on sale! Usually around late September stores start marking items WAY down. My kids just have to open my closet to go shopping!

  654. becky
    #654 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    At the end of the school year, if you are anything like myself, you will find you have tons of school work/projects saved…especially during the younger school years. Pick out a few of the “special” ones to save. Take the rest and group together and take pictures. Pictures are much easier to store than piles of papers :)

  655. Sherrie
    #655 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    As a mother of an only child, she’ll be 19 in September, and going off to college, here’s my back-to-school tip. Surround yourself with lots of friends, a stack of good books, and something “cumfy smelling” coming from the kitchen!!! Her first day of kindergarten, my husband had to help me walk out of the school while I was bawling and squawling. This same scenario, I’m affraid, is going to repeat itself when we drop her off, then travel 4 hours back home from the college.

  656. Rachel
    #656 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Take a picture the first day of school every year. Amazing how kids grow! Also, we homeschool, so I will say that fun prizes/incentives throughout the year are extremely helpful!

  657. michelle
    #657 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Start getting into a routine a couple weeks before school starts.

  658. Lisa K.
    #658 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Our children’s bedtime was 8pm on school nights. They would have their baths, clothes set out before going to bed. We would read to your children each night before going to bed. The memories are still very clear and now we have a grandchild and one on the way and they are being raised the same way.

  659. Tammy
    #659 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Be organized. Get the school supplies early while they are on sale. Also, the night before get everything together so that in the morning all you have to do is pick up backpack and head out the door.

  660. Shari
    #660 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    My twin daughters are entering their first year of college. New school tip: Take the crockpot! Dinner will be waiting when they get finished with classes!

  661. Celeste
    #661 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    For the most efficient organizing, only touch things once! When you pick up something, put it back when you’re done. When you sort mail, touch it once and put it where it belongs–recycle, bills to pay, mags/catalogs to read, etc. When you take clothes off, either hang them back up or put into the hamper. Implementing this really saves time and keeps your house/office neatly organized!

  662. Sonya B.
    #662 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Pray… My little one is starting Kindergarten this fall and I have been praying like crazy… It will be so hard but will also make me so proud. I have been working with him everyday with homework at home to prepare him for a great head start to school :) Buying supplies early when there are amazing sales. God Bless! :))

  663. Lauri
    #663 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Put copies of the kids’ class schedules, the monthly school calendar, school lunch menu and the family homework rules in heavy clear sheet protectors. Put on a ring and hang in a prominent spot for easy reference.

  664. Emily S.
    #664 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Buy a travel soap container for crayons. The crayon box always gets torn apart and this way your little one doesn’t lose their crayons!

  665. Andrea
    #665 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    As a teacher, my back to school advise is help get your kids excited about the new school year. Let them go with you to pick out school items. Get plenty of rest and see them off to school the first day.

  666. Mary
    #666 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    My #1 tip for back-to-school is to make sure the children are well rested. My kids are ages 9 and 10. They go to bed at 8. We allow them to watch a 30 minute movie before telling them goodnight. It gives them time to wind down and relax after a busy day. I have always felt that getting enough rest is very important for growing and learning.

    Routine is another must in our household. My kids know exactly what to expect and when.

  667. Bette
    #667 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Start buying school supplies now while stores are just putting everything out. You’ll be glad you did!!

  668. deanna a.
    #668 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Organize each childs school supplies in paper bags and take them with you to orientation. This way your childs backpack will not way more than they do on their first day! :)

  669. Nancy
    #669 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    We get all of the supplies on the lists and have them in one spot with the boys names on them so each one knows where their stuff is, and so do dad and mom ;o) And we practice getting ready for the bus schedule, esp the morning pick up.

    It’ll be different this year with only one to get ready for school from now on. We’ll have to get the teen back on a regular sleep schedule so he’ll be ready for school. I’m kind of excited for school to be starting, but yet very sad, too

  670. Carla
    #670 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    I buy school supplies when they go on clearance in September and save them for next year. I went through my kids’ back to school lists, and already have 1/2 of the supplies ready to go from last year’s clearance sales. Stock up ahead of time!!!

  671. Elaine L.
    #671 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    We have a large basket (one per kid) by the kitchen table. In August, we clean it out and make sure it has everything they need to complete their homework at the table. This basket also serves to store all the necessities during the school year (including the backpack).

  672. Cathy

    Cathy
    #672 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    I always make sure I get all my supplies as early as possible and I am signed up with the wroklife rewards program with office depot so when I spend money there I get cash back from there. And we all know they come home from the 1st day with a list of additional items.

  673. Suzan
    #673 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Donate a backpack and goods to someone who really needs it. After all, kids are our future!

  674. Theresa

    Theresa
    #674 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Every year as my kids get older it seems things just get busier and busier. This year I am going back to college as well. So I know I need to be even more proactive to keep stress at bay. Before school starts I have set up homework stations for all three of us with all the supplies we should need. I also clear the bulletin board in readiness for all the up in coming school papers. Another good thing to have on hand is the accordion file folder for each kid to keep their papers that come home. It works great especially when they are young because it is becomes a memory folder of the year of their cute drawing. Everyone’s suggestions are great! I plan on making crock pot oatmeal for the first morning of school. Way easier than having to try to make breakfast in the morning and way healthier than poptarts.

