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How to Get Back in the School Year after Winter Break: Homeschool Edition

January 24, 2017 at 12:43 PM • Posted in Educational Fun for Kids, Mom Resources, Organizing Family ChaosComments Off on How to Get Back in the School Year after Winter Break: Homeschool Edition

All of us are back to school, and hopefully, find some sort of groove as we find ourselves at the end of January (can you believe that?!) However, our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, has some great tips for easing back into a schedule after winter break for homeschoolers. Take a look!


How to Get Back in the School Year after Winter Break: Homeschool Edition


Since summer 2016, I have seemed to ask myself daily many questions that I have yet to answer. How long should we focus on one subject? Are they lacking in one subject? Is this too easy or too hard? All of these questions and more are constantly swimming around in my head when I start to think of our home school progress. But one question seemed to literally pop in my head during my kids “winter break”. How do we prepare to get back in the swing of things after winter break?! My eldest daughter still attends traditional school and when my youngest were in school they all just kind of got thrown back into the lion’s den. I knew how it went! So we had a routine, the day before would be a lot similar to the very first day. We would lay out clothes, pack lunches, do hair and make sure they were in their beds on time! But now that we home school, there really is no rip off the Band-Aid approach. There is no prep day, butterflies or first day excitement to worry about.



So after an hour+ rummage through Pinterest, I found that there was no guide, step by step or tips for going back to school after winter break. NOTHING! I was so lost and worried at the same time. I didn’t want to throw them back into fact fluency and tests on properties and matter after they just had a great time off. My goal was to allow them to adjust themselves back into our routine as quickly as possible so they wouldn’t feel over whelmed or get the “back to school blues”. The truth is when you home school, a lot of the “rules” seem to go out the window. Unless you choose to stay on a strict daily schedule, you find yourself moving times, shifting lessons and even taking an unplanned day off for you and your kids sanity.


How to Get Back in the School Year after Winter Break: Homeschool Edition


So, as our first, first day back from winter break as a home school family I have learned this. There are no great expectations, there are no ways to really get prepared and there are really only a few complaints. Once I told the kids they would start back on a certain day, they grumbled of course and a few times before starting our first round of lessons. I found even a change of scenery made it a lot more comforting. So, instead of logging in and getting to work, we headed downstairs to our loft’s business center and set up stations. One was on a computer and the other two were working in their books. Plus our residence has a coffee bar down stairs which includes hot cocoa so…. Yea they were happy!

I’m sure as our years continue with home schooling things will change, I will become more confident and the kids will be a lot more use to how things work. So to all you homeschoolers out there, remember this. As long as you and your kids are growing in love and knowledge, IT WILL ALL WORK OUT!


From iFamily to Yours,







Back to School Tips: How to Volunteer in Your Child’s Classroom

August 29, 2016 at 10:00 AM • Posted in Mom ResourcesComments Off on Back to School Tips: How to Volunteer in Your Child’s Classroom

Howdy, Kansas City! School is back in full swing for most of us, and some of you parents may be looking for ways to continue connecting with your kiddos during the school year. Why not follow our Mom Squad Ambassador, Erin’s advice and volunteer at their school? Below she gives us a few ideas to get started. Check it out!

Back to School Tips: How to Volunteer in Your Child's Classroom

Back to School Tips:
How to Volunteer in Your Child’s Classroom


Last year my daughter started Kindergarten. I was SO excited for her that I wanted to sit next to her in class all day long. However, that was pretty unrealistic! The next best thing was to sign up to volunteer in her school. I thought I’d share with you some ideas on how you can get involved in your child’s school. Your child will love seeing you around school. Being hands on shows them how important their education is to you. You will also benefit from getting involved because you can truly get a feel for the school’s dynamics, as well as see firsthand how things are done in your child’s classroom.


Join the PTA (Parent-Teacher Association)

I joined the PTA last year and they had regular meetings in the evenings that were convenient for my schedule. They also had a Facebook group that was very helpful to find out events and things going on at my child’s school

Volunteer in the classroom, library or on field trips

The school is always needing help with small groups of students, testing skills, or even just stuffing the cubbies with notes to go home. I had the opportunity to be heavily involved every week in the classroom, with field trips, and was the lead for the school parties. Even if you work full time and can take off a few hours in the afternoon to help with a party or donate something, every little bit helps!

Connect to your school’s website and social media outlets

Some schools might even have their own app to download with tons of information from lunch menus to calendars. My child’s teacher has a Twitter account and I am looking forward to seeing pictures and updates online.


