Back to School Thoughts

August 6th 2012 / 3 minutes to read

Who is semi-freaking out about Daniel going not only back to school but entering 5th grade? That would be me!

I feel a bit more on top of it than I did last year though, all the school supplies are purchased, just need to get some school clothes. The only real battle is last minute appointments and paperwork. I am excited because HE is excited to go back even though a part of me wishes he’d choose to go back to homeschooling or unschooling. However I 100% support his choice and after LAST year, I can see how we can make changes THIS year to make the school year go much more smoothly.

For example, dinner. That ALONE is my largest life struggle I swear. Not only what to make for dinner every night but WHEN to make it. See my husband works for AT&T as a tech (he works the pole yo!) so his hours are super random. He can be home after a 10 hour day or a 18 hour day. I always felt like I HAD to wait until he was home to make dinner but now? I am going to have a “strict” dinner time and just make him a plate to warm up because LAST year Daniel would occasionally miss his bedtime because dinner was so late.

His bedtime is going from 10:30pm to 10pm with a more strict routine in place starting at 9:30pm for cleaning up, brushing teeth, all that good stuff.

Mornings generally we never had an issue with. I credit this to breakfast pre-planning. I tend to bake a TON of muffins, scones, homemade waffles, egg “mc muffins”, and have overnight oatmeal in the fridge so that it’s super fast and easy to have a nice hot breakfast in a short period of time.

We pack his lunch at home and this year, although generally we aren’t big on the processed food, I bought a TONNNNN of pre-packaged snacks in individual portions. Like goldfish crackers, kettle corn popcorn, baked chips, pretzels, and so on. We do sandwiches most of the time with some left over hot pasta or soup in the Autumn and Winter in a Thermos. We also included fruit and a cheese-stick since they do a mini-snack time in the morning.

Another issue is the classic one, homework. Even though I’d go through his backpack every afternoon, he would still manage to stash or hide papers. A MAJOR issue about homework was his teacher though. Because Daniel is super struggling with reading (he is fabulous at math) he had to get “different” homework and his teacher 99.9% of the time would forget to give it to him OR give him homework he simply wasn’t able to do (even though we did TRY). I hope beyond hope that he has a competent teacher this year. We set up an IEP at the end of the 2011-2012 school year so that should help a ton with his reading.

So overall I’m trying to be positive about this upcoming 2012-2013 school year. That he will have a wonderful teacher, not deal with bullies, and will really grasp reading.

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I really hope the year goes smoothly for him. And you! My boys are starting a new school this year and I am super stressed, which I realize is crazy. But it’s hard, and so I understand your concerns. My oldest had an IEP up until the end of last year, and it helped him tremendously, so I hope you guys have the same experience. Good luck! =)

Reply to Nicole

I really hope the IEP helps, he is so far behind on reading which makes everything else hard as well!


I wish I was even remotely as prepared as you are! My daughter is going into 9th grade and our district has never given out supply lists beforehand so I end up getting some pencils, loose leaf paper & a folder for each class then have to scramble to get the required supplies. Our dinner time varies between 5 & 8 pm because of her karate schedule but we do have strict bedtime rules. In her bedroom by 9 pm with teeth brushed & pjs on either reading or watching tv until 10 then lights out because if she doesn’t have at least 7 hours of sleep she turns into a bear and needs to be awake at 5:30 am. Homework isn’t too bad because since I started college we do it together but, her remembering to turn it in is a whole different story lol!

Reply to Christina

I’m actually not an organized person at all but I can’t resist school supply season lol! I went crazy buying supplies and it just happened that 98% of them were on his school supply list. I only had to get mini post it notes and a protractor in the second round of shopping.

Yeah, we noticed last year that if he wasn’t actually SLEEP by 11p he was MISERABLE to wake in the morning and just pure nasty attitude so this year, trying for 10p and asleep by 10:30p, otherwise it’s going to 9pm.


I’m having a panic attack about back-to-school too because I just, frankly, cannot concentrate on what the kids have going on in school while I’ve got 13 credit hrs of grad school (plus 3 paying jobs) looming down on me. I can’t even think about what THEY need to get together. I’m leaving that job to John. Since he’s the actual teacher in the house, he’s going to be fully responsible for the homework. But since he’s gone all day (and I’m home PART of the day) I still have to be the one to get the kids to two different schools and get their lunches/snacks/etc prepared.

We also have a horrible time with dinner and it’s all because John and I are basically never home in the evenings together. Either he’s working a second shift or I’m gone for school or doula work. We totally cannot get out shit together in that department, try as I might.

Reply to TheFeministBreeder

Generally Keith makes the lunches and if I spend one weekend day doing all the breakfast prep and freezing it, that’s not so bad.

We live only a 3-5min drive from the school so that part also, not so bad.

What absolutely kills me is homework and dinner. Homework was generally a massive fight and I do blame his teacher for a BIG part of that because she wasn’t doing HER job properly for my son. Dinner however… all me. It’s probably THE biggest household issue.

So this year, I’m taking a “fuck it all” attitude and making dinner at 7pm and people can eat it, not eat it, warm it up later, I don’t care but it will be DONE.

I even bought some meal planning PDF’s from Etsy for real. Just to see if THAT helps.

I WISH my parents had been harder on me about homework. See, I have no kids so all of your parenting posts make me delve into my own childhood, lol! Anyways, I think if I had been forced to do my homework before being allowed to do anything else I probably would have done a lot better in school, or at least I would have had respect for the rewards of hard work… It took until my 4th year of university to actually learn how to plan homework and get everything finished instead of panicking the night before it was due, LOL! As far as dinner goes, my mom was the same. No matter what, dinner was between 6:30 and 7:00 unless we had a sport or music lesson to go to. Above all else I think it brought a feeling of stability to an otherwise not so stable household, lol.

Homework is one of the MAJOR battles. I do contribute a portion of that to his previous teacher though (giving the incorrect homework or none at all) and part of it is the tween attitude.

Yeah, I am awful with schedules but I am SO determined to do it this year!


Love that photo! In fact, I just love all of your photos. I remember how hectic things were for my parents with all three kids in school. We all came home at different times, had different homework and my parents both had work. Our schedules were crazy. You will get the hang of it though!

Reply to Christina

THANK YOU!! It’s hard because once I became 15 there was NO structure (in my life or school) and even my school counselor at the time told me that school wasn’t a good fit for me. Super awesome right! So I don’t have anything to base ANYYYY of this on.

Yes, I’m stressing. For similar reasons, the logistics of it all.

I like your approach to everything though. Keep up the good attitude this year!

Thank you! I appreciate that!

This year he has the ONLY male 5th grade teacher so I’m hoping that makes a difference too.

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