Back-to-School Traditions and Routines

Parent to Parent

The best advice comes from someone who has walked in your shoes before. Even as a “veteran” mom, I love hearing how other parents do things and handle particular situations with their kids. It’s that time of year where kids are heading back to school, some for the first time, some for the last time. We asked our fans and our writers about some of their back-to-school traditions, routines, and tricks. How they make the first day memorable, ease the transitions, and just for fun what they’re going to do now that they have a few minutes to themselves.

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Back-to-School Traditions and Routines

Back-to-School Shopping

Even parents who love to shop can be seen with glazed-over eyes or pulling out their hair in the aisles of stores everywhere over the school supply list. Some of our local schools have supply kits available for purchase, and according to some of our moms, if you have more than one kid and/or more than one school, it’s a must! Although quite a few said they could purchase the same supplies for half the cost, you pay for convenience!

For those of you shopping, we asked, “What’s the strangest thing on your school list?”

  • Band-Aids ~ Katina Z. 
  • 10 Poster Boards ~ Asalia S. 
  • Beach Towel  ~ Gwen N. 
  • Printer Ink ~ Melissa B. 
  • Forks ~ Danielle B.

We’ve previously reported on the best school supplies that last, from backpacks to the basics.  The majority of our parents say they don’t do a big trip for all new clothes but buy as needed.

School Routines

I envy the moms that say they don’t fall out of the routine in summer, so it’s not hard to adjust. For us, we frequently push dinner and bedtime way too late, and we have been known to stay in pajamas until after lunch.  We spend the week before school starts backing up dinner and bedtime to its regular times.

Katie says that for the week before they start school, she and her daughter “practice” going to school: “I woke her up and get her dressed and fed right away. This year we have a new baby, so I need to practice getting ready for myself!

I love this idea from Megan at FriedOkra, I wish I had done it with my second as she is such a pokey eater! “Kindergarten lunchbox lunch dry run number one was a big success. Everything got unpacked, eaten, and re-packed in 20 minutes.”

Kim from House of Prince has 5 tips for starting the New School Year on the right foot.

Documenting the First Day of School

Pinterest is filled with adorable ways to document the first day of school….lest you think all the other parents are doing elaborate setups:

Back-to-School Traditions and Routines

I take a picture of my kids’ feet, their new shoes on them, and in their school cubby. I don’t know why but the new school shoes always make them look so big, like they have grown so much over the summer. I also get a full shot with them in their backpack on the same spot on our porch. However, I am not organized enough for cute signs, I make them hold their fingers up for the grade they are in.

Katie from Loyal, Loving and Learning does a back to school interview and took these adorable shots:

Back-to-School Traditions and Routines

For more {realistic} ideas and tips check out these Seven Simple Tips for Capturing Back-to-School Photos from a photographer at


The parents will play! (or more likely clean and purge!). We asked you what you are going to do with the glorious five minutes (or more!) that you will finally have to yourself now that the kids are in school:

  • Personally, I plan on going through our playroom and purging all the toys before the holidays start. With our last baby on his way to two, it’s time to get rid of all the unused baby toys. Besides, he only wants what the big kids are playing with anyways!
  • Donna E. said “My husband and I are going to Six Flags to ride all the coasters together without the kids! Shhh, don’t tell them!”
  • A lot of you are going to catch up on the TV you couldn’t watch with the kids and eat all that delicious fast food that you would never feed your children.

How would you answer? Share your answer in the comments below!

Back-to-School Traditions and Routines
About Melissa Haak 626 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

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