Monthly Musings: Back to school Edition 2023

 I always struggle so much with these back to school questions since we aren't a typical schooling family.  But I did my best to answer each question as fully as I could!  

If you aren't a regular follower to my blog I homeschooled my boys from the time they were in elementary school-- my oldest graduated from our homeschool to attend college a couple of years ago around the time my middle son decided he'd be better off at a local technical high school studying culinary arts.  I still homeschool my youngest who is entering his second year of high school.  




1. Where do you typically shop for back to school? Any tips? Alec's uniforms are bought through 2 different uniform companies; his academic uniforms consist of polo shirts and gym clothes with the school logo on them and chino pants we usually find on Amazon (he's an unusually tall boy and his size can be hard to find).  His culinary uniforms are ordered through a restaurant supply company the school has a contract with. 

My other boys rarely did/or do back to school shopping though this year Evan did need all new fall clothes since he had outgrown everything and we did really well at Old Navy this weekend buying everything he needs in one quick trip. 


2. How do your organize for back to school? For our homeschool I start "back to school" in the spring and pick out curriculum materials and order our books.  Otherwise I don't do much for back to school organization.  Alec's clothes are all set up in his closet with a system we organized in his freshman year and since he's in high school (and a senior at that) I leave him to organize himself. 

In the left most hanging bins are his culinary uniforms, middle row is his academic/ gym uniforms and then last year we added the right row which holds all this "front of house"/ restaurant server clothes since the school runs a restaurant that juniors and senior cook and serve for. 

3. Do you meal prep? Any fall recipes to share? I do meal plan year round though I have gotten out of the habit this last month and I'm trying to get back to it.  One of our favorite casserole recipes (which I just made last night) is this chicken/broccoli/rice casserole. It's Alec's favorite and since today is his first day of school I let him pick dinner last night. 


4. Any back to school traditions? Nope, for years when the boys were younger we had a "not back to school" week where we had park days, beach days, etc. with all our homeschooling friends. And enjoyed a bunch of field trips with all the zoos and museums and aquariums being pretty empty. 

5. How long does it take you to get into a new fall routine? Usually just a few days; but it can take Evan and I awhile to find a routine that we like as far as what subjects to do in what order each day (and sometimes we end up swapping materials entirely if we don't love the curriculum). 

6. Best lunchbox packing tip? Alec has always packed his own! 

7. Best tips for getting out the door in the morning? Now that Alec drives himself I don't have to get out the door in the morning.  

8. Slow cooker? Instant Pot? Both/ neither? Recipe? I have a slow cooker but I don't have an instant pot.  One of my favorite recipes is this crock pot lasagna soup.


9. School bus? Car pool? Walk to school? Since Alec attends a state run school in a different town than ours I used to drive him and now he drives himself. 

10. Start school before or after labor day? Most of the schools in our area of the state started sometime this week so they get in just a couple of days before the Labor Day weekend. And then we hopefully will get out in mid-June as long as we don't have too many snow days. With homeschooling we get to pick our own schedule and have started school anywhere from before labor day until after Columbus day in October! 

Linking up with: Thinking Out Loud, 







Comments

  1. Ok I definitely need to add that lasagna soup to our rotation- looks amazing!

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  2. Yes, to the lasagna soup! I feel like that is a must try fall recipe!!

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  3. Thanks for sharing this! I always love reading about other people's traditions and schedules. I like your son's closet organization system! I think it's great to do whatever works; my boys were always doing that same kind of thing. I loved that they were resourceful. I know you love that as well!

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  4. Tips on getting my kids to pack their own lunchboxes?!? I wish they would!

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    1. I pretty much just told him that if he wanted to go to school (and he did/does) than he needs to be responsible. I can't say I never make his lunch but on the day I help him out I ask him what he wants me to pack. When he first started school I did offer up suggestions... but my boys have been making their own breakfasts and lunches for years and years.

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  5. The flexibility of home schooling seems so nice! Good luck to all your guys heading back! I miss those back to school days!

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    1. It is wonderful to have so much flexibility and I really struggled at first when Alec started public school and having to conform to a schedule and so many rules. LOL

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  6. I love your lunchbox tip... yes to letting the kids pack their own!

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    1. LOL! Thank you. It sure doesn't work for the little ones but I am a huge fan of having my kids pitch in as soon as they are able.

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  7. That lasagna soup sounds so good! You share the best recipes.

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    1. Aw, thank you! I feel like it has been so long since I've shared any. I have lost that creativity in the kitchen and I'm trying so hard to get it back.

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  8. I pinned your broccoli rice casserole to try later. Looks delish!

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    1. I hope you like it! Everyone (but my oldest who doesn't like chicken) loves it.

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  9. It's so nice to be flexible and on your schedule with home schooling. Good luck to you and all of your boys this school year!

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  10. Interesting post. Love that Alex has always packed his own lunch. My kids always got school lunch so I never had to worry with it.

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    1. I don't think Alec has ever gotten hot lunch--- he has made his own food a few times in culinary (like pizza) but never had any desire to eat the cafeteria food.

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  11. Both the soup and the casserole look delicious. I think I will try both of them in the next week or so. Hope it is a great (school) year ahead:)

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    1. I thought the same thing about your lasagna skillet! I must be craving lasagna.

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  13. I relate to so much of this! I need to make that chicken casserole. Hope it is a great school year for your boys!

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  14. I loved back to school as both a teacher and a parent. There's just something about the newness of it all. I think I'm going to give the lasagna soup a try. It looks delicious.

    https://marshainthemiddle.com/

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  15. I love how organized he has his closet. That's so impressive.
    OXOX
    Jodie

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  16. Enjoyed reading your answers. The soup looks good. I used to use a slow cooker but now nothing but an Instant Pot, I have a 6 qt and a 10 qt. Thanks so much for linking up at the #UnlimitedLinkParty 127. Pinned.

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  17. I have a tough time answering some of the school questions too! This year is the first that none of my kids are going back to school, so it's only me gearing up to teach and I'm doing that remotely so . . . well, it's weird! Hope you all have a great year!

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    1. I hope you have a wonderful school year teaching remotely!

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  18. I love your not back to school week enjoying all the places when they are less crowded! Your lasagna soup looks delicious!

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  19. I love reading everyone's answers since they are so different. "Not back to school week" --sign me up haha

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    1. Right?! It was such a fun perk to homeschooling.

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  20. The chicken, broccoli and rice casserole looks delicious. I will add it to my fall dinners! And organization, that is not my strong point. Any tips I can get, the better! Your post will be featured at Gma'sPhoto LinkUp Party #6 which opens Thursday!

    Take care and best wishes.

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  21. Never having had to deal with the school issue, I have no idea how parents do it! Home school or otherwise, it takes a tremendous amount of work!

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