Try to attend

Back to school night, open house, parent teacher conferences, music performances and any other meetings offered to parents.



If you are interested in working directly with students, check with your child’s school first. They may require some additional training before interacting with students. I found that getting directly involved with my child’s class and school was so incredibly rewarding! I got to know her teacher and classmates so well and seeing their faces light up when I came every week really made me feel like I was making a difference in a small part of this world.


What are some ways you have gotten involved with your child’s school? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!


From iFamily to Yours,


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How to Handle the “Back to School” Transition

August 25, 2016 at 9:00 AM • Posted in Coping, Mom ResourcesComments Off on How to Handle the “Back to School” Transition

Making the transition to school, whether it’s the first or the last, can be tough on us parents. It can be a time of excitement, anxiety, and even a little bit of sadness. Read our Mom Squad Ambassador, Stephanie’s experience with sending her first grader and kindergartener back to school this fall. Take a look!

How to Handle the "Back to School" Transition

How to Handle the “Back to School” Transition

This year was a little hard for me in terms of going back to school… I have a 1st grader AND a Kindergartner! Last year, I was a mess sending my first baby to school, and this year was hard for me too sending my two oldest to school (now who is going to entertain my two little ones while I do the dishes or laundry?! Haha – just kidding!)
Bella (my Kindergartner) has always been one to excel in anything school related. She loves to learn new things and is always questioning why things happen. Now that she has been in school for a few days now, I know she is going to do great! She is already coming home every day and telling me all sorts of new rules and fun stuff she learned that day.
The first day of school was a little rough at the beginning for both of us. We had asked my son to sit with Bella on the bus so she wouldn’t have to be alone – well, that didn’t happen. When my husband and I met the kids at the school to watch them get off the bus and walk them into their classes, I saw Bella sitting with another kid on the bus and when the bus driver opened the door to let the kids out, Bella’s backpack got stuck and she couldn’t get it loose before all the kids behind her were trying to get past her to get off the bus. When she got her backpack loose and was able to get off the bus, I could instantly see the tears in her eyes which of course broke my heart!
Now, its not all sunshine and rainbows for you new Kindergarten parents. We all miss our kiddos and want to know how they are adjusting and if they are making any friends. I know my daughter will be fine – just like I’m sure your kiddos will be too – but it doesn’t change the fact that we just miss our kids (even though a few weeks ago they were driving us crazy being home all summer!)

From iFamily to Yours,


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Play Dates 101

September 5, 2013 at 2:31 PM • Posted in Family Events & Activities, Family Health & Wellness, Organizing Family Chaos, Safety TipsComments Off on Play Dates 101

 Play Dates 101

Every school year is a new adventure.  The way most schools are set up it’s very difficult to stay in the classroom with the same friends each year.  So my kids tend to freak out a little bit when their best buddies are in the classroom across the hall and they do not know anyone in their classroom.  Making new friends is part of the social learning that takes place in school. Not only are the kids making new friends, but the parents are as well. Being in a classroom different from your best friend doesn’t mean that you can’t maintain their friendship and even continue to have play dates. In fact, it gives kids the opportunity to add someone new to the group.

My daughter once came home and told me a story about her new friend’s step dad that wasn’t so impressive; in fact it was a little creepy. She asked me if she could have a play date with this girl a few days later. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to shake the shocking story about the father, so every time the girl’s name is mentioned I try to get an idea as to how close my daughters relationship is to her. As a parent I feel it’s my job to meet and get to know the friends parents a few times before play dates can begin.   I can’t wait to have an opportunity to meet her family and decide for myself if I should let her go to her friend’s house. As for now I am not comfortable with my daughter going to her new and very sweet friends house.  I would be more than happy though, to have her new pal over to our house for a play date.  Having her friend over makes everyone happy, so it’s a good thing.  Remember to not leave last years friends out of the play dates, I usually send the parents an email or text to get the process rolling.


Keep these tips in mind when planning play dates: 

1. Try to remind your children it’s okay and even exciting to be in a class without their best friends- they will make new ones! 

2. Explain to them that just because they aren’t in the same class as their old friends doesn’t mean they can’t maintain relationships with them.

3. Meet your children’s parents a few times before you set up a play date so you fell comfortable leaving your child in their care. Your comfort is just as important as their fun!

4. As your kids make new friends, don’t forget to include old friends in play dates as well! Then everyone can get to know each other!


