Tips for Transitioning Children from Summer to School

Tips for Transitioning Children from Summer to School

Tips for Transitioning Children from Summer to School


Transitioning from summer to school can be emotional, both for parents and kids. With school right around the corner, dealing with unstructured, lazy, and free days of summer is always hard. It’s safe to say that transition is always met with resistance.


Falling back into the wave of waking up early, getting to bed on time, preparing meals, and retraining body and mind to a regular school routine might take a toll on you. But don’t worry. The tips below will help you sail through back-to-school routine, effortlessly. 


This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

6 Tips for Back-To-School Transitioning


Adjust Bedtime


During the summer, children tend to stay up late and rise later than usual. Adjusting bedtime one week before going back to school will help the kids click into the routine.


According to the National Sleep Foundation, there are set hours ideal for every age. For instance, preschoolers – aged between 3 and 5- should sleep for around 10 hours, and school-age children should sleep for at least 9 hours. This schedule will help you set sleeping hours.


As you adjust bedtime hours, you should also consider the activities before bed like coloring, stories, bathing, and doing a puzzle. These are less-sensory tasks that allow the body of your child to wind down slowly. With a comprehensive sleep schedule, you will be a proud mom who raises great sleepers.


Related Post: How to Create a Nighttime Routine for your Kids


Develop a Game Plan


You will be surprised that kids know what they want or even how they want things done. Discuss with them about goals, failures of the previous school season, and the necessary adjustments to make. Ask about the skills to be improved and the triumphs of the year before.


The goals might include;

  • Improving on grades
  • Making new friends
  • Change of diet
  • Becoming the captain of the swimming team

Such a discussion will help the child feel focused before getting back to school. It alleviates confusion, anxiety, and unpreparedness. Involving your child on the game plan also makes him/her feel responsible for the decisions made.


Summon the Learning Spirit


Going back to school is not always exciting- probably you can relate to this. Being away from fun activities or parting ways with new friends might be annoying for your child. But you can rekindle the school spirit again by minimizing screen time and engaging in fun activities.


You can assign creative homework or ask them to start coloring once again. Start about two weeks before school. Ask the child to list characteristics of the animals in the park or name the types of snakes in the jungle. If you’re on vacation, you can assign the child to list down the main activities on the beach.


Jog the mind of your child by asking the furthest you went from home during summer or the hours you were on board. You can also ask him to write a short story about their summer experiences.


Furthermore, you can engage in brain-bending activities like word searches, crossword puzzles, and trivia. This is to keep your child motivated, encouraged, and focused on getting back to school.


Related Post: How to Prepare Your Child for Preschool


Prepare the Night Before


One of the best ways of simplifying your morning routine is by preparing the night before. Rushing around in the wee hours trying to get the school outfit from the closet or packing backpacks can create anxiety.


If you’re a working mom, spare like an hour the night before and prepare for the next day. Choose the following day outfits- both yours and for the kids. Prepare breakfast and lunch. Also, hang the backpacks at a strategic place where kids will find them easily.


Additionally, select a place where you keep car keys and phone to ensure you don’t run around in the morning looking for them. Check homework, bathe kids, and fill water bottles to ease the morning rush.


Related Post: Podcast Episode 03 – Creating a Nighttime Routine in your Home


Set an Early Alarm


Morning rush creates a stressful environment for both adults and kids. The best thing to do is to set the alarm for an extra 30 minutes early to give your family ample time to prepare, take breakfast, and get ready to tackle the day stress-free.


In case of an unexpected scenario like spilled cereal or leaking water bottle, the extra minutes will enable you to handle these events. Being this organized will help you handle any situation without creating a chaotic environment.



Tackle School Anxiety


Most children get disappointed once the summer is over. And to some kids, the anxiety can be extreme. For instance, children entering new schools might feel relaxed if they can walk around the new school and learn where things are before joining school. Talk and discuss the issues that could make your child nervous.


Final Note

Getting back to school doesn’t need to be stressful and chaotic. With these tips, diving back to a school routine will be painless for everyone.


Thanks to coupons.com for this great article and tips!



More Back to School Tips!

The Best Way to Get Organized for Back to School 

Activities to Prepare Your Kids for Preschool 

7 Ways to Homeschool on a Budget

How to Save Money on Back to School Clothes


Resources to Get Organized for Back to School!