  675. Frankie
    #675 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    When shopping for my kids school supplies i always buy early to get the good deals, which also allows me to be able to donate to local schools that are less fortunate. My personal tip is ironing all uniforms on Sat. or Sun. for the entire week so that leaves one less thing to worry about each night :) and more time for Preparing my Crockin Meals :D

  676. Jenny
    #676 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Start the school morning routine several weeks ahead.

  677. Melody C.
    #677 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    My baby is not in school yet, but organizing her daycare supplies, clothes, etc., the night before really helps. My husband and I organize dinner the day before to help things go more smoothly in the evenings.

  678. Hope
    #678 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    We menu plan the whole week on Sundays and pick out the whole week of clothes and lay them out by days- I am a middle school teacher so I do the same for myself so that I wake up first, get myself ready and then the kids are already up and know exactly what to put on! We use the crock-pot a lot so my husband can throw the ingredients in after we are out of the house at our schools and it is done by the afternoon when I get home.

  679. Lindsi
    #679 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    About a week before school starts, get into the routine. Go to bed early, get up when you would need to during school. It sure makes it easier to get up in the morning if you’re already in the routine!

  680. Lynn
    #680 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I get everything organized the night before. The table is set for breakfast, lunches are packed, and my crock pot meal is already prepped so all I have to do is plug it in and turn it on. This makes getting out the door less stressful and dinner is easy.

  681. Kelli W.
    #681 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Get the kids involved in creating their own before and after school check lists. It helps them get and stay organized when school starts.

  682. Christy
    #682 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Besides buying back to school supplies, I start watching for lunch items to go on sale and buy them in bulk. As a teacher, I’m always organizing a list of items to buy for crock pot meals so I don’t have to come home and cook every night! :)

  683. Dawn
    #683 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Remember to budget for all those “unexpected fees,” such as yearbook, club, and lunch. Prepare your wallet ahead of time so you aren’t caught by surprise.

  684. Jennifer
    #684 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Plan ahead and try to make sure your children understand everything that will be happening for the day. Some children really don’t like surprises.

  685. Katie
    #685 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    We’re a homeschool family, so I’m getting ready for the year by making lesson plans and doing extra fun activities with the kids before we start back to school!

  686. Lori K.
    #686 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I also am a teacher, so the first thing I do is get both of our calendars on our home calendar, so we can plan ahead. I also stock up on school supplies when they are cheap. Love those notebooks and mechanical pencils!

  687. Casey
    #687 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Get your kiddos back on a bedtime routine before the first day of school so the transition will be easier, do something fun and “summery” each day before school starts, and last but not least make ahead and freeze a bunch of crockin girls recipes for easy dinners!!:)

  688. Jennifer
    #688 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Keep it simple, simple, simple!

  689. Dawn R.
    #689 on July 24th, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I have a few back to school tips. Buy short sleeved shirts(I personally do button downs) that you can add solid long sleeve shirts under for cool days. Then you have shirts for warm and cold days without spending a fortune .For girls when dresses get short add leggings and the outfits can be worn longer. Plan ahead on meals, prep the night before so all you have to do when rushing out the door in the morning is press crockpot on.

  690. Pam H.
    #690 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Relax because I no longer have school aged children. I let my sons and daughter and their spouses worry about that now, so back to school is a breeze for me :).

  691. Jodi
    #691 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Buy a closet sweater organizer for each of your school age children (mine range from K to 8th). Get one that has 5 shelves, on Sunday night have each of your kids pull out the outfits including socks and underwear for the week and put an outfit in each of the slots. Every day their outfit will be all ready for them which saves a ton of time in the morning. Each of my 4 kids have gym class on different days, this helps us remember to have gym clothes on gym days. We also put show-n-tell or other school things that need to be brought that day in the slots so we don’t forget anything.

  692. Benji W.
    #692 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Prepare early for my daughters food allergy paper work and epi pens to be ready so there is no last minute paper work left hanging over my head. She goes to middle school this year and it’s a whole different ballgame. Also because she is going to middle school we ate going to get a pedicure and special lunch…just the two of us :)

  693. Denise
    #693 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    About 2 wks before school starts, I start getting my children accustomed to going to bed and getting up earlier, especially tweens and teenagers.

  694. JESSICA M.
    #694 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Be organized and prepared! Start buying things here and there on a weekly basis. For example, I’ve got half of my supplies bought now, I’ll be buying the other half next week. In the weeks right before school I’ll be stocking up on juice boxes and snacks!

  695. Jana
    #695 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Start getting into a school routine a couple of weeks before school starts. I am a teacher and I have to do this myself every summer!

  696. Jamie
    #696 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Some states have tax free weekends. Take advantage of this weekend to load up on supplies.

  697. Rachael
    #697 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    I start waking my kids up 30 minutes earlier each week a month or so before school begins. This way their not write so tired once school stars.

