A Columbia Mom’s Back to School Guide


We’re gearing up for another school year and know that brings excitement for some and panic for others. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, we’ve rounded up some of the back-to-school posts we’ve written throughout the years and organized them into one spot to make it easier for you to find the resources you need to help guide you in your back to school journey. 

Cheers to a happy back-to-school season and a great year!

5 Tips for Meet the Teacher Night 

It’s already that bittersweet time of year again. You are getting ready to ship your precious little one off to the land of crayons, recess, and homework. But first, you get to meet the lovely person with whom your child will be spending the next nine months. Here are some tips from a teacher on how to make the most of your time and ease the awkwardness.

What Teachers Really Want for the New School Year

Like many parents, you may be wondering what to give your child’s new teacher. No worries, as a former teacher, I got you covered…

From the Teacher’s Desk :: 3 Easy Tips to Prepare for a New School Year

As a teacher, I love this time of year! It’s the start of something new and the opportunities are endless. But it can also be stressful, especially when life is so busy! Here are three tips to start the school year off right that take the least amount of time and offer the most “bang for your buck.”

From the Teacher’s Desk :: Preparing for Kindergarten

We interviewed a local kindergarten teacher who offers important insight and suggestions for making the jump to kindergarten.

3 Ways to Develop a Healthy Relationship With Your Child’s Teacher

It’s the beginning of the school year and your child has a new teacher to meet. Every year a relationship must be built and a partnership developed between parents and teacher in order to provide your child with the best possible classroom experience. Here’s some advice from a teacher on how to create a solid relationship from the beginning.

What a Teacher Mom Wants You to Know About Shopping for School Supplies

Here’s a little insight that will help you shop smart and plan for a great year (from a teacher mom)!

Back to School Immunity Boosters

Germs are everywhere and it is inevitable that you and your child are going to get sick this the school year. Here are some ways to prevent and handle illness once it comes your way.

Back to School :: A Guide to the 504 Plan (for Allergy Moms)

While being an allergy mom is never easy, there is one thing that can help ensure a safer school year for your child. A 504 plan.

3 Ways to Create a Calmer, Saner School Year

If you’re ready to create a calmer and saner school year, here are three things you need to do before your children go back to school.

How to Create A Capsule Wardrobe For Your School-Age Child

An intentionally selected, well-equipped closet ensures that your kids look their best while saving money and time.

6 Non-Academic Ways I’m Preparing My Child for Kindergarten

The more you prepare your child for the non-academic elements of school, the more they’ll be able to concentrate on soaking up all of the new knowledge in their classroom!

Keep it Simple :: 2 Easy Tips for Back to School Organization

I obviously cannot stop the flow of incoming paper. I need a way to reasonably organize and manage it, and also teach my kids some valuable organizational skills along the way.

Back to School :: Preparing for Kindergarten

Kindergarten readiness, which is such a buzz word these days, is more than memorizing ABCs and 123s.

Back to School From A to Zzz’s :: Getting Your Child’s Sleep Schedule Back on Track

We sometimes underestimate how much sleep our kids need. No matter what your summer and days off looked like, this guide can help you and your kids get back on track before school starts.

The First Day of Preschool, For the Last Time

My little man has been mommy’s sidekick since day one. That’s how I knew starting preschool would not be an easy transition for him. And, really, for me too.

A Letter to My Son As He Starts Middle School

I can’t believe it is time to send him to middle school. As he embarks on this journey, I would definitely say that I feel … nervous. He’s ready. Me? Not so much.

I Wasn’t Prepared for Kindergarten

I learned just how much I was not prepared for kindergarten – and just how much he was.

Third Grade Sucks

No one told me about third grade. I want to do you the favor I wish someone had done me, and warn you about what lies ahead.

The Last Year of Elementary School

I’m not ready for school dances, puberty, middle school crushes, and all of the things that come along with growing up… Nowadays, I hold him tight, I breathe in his childhood scent, close my eyes, feel the happiness, and wish that moment could last forever.

Preschool :: The Start of Something Big

This is where it all begins… This is where reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic become more than just stuff Mommy talks about. This is where his world expands. 

School Season :: A Time to Hug … And Then Let Go

The first day arrives. We bend down, our eyes looking into theirs, kiss them on the heads while gulping a lump back down our throat. Stretch a happy smile across our lips, and tell them what a good day they will have. And you know what? We won’t have to fake this.

Kindergarten, Ready or Not…

Now that everyone knows our oldest is headed off to kindergarten, at a public school, they ask me, is he ready? But no one asks me if I’m ready…

My Baby’s Starting Preschool and I’m Freaking Out

Take a deep breath – everything is going to be OK! Here’s what I’m doing to help ease the transition in our home.

7 Easy Weeknight Meals For Back to School

Whether you have limited time during the day or a small window at night after events, these reliable weeknight meals are a great part of your menu.

7 Great Back To School Lunch and Snack Recipes

Is your child’s school lunch and snack routine in need of some inspiration? Try these 7 great ideas your kids will love!

Quick and Healthy Back-to-School Breakfast Ideas

Preparing healthy and nutritious breakfasts does not have to be a time sucker and you don’t even have to cook something every morning. You are perfectly capable of serving your family a satisfying breakfast despite little cooking ability, lack of time or picky eaters around.

Quick and Easy Breakfasts for the Picky Eater

Got a picky eater on your hands? Ashleigh shares some quick and easy breakfast ideas her tiny tot loves – just in time for the school year!

MORE Quick and Easy Recipes for the Picky Eater

Got a picky eater on your hands? Try these!