Organize Your Life with Trello

Ultimate Productivity Bundle 

Design Your Day: Time Management for the Busy Woman 



5 Must Have Travel Trips for Kids

5 Must Have Travel Trips for Kids

5 Must Have Travel Trips for Kids


Looking for travel tips for your kids? It doesn’t have to be impossible to enjoy vacation and travel with your kids. By following some simple tips and routines you can have a fun trip and travel with your kids with less stress.


I’m in kind of a brain fog right now since we got back from vacation last night but I don’t regret any of it – the late nights, the way too many carbs and the lack of routine were completely worth it! We had such an amazing time, just a few hiccups, and I learned some things I wanted to pass on to you!


See the thing is, we haven’t been on vacation for 2 years. After my husband was out of work for 7 months, it’s been an uphill battle to get in control of our finances again and even have space in the budget for much fun. Don’t get me wrong – I’m super happy and my life is full of joy but honestly, we don’t have much ‘fun’. 


Related Post: How to Survive When Money is Tight 


I wanted this vacation to be one that we’d all remember, with limited stress and just a great time for all of us! Luckily, it completely exceeded our expectations and we’re home now – tired and beat – but so happy and grateful for our time together!


If you haven’t gone on vacation yet this summer (or want to think ahead for next year), I wanted to share some of the things I did to help it go smoothly AND some places that I wish I had planned better!



This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.


How to Travel with Kids


How to Set a Budget for Vacation


Since we don’t have credit cards, everything we do has to come from our income and needs to be budgeted for. When planning this vacation, we did our best in advance to find places we could save money and get deals so that it wasn’t super expensive.


Sometimes when you go on vacation, you just want to have fun and don’t think about spending until you get the bill later. By pre creating a budget, you can still have fun but make choices that don’t leave you feeling regretful later on. 

Ways to save money for vacation: 


– Bringing snacks on trips with kids:

This was a HUGE one. I bought snacks from Aldi and put them in small ziplock bags before we left (because we all know what happens if you just open a bag of chips right?). When we stopped as rest stops there was no need for any impulse buys and we had snacks for the hotel room or late nights as well. I shared all that we brought on my Instagram – just click the highlight for Travel Tips!






-Staying at a hotel with a continental breakfast:


With a family of 5 I will do my best to stay places with free breakfast. Since my kids get up so early (yes, even on vacation) we were able to eat breakfast at 7am and stop for their snack at 10am before breakfast closed!


Related Post: Healthy Toddler Breakfast Ideas


– Why have your kids share meals when you eat out? 


We only had to eat out for 4 meals the entire trip (breakfast was free and so were 2 of our meals with the family reunion) so when we did eat out I tried to order things we can share. I never get my kids their own meal – the littlest get a kids meal and an extra plate!


They are food wasters and I knew I’d be so annoyed if they did it when I spent money on food so I was smart about this when we were out. One night we did spend more to eat at a seafood buffet but found one where kids under 4 eat for free! This helped offset the cost since this was a more expensive meal. 


-Using coupons to make travel cheap and affordable 


On our drive back we stopped in Ocean City, Maryland and hit up the amusement park and rides. Our hotel had a discount for tickets so we got unlimited rides for only $18 per kid. At first I did NOT want to pay this because it just seemed so expensive but it was $10 cheaper than tickets at the park and the kids went on almost everything! Seeing Arianna go on rides by herself and literally go on everything in her size made it worth it!


Related Post: 6 Apps to Help you Save Money 




Routines and Systems for Traveling with Kids


I tried my best to be ‘flexible Cara” while we were away which honestly is super tough for me. I’m super type A and love my routines a LOT. But because we have good systems and routines at home, I found many of them transferred over to our trip.


-Nap and Bedtime Routines for Kids:


I was VERY flexible when it came to sleep on this trip. When you have older kids and younger kids it is much more challenging to lock down at 7pm for bedtime while you’re away so my kids were up until 10-11pm most night (and one night until midnight!)


This was something I never thought I’d be willing to do but, when it came time for bed my kids knew what to do. They grabbed their pajamas, read their book, said prayers and went right to bed. It was awesome to see our home routines transfer over on vacation. (If you need help creating an evening routine, check out this blog post on how to create a bedtime routine for your kids!)


