24 Great Back-to-School Books for Preschool thru Middle School

24 Great Back-to-School Books for Preschool thru Middle School

Great back to school books for kids in preschool, elementary or middle school!

I know many kids have mixed feelings about starting a new school year and some are a little anxious about heading back to school and moving up a grade.

As a parent and educator, I can tell you that most kids don't just come out and tell you about their back to school fears and concerns. 

Kids tend to hold things in and then the first week of school you might notice them losing sleep, being more anxious or showing signs of nervouseness.

Try reading a few books (or having older kids read themselves) about the grade they are about to enter. 

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7 Things to do Before the First Day of School

7 Things to do Before the First Day of School

Tips to help you get you ready for the school year & first day of school ideas!

I'm sure you heard a few groans as you flipped the calendar to August.

School will be starting soon for so many of us and I'll be honest with you, I'm not that excited.

I love the unscheduled days of summer, letting the kids sleep in and not having to say "Do you have your homework? Did you grab your lunch?" every morning :)

But I know the kids are looking forward to seeing their friends again and finding out who their teachers will be this year.  And it's always good to get back into the school routine come Fall.

So here are a few tips on how to make the back to school transition a little easier (and fun) for everyone!

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The Ultimate Back to School Checklist {with free printable!}

The Ultimate Back to School Checklist {with free printable!}

A FREE back to school checklist for parents to help cover all the obvious and obscure things that need to be done before your kids head back to class!

There are always SO MANY things to get done before school begins, aren't there?!

Shopping for school supplies just seems second nature to us but all those other little things --

like do I have the latest school phone numbers on my phone? 

Which app is the school using to track grades this year? 

Not to mention the whole "you can't wear flip flops all year so which shoes still fit" discussion.

So today we have not one but TWO awesome free printable checklists to help you get organized and start the school year off right along with organizing tips & affiliate links to some of our favorite items!

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Books that Inspire Kids to Learn

Books that Inspire Kids to Learn

Many thanks to Hallmark for sponsoring this post and helping to create communities where all children have the chance to grow up as healthy, productive & caring persons.  All book choices and thoughts are mine alone.

 

Today's book list was inspired by a young lady who fights for quality education for all children around the world.

Malala Yousafzai was 15 when she was shot by the Taliban for attending school in Pakistan.  It was against the law for girls to go to school and yet, every morning Malala would get up and not only get herself to school but encourage other girls in her village to attend as well.  She survived the attack and has since become the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient who now travels the world with her father to share their story.

In honor of both Malala & Ziauddin Yousafzai, I wanted to share a book list that will inspire kids to speak up for what they believe, to change the world and to appreciate the opportunity to get an education.

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Quick & Easy Fundraising Activity for Schools

If you have kids in school, I'm sure you know school fundraisers are a big deal!

The goal, of course, is to find a quick & easy fundraising activity that doesn't take a lot of time for families to do and in my opinion, should allow the kids to get involved in fundraising efforts without having them go door-to-door.

We're always look for more practical fundraisers because honestly, how much frozen cookie dough can you really keep in the freezer?!

Since we're not crazy over the idea of selling items, we love to support our schools through the Box Tops for Education™ program  -- it's super quick, really easy and I'm going to show you a few secrets on how to double & triple the value of the Box Tops for your school this year!

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A Perfect Back-to-School Volunteer Project for Kids

It's very important to me that our kids are introduced to volunteer opportunities. Whether it’s a random act of kindness (such as helping someone take back their grocery cart) or a long-term commitment with a local charity, volunteer work teaches them so much!

But I do admit there are challenges when you want to volunteer as a family.  Some organizations don't allow children to participate in projecs due to a variety of reasons.  And then there’s the schedule – trying to find a time when everyone in the family can participate in the same volunteer project.

With the school year beginning, we like to look for projects that we can do from home and especially things that the kids can take on as "a project of their own".  

One of the best ways we've found for kids to make a postive impact is the Box Tops for Education™ program!  It's the perfect opportunity for kids in elementary and middle school to take the lead on a project that will help others and it's something any family can easily do at home.

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35 Free Back to School Printables

These FREE back to school printables for parents & kids are perfect for making life easier as you get ready for that first day of school!