  698. Annie
    #698 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Stock up on clothes all year long when you find a good sale!

  699. Marci
    #699 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Plan weekly meals on Saturday/Sunday and have all ingredients ready to go!

  700. Wendy
    #700 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    We always make sure to buy extra of the supplies asked for by the teacher to make sure that we have adequate supplies to complete homework and projects at home. Try to have the kids choose the days for school lunch on Sunday night so that I can plan for the days I need to make lunch for them to take to school.

  701. Courtney
    #701 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I’m a teacher, and I start looking for school supplies to keep in my classroom by late July/early August. I look for places that have the best deals, and that will also take coupons.

  702. christy m.
    #702 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Crock a yummy breakfast to make it easier in the morning. Also, plan out the first week of outfits ahead of time. :-)

  703. Meredith
    #703 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Well before school starts get back into a routine that focuses on good sleep habits, exercise, healthy foods, and time together. Practice school bedtimes a week before school starts.

  704. Kelly
    #704 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    My back to school tip is…WINE! For all the mommies you’ll want to enjoy the down time & friends before the crazy back to school schedules start. And for once the school year begins you’ll be glad you have it to help keep your sanity for when the kids are adjusting to the schedules. And for all those teachers out there, well, let me just say STOCK UP on the W-I-N-E because you’ll need it to go with the W-H-I-N-E! ;) Here’s to a slooooow end to summer!!!!

  705. mrawles
    #705 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Since I don’t have children at home anymore, I have a great organizing tip. Save empty toilet paper rolls to store extension cords and/or cords of any kind. Loop them in your hand and slide in the empty roll. I also put the cords to my electric things (curling iron, hair dryer, etc.) in them to keep my drawers organized and the cords don’t get tangled up with one another.

  706. Ruth
    #706 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Get in the habit now of having healthy snacks of fruit and veggies all cut up in the frig. That way when everyone comes home from school just starved….they will go for the healthy snack.

  707. Judi
    #707 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Plan lunch box meals for the entire week!

  708. Laura
    #708 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Print your last name on a page of return address labels. Then stick them on all of the school supplies.

  709. Heather S.
    #709 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I remind the kids (16 and 13) not to gossip, treat others with respect, and to work hard and then I PRAY for their day!

  710. E B.
    #710 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Organization is the key word…..My crock pot makes school time alot easier! Keep the recipes coming!

  711. Jill
    #711 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I buy school supplies early to get the best selection and prices. Also, try to keep the kids on a regular sleep schedule, especially bed time all summer to make going back easier.

  712. Ellen
    #712 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    I make checklists of all of the things the kids need to do in the morning (make bed, brush teeth, chores, etc.) and before bed (lay out clothes for tomorrow, brush teeth, etc.)and post them so that everyone remembers what needs to be done without me having to remind them constantly.

  713. diana
    #713 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Lay out your kids’ whole outfits night before. Put some kind of a breakfast, such as oatmeal, egg casserole, quiche, malt-o-meal, in crockpot night before. Wake up and ta-la – everything should go smoothly. Plus with the smell of food, the kids probably won’t have a problem getting up and perhaps in a good mood.

  714. Erin
    #714 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Make sure the kiddos know I am proud of them when I drop them off and thrilled to have them home when school is over.

  715. Darlene

    Darlene
    #715 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    If you have a senior take some photos of them while on vacation, these make great senior pics and are unique from everyone elses.

  716. Sharon
    #716 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Lay out clothes the night before. Also I try and get my supplies whenever they go on sale instead of waiting till the last couple weeks. I keep my eyes open for any deals throughout the year and stash them away till it’s time. :)

  717. katie
    #717 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    My kids are grown now but we always made sure the backpacks were ready, clothes laid out, shoes by the front door, EVERYTHING was ready the night before. Saved alot of hassle the next day when we had to be out the door early.

  718. Shannon
    #718 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Use a hanging cubby closet organizer so the kids can get their outfits for the week all set out the weekend before! When you’re rushing in the morning to get them off to school they can grab an outfit and get dressed instead of wasting time trying to decide what to wear!

  719. Kristin
    #719 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Pre-make some healthy breakfast choices like a breakfast casserole, so your kids have a healthy and hearty start to their days and you don’t have to get up too early.

  720. Tina
    #720 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Utilize your “night-before” option to the fullest!! I pack our lunches the night before & outfits are picked out night-before as well…makes for simple mornings with more “smiles”!! Hope I win & happy crockin’!!

  721. Ginger
    #721 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Leave earlier before work to account for more traffic from school buses and parents taking their kids to school and school zones so you can still get to work on time.

  722. tiffany c.
    #722 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    This if my little guys first year of prek! We both are pumped! School tip : be as involved as you can with preparation, in class and with teacher.

  723. Amanda C.
    #723 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    As lot of people have already said, stack up on school supplies. Some organizations collect school supplies for those that can’t afford supplies for their children (United Way). Even though my children aren’t old enough for school yet, I like to buy packages of paper and pencils to donate.