-Cleaning Up Routines:


We started a hamper (garbage bag) for laundry as soon as we got there. I had the kids unpack their things so they could pick out their clothes and we could see what they had left to wear. My daughter was so used to putting her clothes away that she asked right away where the hamper was! This helped when we got home because I was able to just drop the clothes into the laundry machine and get them done as soon got home)



– Tips for traveling in the car with kids


Right away we made a trash bag and every time we stopped we would pick up any trash so that a big mess didn’t catch up to us. This made it a lot easier to unpack the car at the end of the trip! Speaking of the car, we had Arianna in a pull up for the entire 6 hour drive. Even though she is potty trained, we wanted one just in case.


We did bring her portable potty and stopped about 4x on the side of the road but I think she got nervous with all of the cars and never actually used it! We only had one accident the entire trip (and that was on the beach when she pooped in her swim suit! mommy had a fun time running back to the hotel to clean that mess up hahaha) 



What I want to remember next time: 


My phone was having issues the entire trip (seriously, just my phone!) where I couldn’t get my social media to load. I was irritated at first – I mean I had 6 hours in the car and couldn’t mindlessly scroll! But it was such a blessing in disguise. I was able to be super present, I barely was on my phone, and just connected with my family, God, and myself. Not having my phone gave me time to think but it also meant I forgot to take pictures!


I got about a dozen pictures total and with all that family sent me, have a great record of our trip. 


But one thing was missing. 


Pictures with me and my kids. 


Most of the pictures I have are selfies of me and the kids and I barely have any pictures with them. I have a bunch that I have taken with my husband and the kids but it’s rare anyone takes my picture. And I’m not mad about it but it reminds me that I just need to be more intentional. Before the trip I should remind my husband to take more ‘in the moment’ pictures or just ask more often when I think “oh this would be a cute picture”. 


This was the only picture I have with me and Isaiah that my hubby took –




While the rest of my family loved vacation , Zay was pretty miserable. His molars are coming in and with the lack of his normal nap he was cranky. I don’t think I ate one meal without him on my lap, throwing food at me, or putting food on my face. Hubby snapped this picture at our last night at dinner when he had just covered me in ketchup while he tried to give me some fries. 


On the next trip, I want to make sure we get more shots and more memories and it’s just not me taking them!


All in all it was a great trip and I came back refreshed, thankful and so grateful for this amazing family and life God has blessed me with!


On the podcast, I’ll be went in more detail about tips for summer traveling so you can hear more details right here! 




Since we haven’t been on vacation in a while, I did a lot of reading and learning and checking out tips online so that we could really enjoy vacation! Most of my tips came from this Super Travel Bundle! It’s got resources, courses, printables and a ton more tips that can help you with your travel needs! One of our goals is to be debt free in the next 7 years and buy an RV, homeschool the kids and travel for the year! There are so many resources that I can’t wait to plug into when we’re at that planning stage!  Check it out here!


Links and Resources to Help You Travel with Kids

Watch my IGTV on how we packed snacks to save money!

How to Create a Bedtime Routine for Your Kids

Get $10 free from Rakuten (formally Ebates) before you book your trip

Use Ibotta for cash back on your trip

Use Amazon Home Services for House Cleaning

Need Help Budgeting? Grab my Busy on a Budget course here in the Master your Money Super Bundle



Busy Bags and Activities for the Car Ride





This travel potty is amazing! It folds up and you put a bag under it for easy clean up!




Related Travel Tip Blog Posts

4 Steps to Cheap Summer Activities

How to Survive When Money is Tight

How to Change Your Money Mindset

5 Ways to Save Money on Groceries

How to Get Your House Clean in 15 Minutes a Day



Need Help Getting Your Budget Under Control so you can Save for your trip?

Try the 5 day FREE challenge to kick your debt to the curb!


Podcast 13 Getting Ready for Back to School

Podcast 13 Getting Ready for Back to School

Purpose Driven Mom Podcast

Episode 13

Getting Ready for Back to School




It’s time to get ready to prepare for back to school! Instead of feeling overwhelmed this school year, let’s dive into routines and systems you can start with your kids to help decrease the stress!





