Back-To-School: 2015 Edition

The KP Been There Done That Squad is a group of parents sharing their thoughts and experiences on a few topics related to raising their children in Kamloops.

Read more about the BTDT Squad, here. 

Today’s question is:

What are your tips for a smooth transition to a back-to-school routine?

Naomi, mother of four boys, age 11, 5, 2, and 10 months:

My eldest son has high functioning ASD, so a smooth transition back into the school year is essential in order to avoid meltdowns. Although we homeschool, it is basically the same as what we will be doing for the five year old, who is starting kindergarten in public school this year.  I really try to maintain similar rhythm and routine through the summer months. It helps children to stay somewhat on schedule. We don’t give them extra TV or computer time for example, and we try to include crafts and learning opportunities so they don’t get out of practice.

We are very gradual in our build up back to a full day. I start off with a week of “warning”. We talk about how things are going to be changing to get back into the swing of things. We post a schedule. The next week we start with the school year routine (early rising, getting dressed on time, etc). The starting week of school we amp up slowly. Day one is an intro with a special breakfast and a cool activity. Day two includes one subject. Day three we add something else. We continue in this manner until we are fully back into routine.

We also love to include lots of visual schedules all over the house to reduce panic over the “unknown”, and help us transition easier. They aren’t fancy, but they are simple reminders, especially for the children who can’t read. These include morning routines, and a daily school schedule.

It’s hard to believe the summer is almost over, but to be honest, getting back into a routine is comforting for me!

Christina, Mom of 4 girls born in 5 years:

ChristinaBTDT1) I made an area to keep track of everything at the main door where we leave the house. There are pockets for each kid to sort notices and homework. It also has a white board for shopping lists and emergency information. A large calendar to record all of our upcoming events (sports, trips, special school days) hangs in the middle low enough for the kids who can read to see, but high enough to keep it from being used as a doodle pad.

2) I’ve decided that I will not be bringing out fall wardrobes until after school starts. In the past few years I have and it’s still warm enough that they want to wear their summer clothes. The extra clothes just add more confusion in picking out outfits and extra laundry chaos.

3) I’ve been baking for easier lunches and breakfasts (loaves and muffins) with in season fruits and veggies from the garden.


Jodi – Mom of 5 & 6 year old:

Of course, our week-long summer holiday fell within the last two weeks before school starts, so we slowly began preparing by mid-summer.

First, I myself started getting up earlier. During the 2014-2015 school year, I found that on days that I got up earlier than the kids were more productive and less stressful.

We also began serving the kids more breakfast and within a half hour of waking. No more grabbing a banana or cookie and playing for a couple of hours before wandering back into the kitchen for breakfast! Same for lunch…this summer, we got into the habit of eating snacks and missing lunch entirely, until 3 o’clock rolled around. So we began preparing lunch around noon.

***Disclaimer: The above all went out the window once we left on a trip, travelling east through several different time zones! But, we tried.

So, in the days leading up to the first day of school, we’ll get the kids

Read moreBack-To-School: 2015 Edition

Packing Lunches – Been There Done That

This month, our BTDT Squad answers the following question:

What do you prepare for lunch for the kids?

***Think picky-eaters, slow eaters, what are some quick and easy ideas for school lunches? Do you prepare everything the night before, or the morning of?

Suvannah (Mom of 2 girls ages 5 and 2)

Maybe I have it easier for lunches since I am homeschooling. We have adapted the whole snack bin idea (from pinterest, Im sure you’ve seen it.) But the basic idea is to pre-make snacks/lunches ahead of time so its easy to grab. Ours includes pre-made baggies of, carrot sticks (or other veggie), cheese, meat (sliced turkey, or sausages), sliced peaches or apples, berries or grapes, crackers, or pop corn, and yogurt. (I *try* to buy low sodium and low sugar items) We switch out the snacks weekly for variety, and we allow the kids to pick their own lunches from the bin so they have some control of what they are eating. I try to ask the kids to grab something from each food group. An easy and fun way to ensure they are picking a good variety is to ask them to pick as many different coloured items as possible. Since we are home and have the option to have hot lunches, we often have soups or left overs from the night before for a quick easy lunch. Another fun thing for us since we are homeschooling is to have the kids pick something from our garden to snack on during the day. Its fresh, healthy, and fun since they get to harvest their own food!

Read morePacking Lunches – Been There Done That

Been There Done That – Preparing for Back-to-School!

This month, our Been There Done That squad answers the following question (click here to get to know the members of the BTDT Squad):

How do you prepare your kids for the start of the school year?

Sarah K.

Since we homeschool, our school year starts whenever mom gets organized! lol.  This year we are taking a big road trip to Manitoba in September so we will not be starting until mid September.  I usually get the kids prepared by letting them see the start date on the calendar and we start getting into our school routine about a week before the start date (bedtimes and wakeup times).  The first few days are similar to public school I am sure.  Trying to get the kids into school “gear” where there is no complaining etc. about all the work! lol


Read moreBeen There Done That – Preparing for Back-to-School!

Been There Done That – Apps for Kids

This month, our BTDT squad answers the following question (click here to get to know the members of the BTDT Squad):

Can you suggest any apps that you feel are valuable for your children (whether they provide entertainment, creativity, education or stimulation? Please list the age group that the app would be applicable for.

Sarah K.

My kids love cut the rope (good for any child 3-99!)

They also love Toca Monster (you can fry, microwave, boil, chop or blend food and feed it to the monster).  Age would probably be 3-6.
SOUND TOUCH!  The older kids don’t like it as much anymore but it is GREAT for younger kids!

Jennifer H. 

I have an iPhone 4 and the apps I have for my children are as follows:

Read moreBeen There Done That – Apps for Kids

KP Been There Done That Squad – Breakfast Challenges

The Been There Done That Squad is a group of parents sharing their thoughts and experiences on topics related to raising their children in Kamloops.

Today’s question is:

Breakfast can often be a chaotic time of the day. How do you provide a nutritious (yet convenient) breakfast for your family? Do you eat together? What are some tips you can provide for what is generally referred to as the most important meal of the day?

Tamara C. 

Read moreKP Been There Done That Squad – Breakfast Challenges