I cannot be the only one who is happy and also sad that school is back in session next week? I loved having all the kids home and doing so many great family activities and making fun memories… but I also know that getting those kids off to school will certainly make my daily routine a lot easier, and my coffee consumption go down substantially!
So what does a mama of 4 do to get ready for school? The answer is A LOT! Since Avery has been in school for 3 years now and heading into grade 1 this year, I have a bit of a routine in place to make sure I don’t go crazy over buying, that I at least have the 1st month of school on track and how to get the kids prepared as well for a transition that happens overnight!
Cleaning out the Cobwebs
Starting mid August, I go through everyone’s closets!! Sorting through what fits, what doesn’t and what can be handed down to the next in line. This usually means putting some bins into the basement with stuff for the next kiddo, some items off to goodwill and now I am starting two bins for my two cousins who are both preggo! I love seeing my baby and kiddo clothing being used again. I have a weird attachment to some items, as in I can remember when and where each kiddo wore it and what we were doing… a bit on the OCD side… and I have a bin in the basement for ‘savesies’ and I put the ones I can’t bare to part with.
I make a list of the items I NEED – if I don’t have the ability to make those items (I usually make a couple outfits for each child in a bit of a capsule wardrobe) I take a look at local, Canadian shops that we can support! This year I was so excited to be able to grab our fave voyageurs and mocs from Minimoc in their summer sale – the kids love them because they are so easy to put on and have great support for all those fun days at school.
And we always stock up on a new pair of soft squishy slippers from our friends at Jack’s Mama – the kids love getting a new pair of slippers and passing their old ones down, it has become a neat tradition.
For the 1st month of school I am usually pretty on the ball. Last year I was in the hospital with Elsie and then home with a c section for 6 weeks, so I didn’t get as much prepared as I usually do, BUT this year I am on top of things! I try very hard to send the kids with protein rich, healthy carbs, low sugar foods. Making their snacks has allowed me to really control what sugars are used, adding in sneaky protein and making sure that they don’t eat too many processed foods. This year I am so excited to be using our new Yumbox lunch kits so we can be more environmentally friendly and also so the kiddos can work on being more independent at school, they also get to help me with packing their lunches!
Power of Prep
Our other tool is a social story. Most kiddos with ASD need to see the task ahead well before they actually do it – and it helps them understand the social expectations in that situation. So we have a few social stories about going to school and we’ve also created one just for him to work on the steps of getting into class – because 1st thing in the AM when the halls are buzzing with kids and noise, is not the time to prep – so it makes a world of difference for him.This one is important for our oldest, really any kiddo who has trouble with transitions and remembering task breakdowns. We practice, practice, practice!! Going over the routine for the beginning of school, heading into class and meeting 1 on 1 with teacher and seeing where our locker is, where their desk is and getting a lay of the land, which helps tremendously with 1st day jitters.
Making it FUN!