Episode Show Notes

3:13 Join the Master Your Time Challenge!

4:38 How routines help our kids (and us!)

6:24 Transitioning kid’s sleep schedules

12:20 Start your evening routine now

14:50 Changing tech rules now to make back to school easier

20:00 How to limit coffee and sugar before bed


Subscribe & Review in the Podcast

Are you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, make sure you head over and do it now so that you don’t miss an episode! 

Click here to subscribe at iTunes!

While you’re there, I’d love an appreciate if you’d leave a rating and review! These allow other purpose driven moms to find the show and help grow our community! Just click here to review, select ‘Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know your favorite part of the podcast! I’d love to feature you as our ‘Review of the Week’.



Links and Resources Mentioned in Today’s Episode 

Master Your Time Challenge JOIN NOW! Kicks off August 13th

Get on the waitlist for the 15 minute formula!

Ultimate Productivity Bundle

Podcast Episode 03: Creating an Evening Routine 

Podcast Episode 09: Making a routine for smoother mornings



Related Blog Posts

Simple Steps to Make Your Morning Easier

How to Set up Your Week to Be More Productive

How to Time Block and Get More Done!

The Best Way to Get Organized for Back to School 

Activities to Prepare for Preschool 

How to Save Money on Back to School Clothes

7 Ways to Homeschool on a Budget

Podcast Episode 08 : How to Use Habit Stacking for life long changes





If you listened to today’s episode, take a screen shot of the show or you taking action on a tip from the show and TAG ME on Instagram! 

Make sure to join our Facebook Community and continue the conversation about the episode!

How to find time for yourself as a busy mom

How to find time for yourself as a busy mom

How to find time for yourself as a busy mom


As a busy mom, it can be a real challenge to find time for yourself. I get it. And now with summer here, it certainly seems as if the light at the end of the tunnel is farther than ever. Fret not, there are so many ways you can sneak in time for yourself throughout your days.



This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

How to Get Up Early


The easiest, most obvious solution is to wake up earlier, before your children wake up. As tough as this may be, you don’t need to wake up at the crack of dawn if you aren’t a morning person. You can start by rising 15 minutes earlier, day by day, and each week increasing that time by 15-minute increments until you’re able to get an hour in or more (however much time you need).

Related Post: Sample Morning Routine for a Sleep Deprived Mom


Should you invest in summer camp or activities for your kids?


This option is obviously dependent upon your finances and may or may not be feasible for you in this season. But if it is, then this is something that you’ll definitely want to consider. It’ll easily give you 3 to 6 extra hours in your day. It’s a win-win for everyone. You get your time and your child gets to be educated and entertained in a safe environment.


Do you need a babysitter?

Many families have babysitters during the year when they’re working full-time. However, we tend to take a break or cut this out completely in the summertime because of our work hours lesson or other reasons. If you can, I’d suggest keeping your babysitter on call. Even an hour a week can make all the difference in giving you that self-care time you need and certainly deserve.


Creating boundaries with your family


I realize how forceful this sounds but hear me out. Sometimes your spouses and family members truly don’t realize the time you really need yet don’t receive. Despite how loving and caring they are, they may not see that you need your cup filled as much as anyone else (if not more).


So, politely demand that you get some time to yourself. You can do this one of two ways (only you will know which is the best solution because it’s based on your family members’ temperaments/personalities): You either want to start BIG, in an effort to leave room for ‘negotiation’. Or start small, in order to build a tolerance to this new idea and work your way up to more time.


How to let go of ‘mom guilt’.

This is the part where you let go of any mom guilt that you’re feeling because that’s NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! Feelings are fickle and they lie to you on a daily basis. Instead, you NEED to tell your body, mind, and spirit how to feel NOT the other way around. Don’t allow preconceived notions or thoughts from your past experiences dictate how you’ll feel…How worthy you are of this time…Whether you’re worthy of relaxation or worthy of change. So to give you a tangible example, you might say:


Hey Babe, I want/need a weekend away to myself. Now you’ll most likely get one of a few responses:

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. I need to know more…Okay…Let’s talk about this (because that seems like a pretty daunting idea.)