  724. Aileen W.
    #724 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Wake up an hour earlier than you normally would for school… to have time for a big breakfast. It’s a chance to sit around and talk about the new adventure that awaits the kids… and reassure them of any fears they may have. Remind them you will be right there when they get out. I like to go to their school and stalk them that first week…peeking in windows… making sure they are OK… :-)

  725. Linda
    #725 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Start practicing your school routine a few weeks before school starts. And let your child pick what s/he wants to wear to school, but do it the night before! Will save alot of whining when getting ready in the morning!

  726. Alesha
    #726 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Shorten bedtime by 5-10 minutes a few weeks before school starts and have the kids pack their backpack and pick out first day of school clothes a few days ahead of time in order to get them excited to begin a new year!
    And of course make sure the crockpot is clean and ready to begin a crockin new year ;)

  727. Dawn
    #727 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Get organized the night before and always have extra school supplies.

  728. Jean
    #728 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Check with your school to see what they require, then buy early and enough to last a year. Right now all the stores have the best prices…..so go hog wild and buy it all.

  729. Rene A.
    #729 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    My best advice is to get the kids back into the school bedtime and wake up time 1 or 2 weeks before school starts.

  730. Kendra T.
    #730 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Make it as stress free as possible! Have everything ready the night before so there is less to worry about.

  731. Dianne
    #731 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Be organized but remember this is a bit scary for your little one so extra hugs are most important.

  732. Linda
    #732 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    My best organizing tip would be to put things back where they belong! Seems so simple, but it doesn’t always happen.

  733. Joanna M.
    #733 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    I start making the kids follow a schedule the week before school starts so the transition is a little smoother. I also stock up on lunch makings.

  734. Amy
    #734 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    I’ve found 2 really great/fun things I am going to use this year for back to school.

    1. Back to School Scavenger Hunt-My boys love these!
    http://pinterest.com/pin/206602701625154246/

    2. Online/mobile Calendar Plus SO Much More!
    http://www.cozi.com

  735. cerra
    #735 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    bI try to buy the bigger school items on the tax free weekend. The no tax…makes a huge difference! I also cook a big meal the day before school starts, that way the kids have a really good home cooked meal for lunch the next day. It’s leftovers but when reheated it’s more nutritional and better then the school lunch. My kids love it when I do that.

  736. Leanne
    #736 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    A back to school tip I have would be, if you allow your children to stay up a little later or sleep in longer than normal, to begin preparing them for the earlier schedule prior to school starting.

    Also, prepare lunch prior to the morning of and with busy schedules prepare your crock meals in advance!

  737. Karen
    #737 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Use couponing/deal blogs! They post the best back to school deals, for several stores! Then, take the time to shop the different stores, at different times, to collect everything you need. It takes more time, and effort, but the savings really stack up!!

  738. Sarah B.
    #738 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    A week before school starts try to get the kids ready and in to bed a little earlier each night thus slowly moving up bed time. Also put breakfast in the crockpot so everyone can serve themselves as they are ready.

  739. Amber J.
    #739 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    I buy snacks from Aldi, enough to last two or three weeks and then every Sunday make freezer Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches for the week. Saves on time and lunch making each morning.

    Watch for the good deals and sales and stock up when things are on sale.

  740. Jennifer
    #740 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Stock up on school supplies during the after school clearance and when items are on sale for very low prices to have school items available all year round.

  741. Becky
    #741 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Don’t want to spend on top dollar brands or have a picky child? Buy the off brand and make a project out of it by decorating the covers of notebooks, binders, etc with scrapbooking supplies or computer printoffs. They get their own one of kind item and you get to spend some time together decorating!

  742. Rita
    #742 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Decide on the clothes the night before and agree to stick to it. It will save time and avoid stress and avoid unworn clothes being thrown all over the room, so will save on laundry too.

  743. Cara
    #743 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    I homeschool, so I purchase supplies all year long. If you have the space to store it, the best time to buy school supplies is about a month after school starts!!

  744. Mary P.
    #744 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    With 6 kids we find it works really well to start buying things at the beginning of summer from somewhere like Amazon. We buy common things like pens, folders, notebooks, Kleenex, etc in bulk from there and leave the individual items like watercolors for later in the summer. It saves us a lot of money and is so much less stressful.


  745. #745 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Get your crockin’ ingredients in advance and get dinner started each day before you head out in the morning. You will have time to spend with the kiddos and all of their school and after school activities…no worry about what’s for dinner…just enjoy time with them.

  746. Molly
    #746 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Invest in a stainless steel thermos so you can keep your childs faviorite Crockin Girls meal hot! Taking lunch will save you money!

  747. Michelle
    #747 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Right before the school year starts I make a list of each child’s food likes . I make a column for each category such as dairy, vegetable, grain and fruit. I can simply go down the list each day for creating cold lunches. It is such a time saver for grocery shopping and for those mornings you sleep a little later. It also reduces any food disagreements before the school day so you can being on a happy note.Of course my children can add or make changes to the list, so it gives them a feeling of being in control of what they eat.

