Be Prepared: A Back-to-School Guide

Summer vacation's been a blast, but  it's already time to start thinking about heading back to school. To help ease the transition from summer to school for both parents and kids, we collected some of our favorite tips, lists, and organizing ideas.

General Tips

two friends happy to be back at school together

Ease back into a schedule

If you've been enjoying a very free-form summer, start building some structure back into your days. One of the hardest parts about the back to school transition can be readjusting sleep schedules. Start going to bed earlier and keeping meal times consistent.

Talk about it

Let's face it, going back to school can bring out anxiety in both kids and parents. It's important to maintain a positive attitude about school around your child. If he or she is feeling anxious, directly address that anxiety, together. Don't avoid the topic of school all together.

Meet up with a classmate

Reconnecting with a schoolmate can help build the excitement for the coming school year. While the kids enjoy a playdate, knowing that a familiar face will be waiting in the hallways back at school is also a comfort.

Visit school

If you're able to, make a school visit so that your child can see their classroom, the lunch room, and get a feel for the building that they will be in every day. Even if your child is returning to the same school, a visit can help your child open up about how they're feeling about the return to school.

For more tips, visit the US Department of Education's website.

Organizational Tips

Gettting organized is often easier said than done, but a little organization can go a long way at the start of a new school year. We scoured the web and grabbed some of our favorite links to help you get prepped and ready for the new year.  

Prep for the new School Year

Check out Good Housekeeping's blog for tips on getting yourself prepped for every aspect of back to school - from buying school supplies to making lunches.

Create a Homework Station



Photo via Craft-O-Maniac

Having a special place to study, read, and do homework helps children stay motivated, feel ownership over their school work, and eases with the transition from school-mode to playtime and at home relaxation. If you're looking for some homework station inspiration, check out the following step by step guide:

In the kitchen art and homework station

For more information on setting up a homework station, check out House Beautiful's essential tips for creating a homework station.

Easy Lunch & Snack Ideas



Photo via Good Housekeeping


Back to school means back to meal prep, specifically quick breakfasts, healthy lunches and snacks, and after school snacks and dinners too. Meal planning for the week can seem overwhelming, but thankfully there are some handy sites that have you covered with shopping lists, hacks, and recipes. Check out the links below:

Prep and Planning Tips

If you do meal prep for dinners, you can apply the same principles to school lunches. Get some lunch staples ready on the weekend to make packing easier during the week. This video from Buzzfeed's Tasty has some fantastic tips (just ignore the non-Kosher sandwiches):


Now kids can pack their own lunches -- and brag about it.

Here are more great posts to make easing back into the lunch-packing routine as painless as possible:

Back to School Food Planner
27 School Lunch Tips That Will Help Keep You Sane
Get Your Kitchen Back-to-School Ready!

Photo via Momables

Kosher School Lunch Ideas


23 Back-to-School Lunch Ideas Your Kids Will Actually Eat
The Sandwich Remix
School Lunch Ideas and Snacks

Be sure to bookmark: http://bit.ly/cookwithPJLibrary to keep up to date with all of the latest recipes from PJ Library!

Do you have any back to school tips, tricks, recipes, or hacks to share? Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.