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10 Tips for Returning to Learning - Whether at School or at Home

Whether your kids started school last month or they're starting tomorrow. Whether they're back campus or logging back in this fall, we’ve got tips to kick off the school year -- keep it going -- with gusto. American mamas are resilient and resourceful; it’s part of our character. We can do this.

I know Fall 2020 is unlike any “back to school season” you’ve had as a parent or a kid yourself. We feel you mama. Kids are normally nervous before the first day anyway, but add to that changing guidelines, so many unknowns, the whole virtual realm. If you feel overwhelmed and scattered, you’re not alone. Whether your kid is back on campus or logging back in this fall, we’ve got tips to kick off the school year -- and keep it going -- with gusto. American mamas are resilient and resourceful; it’s part of our character. We can do this.


1. The backpack's back… even if it doesn’t leave the house

Even if your kiddo isn’t stepping foot on campus, having a cool bag to store your gear in helps keep them organized -- and you sane. Papers, pencils, crayons… in the bag they go! If it’s in your budget to get a new bag, why not? It signals that starting school is special and you can talk about why your child may want to donate his/her old bag to charity. For kids, the backpack is like their briefcase or work bag--part fashion statement, part functionality.

If bagging a new bag doesn’t work for the bank account, how about decorating an old one? You can use fabric markers or puffy paints. Remember bedazzlers? Check out the new version of a hot fix bedazzle kit. Or iron on some patches collected over summer vacation!


2. And lunch boxes still matter too

If the backpack matters, then so does the lunch box, for all the same reasons, plus one if you’re schooling at home this year. Putting lunch in a box helps differentiate Monday-Friday from Saturday and Sunday. If you have more than one child, it also helps to individualize your kids, so they have something that feels unique to them, and perhaps you slip a food in that’s special to each of them, like one gets an apple and the other gets a clementine.

You can’t beat the environmentally sweet Bentgo lunch boxes too. They come in solid colors and kid favorite patterns too.

To keep them insulated along the way, are several great options that are a far cry from the rigid plastic boxes that existed when we were children:

Remember the ice packs our parents put in our lunch boxes when we were in school? You know, the kind that almost broke your toe if you dropped them? Well, those have gotten a lot cuter and a lot easier on the feet if they should fall. These are a bit old school, but the thinner profile allows you to squeeze them in even the fullest of lunch boxes.


3. Surprise your kids with a note

Don’t underestimate the power of dropping a little love note between the PB&J and the strawberries. Whether it’s on the back of a napkin or written on stationery, the effect is the same. You remind your kid you care. Kids need encouragement. They may not say anything about it, but knowing that you were thinking about them (which of course you do 10,354 times a day) might just be what they need to keep giving it the old college, er grade school, try.

Want some fun cards do help do the trick? I like these, these and these. If lunch notes aren’t your jam, try leaving an encouraging note on the bathroom mirror using these fun, animal, colorful or floral post-it notes. “Hi beautiful!” or “You’re about to have a great day.” Here’s a riff on the latter: my mom used to wake me up with “I checked the Britt weather forecast, and it’s going to be a beautiful Britt day!” I won’t lie, at the time, it was annoying, but I’m glad she did it. She spoke optimism into my day, a hallmark of the can-do, let’s try again American spirit and something that babies of all ages (even us mamas) need to hear (and bonus points: Post-its are made in America!)


4. Give your kids’ immune systems a boost*

No one likes being sick, especially now, so boosting kids’ immune systems has never been more important. You know the drill: eat fruits and veggies, sleep well, yada yada yada, but beyond the obvious, here are the organic, non-GMO multi-vitamins, probiotics and Elderberry supplements (With Zinc, Echinacea, and Vitamin C) I give our kids. If chewables aren't your child's jam, this is a great liquid immune booster. You’ll want to keep these on a high shelf because they are so yummy your kids will be begging to take their vitamins. Ours are! Having a hard time getting the greens in your kids? You can tell them they can grow tall and strong by drinking these yummy vanilla and chocolate protein shakes (but you don’t have to tell them they’re packed with veggies. Mom secret!)