  748. Peggy
    #748 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    My friends and I use facebook to share when we find a good deal on school supplies. If I can’t find something on the teacher list I’ll post a message and my friends will be on the look out for that item too.

  749. Charline
    #749 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    My biggest problem is packing good, healthy lunches, so each summer before the boys go back we sit down and make “menus” of what they’d like, what they don’t like, and my input on what they “need” (more veggies, protein source, etc). Then I make my list for each one, so in the evenings they can “pick” their lunches out of the list (2 fruit, 1 protein, etc.) Anything I can stockpile, I stockpile. I find making lunches that are healthy and that they eat such a chore, but this seems to help a lot.
    Cheers, and good luck everyone – thanks for the tons of tips!

  750. Dana W.
    #750 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Don’t forget to have your children try on their school clothes before going back to school. You will be amazed how much they have grown. You will pull out that pair of jeans that fit just a month ago and find out that they are too small. Also, double check their shoes for size and wear to see if they need to be replaced.

  751. Katie
    #751 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    My son is only 1yr now but one tip I have from when I was in school is to have matching notebooks and folders. That way I knew I wasnt taking the wrong things to the wrong class.

  752. Amber
    #752 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Have a snack ready for them when you pick them up! They will be starving!

  753. Mary S.
    #753 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Buy a good academic weekly/monthly planner. Everyone’s schedules will be right at your finger-tips.

  754. Candyce
    #754 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    I buy up alot of school supplies as stores discount them down in September/October. This helps replenish 1/2 way through the year, and well as get a good head start for the next school year. Our school has a standard list for all grades, so we know what to buy a year a head.

  755. Rita H.
    #755 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Color coordinate folders, notebooks and book covers by subject. For example: science folder and notebook are green and the stretchy book cover has a green background. Easy for the kids to grab everything they need for each subject/class. Quick visual aide. Color coding saves tons of time and confusion!

  756. Mary Teresa
    #756 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    My kids are so rough with everything that I make sure I always buy extra of all the essentials now while they are on sale….such as crayons, pencils, folders, lunchbox, backpack. Nothing like needing a new one in January and not being able to find it at the store!

  757. Jennifer
    #757 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    As a teacher and mother my recommendation to all parents is to pack your child’s backpack the night before and make sure they eat a good breakfast every morning. It also is really nice as a teacher to get a quick email or even a quick face-to-face meeting before school starts from parents so I know who they are.

  758. Beth
    #758 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    For the younger kids I have found it good to start putting them to bed 15 or 30 minutes earlier than the summer bedtime the week before school starts. That will make for an easier wake up the first day of school

  759. Mary
    #759 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Not only packing lunches the night before but also making pb&j sandwiches for the week and keeping them in the freezer until needed.

  760. Lynn
    #760 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    As soon as you get the supply list, go right away and buy what you need so that you don’t risk not being able to get it. Buy the supplies you know you need early and watch early for back to school sales.

  761. Kelly
    #761 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Definitely plan out the week for lunches & snacks on sunday!

  762. Keri M.
    #762 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    June-Clean Out Closets and get rid of toys, clothes, etc. and donate to charity.
    July-Spending time with Family (Vacation) and just really enjoy your kids. I can’t believe by son is already 8. Wow, time goes by quickly. Spend good quality time with them because when school starts back you will have less time and just make memories with your children!
    August-Start shopping for clothes, school supplies, etc. and you should know what you need because you just cleaned their closet out, get everything ready when school starts, and start developing a bedtime routine. This year I am trying to be better about making meals while my kids are in school and just learning to enjoy cooking instead of making it a chore. I am really going to start meal planning.
    September-May-Enjoy School because it goes by so fast!

  763. Natalie

    Natalie
    #763 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    The Day before the first day of school:
    1. Have a delicious crock pot meal picked out and prepare the ingredients.
    2. Have all school supplies ready and in the backpack
    3. Have clothes picked out and ready to put on in the morning.
    4. Have kids get ready for bed 15 minutes early. Read a back to school story to the kids who like being read to and let the older kids take that 15 minutes to read their favorite book.

    Next morning assemble crockpot and turn on. Get kids up for a light breakfast and head off for the first day of school!

  764. Misty
    #764 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Start your getting the kids back to a school schedule at least a couple of weeks ahead of time. Especially helpful if you have a teenager used to staying up late and sleeping in!

  765. Crystal
    #765 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Buy early! Join the store website mailing list for coupons, and try not to shop on the weekends closer to school starting to avoid stress. And as always put a crockin’ meal in the crock pot that first day of school to save time with all the running around! :)

  766. Katie
    #766 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    USE YOUR CROCK-POT!!! I like to have breakfast with my little one, so I like to make a breakfast casserole in the crock-pot so its ready in the morning… it saves time and you feel like a great mom because you made sure your little one has the fuel they need to start the day! I also like to have a special treat for when my daughter gets home so once or twice a week I make a dessert in the crock pot that is ready when she walks in the door.

  767. Rita H.
    #767 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    I added the comment about color coordinating….