Our kids here begin school next week (yikes!). 

It's hard to believe that it's almost time to say 'good-bye' to summer.

In order to help you make back to school a little less hectic (because less chaos means more time to enjoy :), we've round-up 35+ free back to school printables that will get your kids out the door, make lunches easier and get the school year off to a great start!

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7 Great End-of-Summer Outings for Families

It's hard to believe but our kids will go back to school in less than a month!

I know!  The month of July always seems to fly by for us.

Soon we'll be dealing with schedules, homework and early bedtimes. 

But we're not going down without a fight ;)  There's still time left to squeeze in some awesome summer fun and adventuring so the kids will have something fun to write about when the teacher assigns that "What did you do this summer?" essay.

Are you trying to squeeze in a few more fun activities before the kids go back to school too?  Here are a few ideas for some get-out-and-do-something places that will extend the season and create a some great memories.

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Recycle End of Year School Supplies for Back to School

Have your kids started their countdown for the last day of school yet?

The clock is quickly ticking away at our house!

And I adore that last day of school -- all the excitement about summer, the hugs for the teachers, our special end of school traditions and the kids knowing they are "one year older" in school years ;)

But I do dread all the end of the school year stuff that comes home with them -- stuffed in an "I-just-couldn't-get-it-zipped" backpack and overflowing brown paper bag.

They run into the house carrying that huge lot -- their whole desk or locker just dumped in it (UGH!) -- and it just spills out on the floor, quickly forgotten.  

So before they ditch their school supplies and reach for their bathing suits, have them follow these quick & easy steps that will save you time & money come Fall!! 

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Getting Kids Involved with School Fundraisers with Labels for Education #Labels4Edu #cbias

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone.

 

I know, we all dread them -- the annual requests for fundraisers.

Just this past week, I've received notices about the middle school fundraiser, the choir fundraiser, the Senior class fundraiser and a fall fundraiser.

I'm all for helping the schools to raise money but my time is limited and I don't like to continually ask family and friends to support these causes (heck, they all have kids too).

BUT, there is one fundraiser that I can get behind 100% --

because it doesn't cost me any additional money or time

AND the kids can do it all on their own!

 

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10 Ideas for Spending Time with the Kids During the School Year

 

Time with the kids is precious. 

You really begin to understand this as the kids grow up and especially as those long, relaxing days of summer turn into the more busy back-to-school hours that are beginning this month.

When the kids are born, you have approximately 940 Saturdays together before they fly the coop.  Yes, someone somewhere counted up all those days and we get less than a thousand weekends (really not much when you look at it like that, is it).

When they’re young, “The days are long but the years are short” as Gretchen Rubin would say.  Then they get older and both the days and the years fly by quickly.

I only have 55 more Saturdays with my oldest.

And here’s what’s been eating at me lately --- as the kids get older, their schedule becomes full of things (fun things) that they want to do.  BUT (and it’s a big but), they still REALLY need that time with you!

 

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A Very Vintage Back to School

There's something nostalgic about back to school time.

I think it's because we all remember getting ready for a new school year --

.... saving those new shoes for the very first day so they'd be all shiny (at least until recess)

.... getting excited to learn who would be in your class and who would be your teacher

.... a brand new box of crayons!

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Let's Explore Schools from Around the World

Today is our monthly book & activity for the Poppins Book Nook.  Each month, we choose a book or books based on the theme and share a fun interactive idea to do with the story. 

This month's book theme is School Days and since my kids are always interested in various countries & cultures, we decided to find some books about schools around the world.

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DIY Kids Chalkboard Backpack

 

Don't you just love when you can reuse or upcycle something for the kids! 

We needed a back-up backpack for the year {you know, for the days that the regular one gets left at school or to use as a bag for afterschool activities}.

I really didn't want to purchase another one since we have so many old ones from previous years.  But the issue is many of the older ones have 'little kids' pictures on the front or are pretty worn out. 

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Getting into a School Day Routine

Do you know what my most favorite part of summer is -- no routines!  I really love that we don't have to stick to a schedule and can just operate day-by-day.

But once school begins, our house really needs that regular daily schedule to keep away the chaos. And I'll be honest, the routine looks different each year.  As the kids grow, you'll find what works best for your family and schedule. 

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