It’s time to get the kids – and your home – ready for the fall routine. I know first hand the first week back to school can be a real battle! This month’s blog is dedicated to sharing some tips and tricks that can help calm the chaos that is BACK TO SCHOOL!

1. Re-set sleep patterns AND sleeping spaces. 

A few parenting experts encourage families to set the new sleep cycle two weeks prior to the first day of school. I WISH! We like to squeeze every last drop out of summer which includes late nights out playing and late morning getting out of bed. We work as a family the weekend before school starts to prep our sleeping spaces for the new routine. This includes:

        • Moving school clothing to the front of the closet/dresser.
        • Removing summer trappings like swim towels, sandy sandals, piles of sunglasses and sun screens – clearing space for school books and study.
        • Updating (when needed) window coverings to make the sleeping space a bit darker. The long summer days will continue for a few weeks into the school year, and we have found that darkening blinds will help reset the sleep schedule.

2. Re-set eating habits AND stock the pantry with brain food. 

Just like sleep, nutrition plays a major role in the academic success of our kids. Managing nutrition over a school day can be challenging. We try to establish routines for a healthy breakfast, snack, lunch, and after-school snack prior to homework. We involved the kids in grocery shopping and meal prep for the week. My wife picked up some snack-sized divided containers so the kids could create their own, healthy snacks. Some of their favorites include:

        • Celery sticks with peanut butter or cream cheese and dried cranberries
        • Rice crackers with white cheddar and apple slices
        • Carrots and hummus
        • Apple slices with Nutella

3. Set academic goals AND establish areas within the home that are dedicated to learning. 

We keep our kids very active in the summer with camps and programs that interest their mind. But come school time, we have discovered our kids do better when we establish well-defined goals for their school year. And they do even better when we create spaces within our home that are dedicated to achieving those goals. For example:

        • Setting a space within the entry or mud room for backpacks, jackets, and school shoes
        • Making sure the dining table area is clear from 3:30-5:30pm for homework and study time (our kids work better at the table than in their own rooms, but that may be different for your family)
        • Setting aside one hour for family meal. No electronic devices during this hour. This routine helps reconnect the family, gives us a chance to check in on goals, and set strategies for moving goals forward.
        • Sticking to bedtime, even if that mid-term paper isn’t finished. Okay, I am not always perfect at this strategy, but it is a goal for our family to establish and stick with a healthy sleeping pattern.

I hope you’re school year, and the impending fall is off to a strong start! Feel free to send/share your tips with me at

Some other resources to help prepare you for back to school:

11 ‘Back to School Parent Tips’ by Jim Fannon 

Back to School Tips for Parents from PBSParents 

Parents: 9 Back to School Pro Tips from 

West Ada County School District Supply List  

West Ada County School District Website 

Boise Independent School District Supply List 

Boise Independent School District Website