  768. Michelle
    #768 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Get the kids used to waking up for school by starting two weeks prior to the first day. Each day I wake my son up just a little earlier until he is getting up at the time he will need to for school!

  769. Andrea
    #769 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Weekend batch cooking for quick weekday cooking in the crockpot.

  770. Paula
    #770 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Take a moment and walk down the school supplies isles and drink in the smells. Remember your own school days and pray for your children as they begin a new year. Then shop like crazy and get everything at one store. You might save a few pennies on one or two things somewhere else, but you’ll make up for it on gas and time lost. :)

  771. Rhonda S.
    #771 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Baskets! They are my saving grace for school. Having seven kids, I found a basket for each kid made it easier. In the morning the kids clothes were ready for them and at night they had put their school papers in them so I knew what was going on.

  772. Lisa R.
    #772 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    I make a daily checklist for my son to follow in the morning so that things run smoothly. There is a list that hangs in his bathroom that reminds him to brush teeth, brush hair, take vitamin, etc. and there is also one on the door he leaves out of every day to remind him to do his morning chore, check his backpack, grab his lunch, and go!

  773. Mellissa
    #773 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Take a picture of your child on the first and last day of school in the same spot. That way you can see how much they’ve grown that year.

  774. Gina
    #774 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    As a teacher, buy teacher supplies early in summer…get room ready before you have to go back to work! This way you can concentrate on meson planning!

  775. Laura
    #775 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    I like to get my school supplies in mid July to beat the crowds. I also buy a little extra every year and store it away in a rubbermaid tub so that when the next school year comes around, I can just pick and choose what I need and have everything ready. ANOTHER tip I have is that I am the queen of thrift store shopping, I never buy book bags brand new I buy them at thrift store for way less that half the price brand new. I have found name brand book bags for 3-4 dollars. Love it!

  776. Jessica
    #776 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Always plan ahead! Lay out clothes the night before and more importantly, plan and prepare your meals over the weekend!!

  777. jessica
    #777 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    love the back to school deals and coupons but remember to write the kiddos notes in the lunch or backpack i know my little girls lives read them

  778. Mary A.
    #778 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    First getting all the backpacks organized and packed the night before and starting my crock pot oatmeal to begin the day with full bellies and smiles on everyone’s face.

  779. Carriann C.
    #779 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    As a former teacher, I was always frustrated when I took up supplies from my students and their names weren’t already written on them. It’s much easier to decide whose scissors are laying on the floor if they have a name in sharpie written on them! I try to label all my daughters’ supplies before they take them on the first day.
    I also love it when I take the time to pick out clothes the night before. So much easier in the morning!

  780. Melanie K.
    #780 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Buy school supples now while they are on sale & the selection is great.

  781. Beverly
    #781 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    About a week before school starts, start getting your children up earlier. That waynthey are ready for school to begin. Also, establish a bedtime for your children so they can get enough rest.

  782. Sherry
    #782 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Inventory the closet for clothes that will be worn and others to donate. Make a list of what needs to be added and get it tax free weekend! Start the year organized and looking great.

  783. Nancy
    #783 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    My best advice for school age kids is to get a three ring binder and put the clear page protectors in it. Keep all important records for your child in this one binder where it is easily accessable and organized. Examples of what I keep are the items needed to register for school: birth certificate, shot records, social security card, etc. I also would keep report cards, transcripts, awards, extracurricular activity log, etc. If you child has a 504 plan or IEP this is a good place to just slip it in a page protector and write the date on the IEP right on the page protector with a marker. Keep the prior year’s IEPs to be able to refer back and see the progress your child has made. This is not the place to keep graded papers and artwork as it would become too over crowded. This also makes it easy to pick up and go in case of evacuation due to hurricanes (we live in Louisiana) or fires or whatever in other parts of the country.

  784. Hayley
    #784 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Check if you have andy left over supplies from last year so you don’t buy more that you need. Looks for deals year round and have a tote to put it in so you know where it’s at.

  785. Stephanie C.
    #785 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Have a big crafting day so the kids can decorate lunch bags with stamps, stickers, markers and crayons. While kids decorate Mom writes little notes to put inside lunches. Fun times!!

  786. Eisabeth
    #786 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Making sure everything has a home and so the children know where everything goes when they get home. Then you don’t have to stumble over things because there is no actual place to put things. I also buy school supplies in July and in bulk.

  787. Sandra L.
    #787 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Have a plan .. and stick to it. Now that we are hitting middle school & high school ..years of creating a ‘plan’ are paying off. My girls know how to plan for themselves and prepare for back to school ~ it is great ~ but it didn’t come without years of learning to stick with it. From packing lunches, picking clothes and checking the calendar to stay prepared .. it has build great discipline into their lives! We had to restart many times but all of them really thrived living within their plan. We all realized what our expectations were of each other to get everyone out the door on time and even with sleepy smiles! Stick with the plan .. so you are left with time to just enjoy each other!

  788. JUDY
    #788 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Since money is always tight at back to school time, I started using the back of an envelope that I have received in the mail to write my grocery list, or any list, for that matter. This allows me to recycle also!

