With Halloween behind us, the holiday season is ramping up, which means the end of the year is about to get hectic if it isn’t already.

And do you feel like your back-to-school intentions of never being late, never missing a permission slip, or always packing lunch are blowing up a little right now? Because I’d say that’s totally normal, in my experience. I partnered with Sylvan Learning this week to do a live video on the Baby Rabies facebook page, showing you one of my favorite tips for taking control of school year chaos.

I call it the Out The Door Box or Basket, and it’s full of stuff that makes it easier to get out the door, on time, to school in the morning.

You can watch the full video here:

I also talked about Sylvan’s homework tutoring services, and how they’re an awesome option as we’re heading into such a busy time of year. I think a lot of people assume Sylvan is a great place to send kids for year-round educational help, and it is! But they also offer tutors for specific subjects or even projects on an as-needed basis. This is a fantastic option for parents who have a busy Q4 coming up as we finish up the year, or anyone who is having a hard time coaching their child through a subject they personally struggle with. I love having this on hand as another tool to combat the school year chaos.

You can learn more about Sylvan Learning’s homework tutoring program here. 

Tips For A Smoother School Year

If you couldn’t watch the video, here’s a breakdown of what was in our Out The Door Basket:

Blank note cards and envelopes For writing thank you notes or other messages to teachers, administrators or staff. The envelopes are perfect for sealing checks inside when you need to send money to school. Keep a small roll of tape in the box, too, if you want to be extra sure the envelope stays shut.
Gift cards to Amazon or Target– These are great for last-minute Teacher or Staff Appreciation gifts. Those days always seem to sneak up on me. Pair them with a handwritten thank you in your note card, and you’ve got a winning combo.
Family and child pictures- Don’t wait until you get the notice that your child is Star Student that week. Go ahead and print out some family pictures and pictures of each child doing some of their favorite things. You’ll have them ready to go when the poster comes home for your child to fill out.
Cash- Keep single bills on hand for days your child asks for a dollar to buy a lollipop for a PTA fundraiser. You can also keep exact amounts to cover one school lunch in individual Ziplock bags. This makes it easy to grab and go when you realize you won’t have time to pack lunch that morning, or you remember you haven’t had a chance to re-load their online lunch accounts.
Extra Ziplock bags– Throw a few in there. They are better at holding coins than the envelopes and great for sending Box Tops in.
A pen or Sharpie attached to the box or basket- Tie a ribbon or twine around your pen or Sharpie and attach it to your box or basket so that you know you always have one on hand and don’t have to search for the 12 that you just bought that your kids somehow made disappear. Bonus for not having to fill out a permission slip with eyeliner.

Add anything to your own OTDB that you think will help eliminate speed bumps in your morning. Maybe it’s extra ponytail wrappers and a brush for last minute hair fixes? (My daughter is always misplacing these things.) Maybe some baby wipes to clean sticky faces and fingers after breakfast?

One last tip! Take another Sharpie attached to a ribbon, and tape it inside your glovebox in your car! Now you’ll always have something to sign a homework folder your child only remembered as you pulled up to drop them off. And you’ll be able to make a makeshift car-pickup hangtag. I can not be the only person who loses those!

Take 20 minutes to throw together your own OTDB. You’ll be so grateful for it when you need it. Good luck with the rest of the year!


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