-Shari Jacobs, Mom Squad Blogger




How to Beat the Back to School Blues

August 21, 2013 at 9:14 PM • Posted in Maternity & Prenatal ResourcesComments Off on How to Beat the Back to School Blues

Now that school is back in session many sleeping and eating schedules have changed drastically.  These transitions along with other first day of school stresses can reap havoc on the immune system.  But with a little planning, a few simple modifications and simple kid approved recipes the school year can be a great success.

If the school hosts a meet and greet before the first day this is a perfect opportunity to drop off that giant load of school supplies. It’s also a great time to learn locker combinations or find out where a cubby is!  Just the simple knowledge of knowing whom their teacher is and how to get to their classroom is a big stress relief and helps reduce some of that first day anxiety for students.

The first couple weeks of school can be exhausting for kids of any age.  In the perfect world, two weeks before school begins is an ideal time for establishing good sleeping habits that simulate the school year. However, adjusting naturally with only small changes to a sleeping schedule is not so abrupt.  A well-adjusted body clock will not only help keep the immune system strong but will keep the students from falling asleep in class. Setting clothes, making lunches and planning breakfast the night before is big time saver if you’re looking to beat the morning rush.

Breakfast is important for keeping the kids focused throughout the day and bellyache free.  Whether it’s peanut butter with an apple or a glass of milk with a banana, make it healthy, yummy and satisfying for a great start to the day. Included is a favorite kid approved breakfast recipe “Bacon and Egg Cups”.   Very simple and can be frozen individually for a quick breakfast any day of the week.

Drinking water helps with hydration and keeps the brains sharp so let them pick out a water bottle, put an orange slice in it and take it to school.  A multivitamin packed with vitamin C should also be included for that healthy morning regimen.  Don’t forget flu shots in October!

When the kids come home from school this is the perfect time to talk about their day with them and find out if any further adjustments need to be made to their schedules.

Shari Jacobs, Mom Squad Member

Back to School Time

August 8, 2013 at 12:36 AM • Posted in Organizing Family ChaosComments Off on Back to School Time

Well, it’s that time of year again. After a long summer of fun and madness with kids everywhere, it’s time to send them back into the classroom. This is a big adjustment for the teachers, the kids and the family. With these adjustments comes a routine, deadlines, homework, bedtimes, shopping lists, etc. With our family, I have always found it easiest to ease into the transition throughout the first few weeks of August rather than try to just throw the kids back on schedule the first day of school.

To do this, I start with bedtimes. The kid’s normal school day bedtime is at 9 pm. So starting Aug. 1 the kids begin going to bed at 10 pm. They do this all week long. Then the following Monday they begin going to bed at 9:30 p.m.; followed by 9:00 p.m. beginning the Monday before school starting. For us, this avoids the kids lying in bed awake for 2 hours because they can’t go to sleep or aren’t tired. It also transitions their waking time. My kids naturally wake up for the most part. If they go to bed at 10 p.m. then they don’t have much of a problem waking up by 8 a.m. on their own. My goal is to not fight them once school starts to get up by 7 a.m.

We also start getting back into a morning routine. Instead of sitting around all morning watching cartoons or playing in our pj’s the kids get up and get their beds made. Then they get themselves dressed, brush their hair, eat their breakfast and brush their teeth. After that, they are able to go about their day off mostly like normal. Well that is with one exception. I let them slack a lot in the summer with their reading. They just do it when they feel like it. But in getting ready for school routines, we sit aside a 30-45 min. time slot for some reading every single day.

The first weeks of Aug. are also filled with shopping. This is the one time of the year that I can’t benefit from shopping ahead. School supplies are expensive if they aren’t on sale like they are when it’s back to school time. Plus, if you do your shopping during the first weeks the supplies are out it is a madhouse. However, not quite as bad as the tax free holiday weekend is. I actually watched a study on the news the other day that said that the best time to save money is NOT on the tax free holiday…..it is after it. They said that people think they are saving a bunch on taxes so they all shop that weekend but because of that stores begin to dramatically cut the prices after that weekend in order to sale the supplies. So the best time to get great deals are the week or two before school starts but after the tax free holiday is over.

Another tip that I like to give parents is to put a few dollars back when you are budgeting for back to school. We seem to take a pretty big financial hit with school supplies and then clothing but we forget about all those fees that the schools hit us up with the first few weeks. There are pictures, dues, sport fees, PTA fees, etc. I try to budget in about another $50 per student just to help out with those last minute expenses.

Hang in their parents. As stressful is back to school time is for us, it stressful to our kiddos too. But before we know it another school year will have passed and our kids will be another year older so just enjoy the moment we are in.

– Keri Nichol