  789. Melanie K.
    #789 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Ask a question on the first day of school every year such as what do you want to be when you grow up etc. include this with a photo in a scrapbook for every year.

  790. Teri
    #790 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Buy your stuff early- start waking kids up earlier- and have a little surprise for them for the first day ex: new backpack they wanted- special pencils with names on it- stickers-an encouraging note in their backpack! Also-if they are new to school- get books on starting school and read those at night to talk about it and get them excited and take them up to the school- to see their new room and maybe meet the teacher! (speaking as a teacher- this does wonders to calm any nerves!)

  791. nan
    #791 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Prepare early and stock up on summer sales!

  792. Heather L.
    #792 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    I think its important to stock up on the deals in late July/early August so that they can last through the school year. As a parent of a school-aged child and a full time college student, this comes in very handy and is very helpful when doing things for school or at home.

  793. Kristie
    #793 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    I try to organize my 4 kids’ school supply lists into one. That helps me avoid getting too many of one thing and not enough of another, which is what happens when I have 4 different lists! I also shop sales as much as possible.

  794. Kaila
    #794 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Pack lunch and pick out clothes at night to save time in the morning. Take a picture of your child every year on the first day of school in the same spot (we do it in front of our front door). It’s so fun to look back at how much they’ve grown :)

  795. Lisa
    #795 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Take your used ink printer toners back to Staples. They will send you a Staples check for them. You can turn in up to 10 at a time. You will get a $20. check to staples. Use Going Green Recycling funds to buy school supplies.

  796. lynn
    #796 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Find the school supplies on sale! Stock up on things that the teachers might need more of during the year while they are on sale. Shop at Once upon a Child (used clothing) for back to school clothes.

  797. Jodee
    #797 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Always plan menus and grocery shop for 2 weeks! Include lots of slow cooker recipes. Makes all those meals a lot easier once school starts and the running to school and extra activities.

  798. Amy
    #798 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Write your child’s name on the supplies such as a ruler, crayon box, etc. This way, there’s no confusion if another child accidentally loses her things.

  799. Misty
    #799 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Buy early–watch for sales and don’t wait til the last minute. Get things ready and laid out before bedtime–clothes ready, lunches packed, backpacks and shoes ready at the door, breakfast foods (if not perishable) and dishes laid out… to save time and make the chaos less.

  800. Megan
    #800 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Have clothes picked out and lunch made the night before. They probably won’t get much sleep, since they will be excited for school to start so this allows them to sleep in a little.

  801. Lisa T.
    #801 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    The night before school starts we always talk about our favorite things we did over the summer. It’s usually a question the teacher asks and this way the kids will have a fresh answer!

  802. Sarah
    #802 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Buy fall/winter school clothes for the next year when they go on clearance in the spring. Saves AT LEAST 50% and you don’t have to worry about it in the fall when getting ready for everything else.

  803. Kelly W.
    #803 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Constantly checking websites of school uniforms to find the best deals in town!!!!

  804. Nancy
    #804 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I make breakfast burritos and freeze them for fast breakfasts. The night before: clothes are picked out, baths taken and all school supplies, books and homework gathered up and put in the backpack.

  805. Lisa
    #805 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Staples pays you for recycling. Use your going Green money for school supplies. You can turn in 10 ink toners at a time, that’s $20.00 for you to spend at Staples.

  806. Rolanda
    #806 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Buy printer labels and print up labels with your childs name to label their belongings so you don’t have to individually write their name on each item.

  807. MarthaAnn
    #807 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Dress them in their school clothes the night before. I mean, how wrinkled could they possibly get?!

  808. Julia
    #808 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Buy supplies early and write your kid’s name in everything!

  809. Alyssa
    #809 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Plan for the week as best you can…clothes, schedules, meals…and make a master calender to keep up with it all!

  810. Pam L.
    #810 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Stock up on school supplies during the sales in July/August. Some items are difficult to find later in the school year, and everything is more expensive. Pack extra items in your student’s backpack so they can help a classmate out. It’s never too early to learn helpfulness and charity.

  811. Lisa
    #811 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Send the kids with a pencil, paper and backpack the first day. Sometimes the school list we get ahead of time are inaccurate. Inevitably we have to go after school starts for yet more stuff and end up with other stuff we didn’t need. Having 4 kids ages 7-17 I have learned to wait it out and shop after the first day.

  812. Bethany
    #812 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I remember growing up always laying our my clothes the night before and even now as an adult, I still do. It makes my mornings so much less hectic!

  813. sarah m.
    #813 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Back to school advice: Don’t overbuy and get a bunch of stuff that you won’t need. Keep it simple and just get the basics!

  814. Crystal
    #814 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I always stock up on school supplies when they go on clearance. Then I am all set for the next school year.

  815. Lori
    #815 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Muffin -in-a-mug.makes a quick hot breakfast.Using muffin mix that says “just add water”(or milk),put 1/2Cup of mix in a big mug,add 1/4 Cup liquid .Mix well & microwave on high for 1minute &40 seconds.Frost if desired.I usually turn it out onto a saucer & let it cool a bit.