The first and last response are the ones we are looking for because…

  • The first response is ideal (& amazing!)
  • The second response may lead to frustration or tough and heavy talks
  • And the last response- isn’t a no…it’s just proof that your spouse is feeling uncertainty and is beyond their comfort zone. You can work with this! At the very least, you’ll be able to get a few hours away if the weekend is a big ask for your significant other.


Create an evening routine with your spouse

Now, this option is much like the first (waking up earlier) but for some reason, it might be easier for some moms to stay up later than it is to wake up earlier.


For me, what helps is to drink coffee around 3 or 4 p.m. and it allows me to stay up all the way to midnight, sometimes 1 a.m. This option, despite it not being the best option, will give you a lot of hours to yourself depending on when you put your children to bed.


So, if your children are in bed at around 7:30 p.m, no later than 8 p.m., you can get 4-5 hours of time to yourself. Now I know what you’re thinking, ”When and how the heck am I supposed to spend time with my spouse?!” Touché. I understand.


In this case, work out a schedule where you both agree on how many hours you’ll spend together after the kids go to bed and what you’ll do during that time. It could look something like this: Your kiddos are in bed by 8 pm.


Spouse time together for the next 2-3 hours (This could be dinner & movie, movie, lovemaking, tv show, etc. you get the point LOL.) At this point, it’s around 10/11pm and you have anywhere between 1-3 hours for yourself!


Related Post: (Podcast Episode) Creating a Great Evening Routine



The Power of Distraction: The Pomodoro Way


If you aren’t familiar with the Pomodoro technique, here’s a quick sum up: It’s a time management technique that breaks tasks up into 25-30 minute increments. This flash option tends to be my favorite option for a few reasons. If you have:

  • rambunctious children
  • kids that don’t go to sleep early
  • kids that wake up at the crack of dawn or through all hours of the night
  • children who no longer nap
  • kiddos with short attention spans


This technique will work like magic. And I call it the ‘power of distraction’. Please don’t discredit the power of creating a fun solo activity for your child to do on their own. You are (mostly) in total control. You can choose for this to be a messy or clean activity…the choice is yours.

Let me give you a few different ideas here but, the main premise is to distract engage your child long enough to give you about a half an hour to yourself. I know that you forget sometimes to fill your own cup. I also know you sometimes forget to fill your children’s cups as well. The Pomodoro technique is an easy way to allow that to happen. Give 25 minutes to your children and then 25 minutes for you. Continue alternating this as many times as you’re willing and able.


Related Post: How to Get Your House Clean in 15 minutes a Day 


Here are some ideas to fill the next 25 minutes:

  • Give your kids some new stickers and journals and crayons or markers and fancy glitter pens from a ‘dollar store’ near you. Purchasing all of this will probably cost around $5 and you get half an hour to yourself. Calculate that for a moment. If you’re paying a low rate of $10 an hour for a babysitter you’re on the same road friend and your kids are safe, in your custody, having fun with random things that could essentially be used again and again.
  • If you’re ok with a small mess, allow your kids to make slime (it’s VERY easy), or play with playdough.
  • Or if you’re feeling lazy just purchase slime/playdough instead


Hop over to your nearest dollar store and find some new trinkets from the toy aisle. (I know, I know, I have a thing for the dollar store lol it’s a hidden treasure!) This is truly the tip of the iceberg here. The possibilities are seriously endless. Make Pinterest your best friend, frequent the dollar store, hunt for bargains and easy projects. You’ll be good to go.



Bio: Sheree is a traveling mom, wife to an amazing athlete & mama to 2 cool kids. She helps worried moms become self confident so they can rock motherhood by sharing real, honest experiences. At darling steps, she writes on parenting, travel, wellness & everything in between. Because moms do all.the.things. Find more about Sheree on her blog Darling Steps!



Want to Read More in this Routines Series?

The Best Way to Get Organized for Back to School

Simple Steps to Make Your Morning Easier

How to Set up Your Week to Be More Productive

How to Schedule Your Day as a Work at Home Mom

How to Fit Self Care Into Your Day

How to Find Time to Workout as a Busy Mom 

Digitally Organize Your Prayer Time to Become a Prayer Warrior

Create a Morning Routine in 3 Easy Steps

Must Have Resources for Mom!

Makeover Your Mornings Course

Free Productivity E-Book