blog » September 16, 2013 by Elisa Schmitz

Samantha Kemp-Jackson Helps You Put a Stop to the Back-to-School Madness! by Elisa Schmitz

10 years ago
Samantha Kemp-Jackson Helps You Put a Stop to the Back-to-School Madness!

Most of us are knee deep in back-to-school routines. Even if you’re a veteran with multiple years under your belt, back to school is always a bit of a jolt. Luckily, we have Samantha Kemp-Jackson, mom to four kids including a set of identical twins, to give us the details on getting it all together! Sam is frequently called upon to appear in print as well as on radio and TV to share her expert advice on all things parenting and children. Sit back, relax, and let our resident 30Second Mom back-to-school expert stop the madness for you!

Q: What are the top three things parents should keep in mind to prepare for the school-year?

A: Get organized! Make a list, check it twice, know what your child needs and what to expect. All in moderation! You don’t need to buy everything now. Wait and see what your child needs. Save money, too! Bigger is better! Your mom was right – buy clothes a tad bigger and get more wear out of them.

Q: But, how to get organized? Especially if you’ve got a few kids in different grades?

A: Find an easy way to keep yourself organized. A smartphone can even do it. There are a lot of back to school organization tools out there. Also, don’t forget Google as a go-to location for back-to-school tools!

Q: What about the little ones who are going off to school for the first time. How do you get them prepared?

A: Talk to them and let them express their feelings. They want to know that you’re listening! Take them to the school so that they know what to expect. Make them comfortable. Get them excited – a new backpack, a pencil case, a special shirt. Anything that will get them into school mode!

Q: How do you deal with kids who have the “Back-to-School Blues?”

A: Be open to them. Listen. Talk. Communicate. Support. Knowing that you’re there will make all of the difference. Use tech to keep in touch with your older kids. Sleep is important, too! Keeping kids on track with a sleep schedule will make them feel better.

Q: What about school-work? How do you get them into the hang of homework and studying again?

A: Start now! It’s never too soon to get them back into the habit of studying and reading. Make room for them at home so that they have a dedicated spot to study and read. Refresh their memories by going over some of the lessons from last term.

Q: How much should kids rely on technology as part of their learning experience?

A: It depends on their age, comfort level and the curriculum. Check in with your child’s school to see what’s planned. Be comfortable yourself, as the parent. If it’s too much, then voice your concerns to your child’s teacher. Put limits on the amount of time spent on tech – even for schoolwork.

Q: What about clothes? How much should I get for my kids?

A: Remember: you don’t have to get them everything all at once! Buy a few items now and more later on in the year. For younger kids, you can save money by buying second hand clothes! And there’s even a green alternative for back to school clothes: a clothing co-op.

Q: What about school lunches? They can be a struggle. Any tips?

A: Yes: ASK your child what they like to eat! Sounds simple and will save you a lot of stress. Don’t forget to make lunch fun! Don’t sweat it! Your kids won’t go hungry – I promise!

Q: What’s the best part about being mom?

A: The hugs, the kisses, the snuggling and the unconditional love that you give and receive from your kids. There’s nothing like it!

Q: What is the best advice you have been given as a parent?

A: “This too will pass.” My mother tells me this all the time and she’s right! Things are never as bad as they seem and every day is a new day. Today’s drama won’t seem so bad tomorrow.

Q: What is your favorite recipe?

A: Hmmm…there are so many, it’s hard to decide on only one. For this reason, I’ll select a recipe that I use often because the kids love it. They’re often picky and I worry about them eating breakfast so I make these in the morning. My kids can’t get enough of theme and the recipe is simple; check it out here!

You can find out more about Sam by following her on Twitter, visiting her blog and Facebook page.

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