Surviving the First Day of School with Multiple Children

August 5, 2008 at 10:25 pm 4 comments

So, I just filled out sixty forms on my kids first day of school.  I counted.

I dated things multiple times on pages, filled out the same information to go to multiple sources (like they don’t make copy machines or believe in electronic filing of standard information, like addresses.)

And still, did you know that if a teacher wants to call you, THEY likely won’t have your number unless you give it to them personally?  Again?


I got three student handbooks, three student calendars, three school calendars.  I’m all for information, and granted, I may lose a few things here and there, but can we talk paper reduction?


enough of that rambling mommy sarcasm at the end of a long day.

What I was going to say was…here are my tips for sending multiple kids to school:

  • cook ahead of time.  It took me from 3 until just now to get through all the stuff.  I did move much faster this year than last, but still found I missed a few things.
  • know where you kid’s social security numbers are located
  • use a pen you love…somehow, that is a help
  • don’t think, just sign
  • don’t get hung up on the fact that the manual says kids can return to school simply after a lice shampoo.  (Does no one but me realize that lice are getting immune to that stuff…it doesn’t kill them.  Trust me.)
  • have treats ready for the kids when they get home from school…then you can move fast before fatigue sets in.
  • prepare to give all kids baths very soon after they’ve been on the playground in this kind of heat.
  • have a cold treat after they’ve been in the car line, or on the bus for half an hour.  It’s very hot.
  • read teacher letters, underline, and write down your kids schedule in a few key places (in case you lose one).  It is your ticket to being a support to your kids.  Know where they are.  Last year, we had a couple very uncomfortable events happen through the school year.  I was so glad to know what teacher they were with at the time, and where they were in the building.
  • smile.  teachers are stressed and they need to you believe in them.  Say thank you.  Let them know you are excited about the year.  Treat them well…they deserve it.
  • get all folders put in bags THE NIGHT BEFORE.  You would think you could get that one simple task done the next morning, but don’t bank on it.
  • try to get them to pick out clothes the night before…we didn’t make that one tonight, but we did have a short family devotion instead of school reading time that will soon need to squeeze in there at bedtime.
  • if you take pepto bismol, tylenol, tums, and any cold-type medications to the school nurse and sign a release now…the nurse can treat your kids instead of you having to go to the school with meds.  This really helped me last year when I got it all there…finally!  I put my kids in a zip-lock bag, write the kids dosages on the bag, along with my home and cell number and they call.
  • go to the parent volunteer meeting and get your security clearance early for field trips.  Ours is this week and is offered twice.  You’ll be glad you got it out of the way and can be in the building and on trips with your kids.
  • buy school classroom snacks, and provide extras for the class to help cover days you forget.  Otherwise, the teacher ususally gets stuck furnishing them.

I loved the tips I got last time I did that in school prep…so, what things would you add to this list?

I need to know!


Entry filed under: Family, Parenting. Tags: , , .

First Day of School It Moves Me

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ~E  |  August 6, 2008 at 7:49 am

    I wasn’t nearly as overwhelmed by the forms as I usually am, but I have one less child than you do and I think because I did not have to work outside the home all day this year on the first day of school I was ready to tackle my “homework.” And it looks to me like you covered just about all of the bases with preparation tips. One other thing is to be sure to put money in the child’s lunch account. Even though our daughter takes her lunch from home most every day, I put a little money in her account in case there is something she wants from the lunch line, or she needs an extra drink (this year recess is right before lunch!), or in the event that I were to ever slip up and forget to send her lunch with her, she won’t have to worry. If the money is not spent during the school year, it transfers to the next year and even transfers between schools in the district.

  • 2. momonthejourney  |  August 6, 2008 at 8:37 am

    We had open house last night, and only my kindergartener’s teacher sent home the forms. So I’ve gotten started, but I know that I’ll get the exact same things from my other kids’ teachers. I agree — in this age of computers, why do we have to do things in triplicate? (or quintuplicate?)

    I also have three kids, and this is the first year they’ll all be at the same school. I’m really forgetful, so I tend to start “loading up” for any outing about thirty minutes ahead of time. Purse in car, check. Water bottle filled and in car, check. PHONE, check. Kids’ backpacks, check. My youngest’s shoes (don’t ask), check. Everyone’s hair brushed, check. Eldest has clean underwear (he’s a preteen boy), check. I have makeup on, check. I have clothes (not pajamas) on, check. And of course, the most important, all three kids actually IN the car.

    Thanks for a fun blog. I’ll be back. 🙂

  • 3. Misty  |  August 6, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    As I’m learning this year, here are some things:

    Go ahead and pick out the whole week’s and maybe next week’s clothes and put them in an organizer.

    Especially for fashion-conscious girls…have them pick out which shoes they will wear the night before.

    If they want to take lunch, tell them to let you know the night before, so you can go ahead and bag it all up and have it in the fridge and then just slip it in the lunchbox the next morning. Too much of a rush to do it in the morning.

    For snacks, prepare a week’s worth of baggies with drink box and snack and child’s name on the outside. Then, just slip a bag into their backpack the night before or in the morning.

    Leave a sweet note or little poem in their lunches or snack bags. 🙂

  • 4. Maggie  |  August 6, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    Great ideas! Get this…there is a kid’s allergy in my class and I can ONLY send prepackaged food this year, or they WILL be sent back home…that way, the teacher can double check the labels to be sure.

    ARG. Not that I’m insensitive.

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