  816. Norma
    #816 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    buy snacks in bulk and portion them out once you get home from the store. Have all snacks/lunch supplies store in the same area of fridge and pantry. The night before try to make sure everything is laid out and ready to go.

  817. Britney
    #817 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Getting the kids back on their sleeping/school routines a week before school starts.

  818. Jana
    #818 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    At the beginning of August start changing your kid’s bedtime habits. Get them to bed at the time they will be required to go to bed during school. You should also start getting them out of bed in the mornings at the time they have to get up during the school year.

  819. Dee
    #819 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    As a teacher, my back-to-school tip is to stock up on crockpot liners and Crockin’ Girls pantry supply list so that you will always have items on hand to walk in from a busy day and smell supper cookin’!!!

  820. Catherine
    #820 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    I take each of my children school supply shopping by themselves. We make an event of it, stopping for a special treat along the way. It gives us quiet time together to talk about the upcoming school year — goals, fears, expectations and concerns. I’m often surprised by what thoughts are going through their heads and it gives us a chance to discuss them before they get blown out of proportion!

  821. Lisa
    #821 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    On the first day send the kids with a pencil, paper and backpack. Sometimes the school list we get ahead of time are inaccurate. Inevitably we have to go after school starts for yet more stuff and end up with other stuff we didn’t need. Having 4 kids ages 7-17 I have learned to wait it out and shop after the first day. it saves time and money :)

  822. SevereK

    SevereK
    #822 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    I buy supplies all year. Whenever I see a good sale. It makes it easier for when school starts. Even.though my son isn’t in school!! We use the supplies for other activities and I use them as anonymous gifts for friends in need!!!!

  823. Alisa
    #823 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    I like to have everything ready the night before…backpack, clothes picked out, find out how my daughter wants her hair done, what people want for lunch, and I have breakfast planned also. That way there isn’t such a rush in the mornings! Oh, and stock up on the school supplies! You can always use more crayons!

  824. Angie
    #824 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Start the kids back on their school bedtime schedule a week before school starts.

  825. Sara
    #825 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    I scan all the homework, Artwork and projects that I want to keep and if the project is to big, I take a picture of the kids holding it. Every few years I order a photo book of their projects/homework/Artwork along with any pictures that were taken at school events. After the work spends a few weeks on the fridge, I mail it out to Grandparents/Aunts & Uncles for their fridges! I only save a few of their very favorite projects for frames on our art wall. Keeps the clutter down and I don’t feel guilty for not keeping everything, since I have it in a special photo book!

  826. Sarah
    #826 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    MY #1 tip especially if you have boys… GET THEM BACK ON SCHEDULE!!! I have failed in the past to start my boys back on their routines and then I am in HUGE trouble.. Now I start 2 weeks before school to get the bed time routine back on track.

  827. Shannon
    #827 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Stay in contact with your child’s teacher. As an educator, I can’t tell you how surprised some parents are at how their child is doing in class because they don’t look at their test papers, show up for conferences, etc. Teachers can’t do it all. We need the support from parents and are glad when parents work with their kids at home.

  828. Rachel E.
    #828 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    When buying school supplies make sure to purchase enough for the entire year. Many items are difficult to find later in the year and are much more experience later!

  829. Jennifer
    #829 on July 24th, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I start putting my kids to bed a little earlier in the evening and start waking them up a little earlier to get them back in the habit of school days. I’m a little more relaxed with bedtimes during the summer so this makes our transition into the new school year easier.

  830. Karen S.
    #830 on July 24th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Do all the meal planning a week in advance and then grocery shop based on those dinners. That way you won’t spend more money and more time then you need to on dinner prep.

  831. Sheila
    #831 on July 24th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Buy those backpacks as soon as they come out, otherwise you will spend a lot of time looking for the right one. They get picked over pretty fast.

  832. Grace
    #832 on July 24th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    To help us get to preschool on time, juice cups and lunches are packed and on a certain refrigerator shelf the night before. Clothes are also laid out, and packed backpacks are waiting by the door. It’s the only way we manage to get there on time! I would love win! Thanks Crockin’ Girls!

  833. CrystalW85
    #833 on July 24th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Get your kiddos back into a routine of going to bed earlier and waking up early a few days before school starts so it’s not such a shock come the first day! :)

  834. Jennifer J.
    #834 on July 24th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    In order to be organized, make a detailed list of everything you are going to need before you head out shopping. Do your homework first and know what exactly is required for the new year. And if your son/daughter is headed to college, get on the university’s website for lots of tips on what all to bring to the dorm!

  835. Kim
    #835 on July 24th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Plan your meals ahead of time for the first two weeks of school. With kids coming home with forms to fill out and additional school supplies that need to be bought per certain teachers, this will make your life much easier.

  836. Crystal Y.

    Crystal Y.
    #836 on July 24th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Always butter up the teacher with a back to school gift..LOL!

  837. Susan
    #837 on July 24th, 2012 at 2:01 pm