3 Tips for Transition from Summer on the Farm to School

Megan Dwyer

Jul 26, 2023  |  Today's News |  Public Outreach

Megan Dwyers children outside school for back to school photoIt seems like summer just gets started, then we hit the 4th of July and suddenly summer is on a rapid race to the finish line. While not having to make the 30 mile roundtrip for drop-off and pickup is a welcome reprieve, the return of schedules and routine sits well with this type A personality. This year will also be a welcomed change with 3 of the 4 kids in school and the 4th still too young for pre-school, we will get by with just 2 drop off schedules and no mid-day arrangements! These tips aren’t unique to farm families but are some ways we get ready for back to school.


1. Find all the deals

  • Taking three lower elementary aged kids and a toddler for a Target run is far from my idea of a fun afternoon. Last year we made a change, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back. Now, each child gets individual time with mom and her laptop. We open up Target, Walmart, and Amazon on individual tabs and they get pick the more personalized items and we buy the generic crayons, markers, etc at the cheapest site. Bonus, I’ve been a long time Rakuten user and get cashback for my online purchases. The kids get a second round of excitement when the packages arrive, and they get to sort and find their new supplies.

2. Resume the routine

  • Late nights catching fireflies will soon turn into late nights shuffling people, equipment and delivering field meals. Unlike those late summer nights, school nights mean early school mornings. In our house, my husband leaves for his full-time job at 4:30AM so it’s usually mom vs the clock. To make the mornings run more smoothly we try to prep as much as possible. I pre-make and freeze breakfast favorites like waffles, pancakes, and sausage links that the older kids all know how to heat up in the microwave. We also have the kids initial days they will be having hot lunch on the calendar for the entire month to plan ahead for that. Finally, on Sunday evenings we pick out and layout out school outfits for the week so in the morning it’s grab and go. Although, two of my kiddos also prefer sleeping in their next day’s clothes which is an added bonus of less laundry!

kids and dog outside school bus3. Setting limits

  • While summertime is usually full of camps, playdates, vacations or staycations that seem to defeat the notion of lazy summer days it’s ok and even encouraged to say no heading into the school year. Especially with multiple kids with different interests it’s ok to set limits on what is not only realistic for their wellbeing but yours too. It’s not just about the time commitments and driving to practices but the mental load of remembering who has to be where with what on top of the normal schoolwork, housework, farmwork, and work-work. While I’m far from a Pinterest worthy mom, this is also going to be the year of shedding the mom guilt and knowing storebought or basic homemade snacks and simple class party games are going to make no difference to the kids and maybe even give another mom the confidence to step back to the 20th century when life was just a little less chaotic.

As you are emptying the tack boxes from a busy 4-H show season, collecting all the swim gear, and completing final back-to-school shopping I hope you find some of these tips helpful or at least know you’re not the only one in the trenches of the end of summer rush. As for us, we have one last summer item to check off our list, freezing our yearly stash of sweet corn to give us a little taste of summer all year long.