Safe School Snacks for Kids With Food Allergies

When my son first went to preschool, I got a list of allergies of children in the class, including milk, eggs, and nuts. At first, I was at a loss, as I never had to check for some of those allergies in snacks before. It can also be tricky because while the FDA requires companies to label with a “contains” statement they do NOT require manufacturers to add the “made in a facility that processes” or “MAY contain traces of…” So you could pick up a snack that doesn’t “contain” allergens but “may contain traces.” For moms who have never had to deal with food allergies until your child went to school, hopefully, this list helps give you a good start for snacks.

4 Reasons Why I Love the Chaos of Carpool

While the carpool line is not my favorite place to be, I have come to realize that I can either embrace the crazy and find the rainbow or give into the anxiety and stress, leaving me short on patience and not my best mama self. I’ve decided to embrace the crazy. And I’m happier for it.

I’m That Evil Mom Who Makes Her Kids Ride the Bus

I didn’t give a second thought to putting my kids on the bus … until I started telling other people we had our children ride the bus. We were met with questions like “aren’t you worried they will get bullied?” or “aren’t you worried they will learn words you don’t want them to know?” Suddenly I felt as if I was sending my children into a lion’s den…

6 Types of Carpool Line Offenders

After many, many years of doing carpool line, I’m here to tell you … you CAN do it wrong.

Passing on the School Bus … Again

There is a lot of good and bad associated with riding the school bus. As much as I wanted my son to ride it this year, here’s why we took a hard pass.

50 Ways to Pass Time in the Carpool Line

So what exactly am I doing while I wait? I’m glad you asked! Moms are always in pursuit of tips to be more productive, so I have a list of 50 excellent ways to make the most of your time.

What to Do If Your Child Doesn’t Learn to Read in Kindergarten

If your child doesn’t learn to read in kindergarten, don’t panic. Instead, do these five things…

Why We Chose Preschool

We homeschool our older daughter but still chose preschool for our son…

Encouraging the Reluctant Reader

Unfortunately, there is no secret science to turning someone into an avid reader, and what works with some will not work with others. However, there are things you can do to help develop and encourage reluctant readers, which in turn will create an appreciation (and maybe even a love) for reading.

10 Things You May Not Know About Your School Library

You may not realize that your child’s school library, and especially the people who work in that library, are a valuable resource to you and your child.

Don’t Tell Me You Can’t Homeschool

One of the most common comments I get when folks learn I homeschool is, “I could never do that.” Here’s why you’re wrong.

10 Lessons I Learned in My First Year of Homeschooling

Are you new to homeschooling? Take into consideration these 10 important lessons as you navigate your first year.

To the Homeschool Mom in Her First Year

I was you two years ago… My daughter was going into kindergarten and, while I was excited to begin our homeschool journey, I was also full of questions and what-ifs. Here are five things to remember as you begin your journey.

7 Ways Homeschooling My Kids is Changing Me

We’ve been in the trenches with our daughter for four years now, and our son will join her next year when he begins kindergarten at home… I realized along the way that as much as we are homeschooling because we believe it is best for our children, I am reaping the benefits along the way too.

How to Create a Home Learning Space for Young Children

Although my children are learning from home, I’m determined to make it a fruitful, memorable year. For us, that starts with creating a functional, kid-friendly learning environment!

9 Lessons From a No-Longer-New-to-Homeschool Mom

While I never really saw myself as a homeschool parent (and the idea honestly intimidated me), I have learned a lot in the last few years. I am by no means an expert at homeschool. But I’m also not new at it anymore. That has given me some opportunity to reflect on how this whole endeavor is going. Here is what I have realized so far…

5 Reasons Why I Love Homeschooling My Middle Schooler

Are you a parent of a middle school student and facing lots of additional hours at home together this fall? Whether you are homeschooling or doing virtual school at home, I hope you, too, can see the silver lining of this cloud in the extra hours you have with your child as he or she approaches the teen years.

15 Things Your Child Needs to Know Before Starting College

If you have a high school graduate who will be entering college, there are some things you can work on to ensure your student will make it through their freshman year of college.

New Rule :: Everyone Takes Out the Trash

When working with college students, there is one rule I want to implement – everyone takes out the trash. It may sound silly or weird, but I am convinced that this could just change the world.

Please Stop Calling the School for your College Students

A new phenomenon is happening at college campuses today, and it really needs to end. It is crippling your students and preventing them from becoming independent, self-sufficient adults.

Kitchen Basics for College Bound Kids {and Beyond} :: Dinner Edition

Before heading off to college, your child should know how to easily make some meals in the kitchen with simple ingredients that taste GOOD! Here is a great dinner option that balances all the food groups — including the lesser know category of dessert 😉 — AND makes enough for leftovers and other meal options. A win-win! Just make sure your child puts a slow cooker on the graduation gift wish list.

Back to School is for Moms Too! 

It’s back-to-school time! And if you’re a mom like me, you may be doing a little happy dance right now just thinking about it.

Breaking Up With a Lunchbox

{Hilarious, and oh, so true!} “After a great deal of thought, though, I’ve come to the conclusion this is one area where I have to show myself some grace and realize that a mom can’t be all things to all people, so lunch lady is one hat I’m going to have to hang up. The problem now is, how do I break it to the boys’ lunchboxes?”

How to Say “No” Without the Guilt

Learning to say no is a journey, but the more I say it, and the more I say yes to the right things for our family.

When Mom Goes Back to School, Too

We think of back-to-school time as something for kids. That’s true in my house, as this month my two-year-old son started preschool twice a week. But it’s also back-to-school time for me, as I continue my education part-time at the University of South Carolina.

When I bought my new planner, I assumed it would just help me keep track of work appointments and deadlines. It’s been a little over a month and I am blown away by how much I have accomplished in my life overall just by finding and committing to a planner!

12 Ways to Occupy Mommy During the First Few Days of School

All the adorable bookbags, outfits, and lunch boxes are ready to go but are we prepared for that first day of silence?


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