Our Top Three Back to School Tips for Stepping out of Summer and Into the Classroom

A family making dinner together in their kitchen.

As Summer is making its way out the door, it means that the school year is just around the corner, so let’s take stock of our perceptions about what back to school could mean for your family. Do you remember in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, when the students are all sitting in their High School classroom, eyes glazed over, mouths open in boredom, everyone clearly not wanting to be there? Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your kids will be just like that! The start of the school year doesn’t have to be a chore or a dread. It can be a transition full of ease, flow, and even excitement. If you’re a little skeptical of this concept, let us help you see the possibility more clearly by offering our top three back to school tips for how to help smooth over this sometimes rocky annual transition. 

Start the school routine early

One key component of the back to school transition is the actual change in routine. Many kids have a fairly free schedule during the summer, or a shortened, more flexible schedule, at least. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that it can be a pretty jarring switch to all of a sudden have to wake up early and spend all day in a classroom. Furthermore, if your child has any additional needs, or if you’re a dual home family and your parenting plan is changing at the start of the school year, it can become an even higher stress situation for them. One way to limit this stress for the kiddos is to start their school schedule early! Begin the school year wake-up and bedtime routine a week or two before school begins, to get them back into the habit and to make it less of a big deal on the first day of school. 

Table Talk 

With a significant transition like going back to school, our mental health can be affected, and understandably so. However, we can reduce the negative impact it has on us by processing the transition ahead of time and mentally preparing for it. You can lend a hand in this, just by sparking some good conversation. Remember us encouraging “table talk” topics for your family meals? You can use that ritual as an opportunity to talk with your family about the upcoming school year. Some ideas for table talk questions: what was your favorite part about your experience at school last year? What’s one thing you’re really excited about for this school year? Questions like those will get them thinking about the upcoming school year in a positive light, and might also bring up some of their concerns, which can be good to discuss as well. 

Meal planning

Let us help you! Make dinner time something that doesn’t stress you out this time of the year. Plan ahead to have Dream Dinners and/or other quick and easy meal options for your family in the week leading up to the beginning of school, as well as during the first week of classes. Schedule time a couple of weeks before the school year to do some meal planning and buy any groceries you’ll need, then put the meal list of what you have planned up in your house so your family can see what’s coming and when. Plan some of your family’s favorites too, to help everyone have some comfort foods to look forward to during this potentially chaotic time of year. 

 

One common thread with all three tips? The three P’s: Prepare, Plan, and Prepare some more! Be intentional about your back to school transition. A little planning can go a long way to keeping your whole family happy, amidst the change of pace and schedule. The bottom line is, you got this! 

The Power of the Dinner Table

Family enjoying dinner together

If Jeff Bezos, the billionaire Amazon mogul, can find time to eat with his family, we’re thinking there’s really nothing holding us back from doing the same.

We are all making a pact here at Dream Dinners to slow down in 2019. Sure, it’s easy to pack granola bars for breakfast in the car or throw an extra pack of snacks in the kids’ soccer bag. Really, at the end of the day, we just need to carve out some time to reconnect.

There have been myriad studies about the importance of nightly – or as close to nightly as possible – family dinners. Not only are they a way to unwind, relax and share stories, they have some substantial effects on the social and emotional development of children and lasting positive effects on adult relationships, as well.

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4th of July Entertaining

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It’s officially last minute.

4th of July is less than a week away and if you’re planning to attend an Independence Day event, showing up empty handed is usually not an option— this is a great weekend to bring your Dream Dinners along.

June’s menu has some great backyard BBQ recipes including:

We also recommend taking a classic dinner and remixing into an inspired single-serving and shareable appetizer.

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Going Somewhere?

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If you’re going on vacation this summer, dining is often the most expensive and time consuming piece— don’t let the stress of meal planning and reservations lead to expensive dinners that can limit your fun. Whether you’re flying to a faraway and exotic location, visiting a secluded family cabin in the woods or simply going camping, we’ve got you covered. 

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March #DinnerEffect

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Family Dinner | April 5, 2016 | By

A big thank you to all those who took the time to share their stories with us over the past six months. Reading your stories wowed us, made us laugh and cry but most importantly we felt joy for each and everyone of our guests who have found a solution to their dinnertime dilemma.

Tomorrow voting will begin for the national grand prize, $250 Dream Dinners gift card.  We’d like to introduce you to our final #DinnerEffect winner, her family and some other great stories of Dream Dinners success. 

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February #DinnerEffect

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Family Dinner | March 5, 2016 | By

It’s time to announce another #DinnerEffect winner and the latest recipient of a $75 gift card.

This February we have been working to share the love and invite new guests to experience Dream Dinners.  These four families are just a few of the many submission we received for our February #DinnerEffect contest and are wonderful examples of how Dream Dinners can change a life. Thank you for taking the time to share your Dream Dinners experiences.  

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January #DinnerEffect

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Family Dinner | February 5, 2016 | By

We have been rewarding one guest each month since October who has shared their Dream Dinners story with us through our #DinnerEffect contest with a $75 gift card.  After three months and three winners, we are still wowed by each of your stories and are excited to announce our first winner of 2016.

These four families are just a few of the many submission we received for our January #DinnerEffect contest — thank you for taking the time to share your Dream Dinners experiences.  

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December #DinnerEffect

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Family Dinner | January 13, 2016 | By

 

Since October, we have been rewarding one guest a month who has shared their Dream Dinners story with us through our #DinnerEffect contest with a $75 gift card. After three months and three winners, we are still wowed by each of your stories.

These four families are just a few of the many submission we received for our December #DinnerEffect contest — thank you for taking the time to share your Dream Dinners experiences.  

You can enter for your chance to win  by sharing your story, for more information please visit our #DinnerEffect contest page. (Currently accepting for January.)

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November #DinnerEffect

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At Dream Dinners, our mission is to grow great kids by promoting the family dinner. We are working continuously to strengthen American families by bringing the homemade meal back to the dinner table. For more than a decade, we have work to change the lives of our guests with our Homemade, Made Easy offerings. 

Throughout the years we have heard many stories of sadness and hardship, but we continue to hear stories of joy, triumph and reasons to be thankful.

 

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Thanksgiving Traditions

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It’s never too late to try something new. This year, Dream Dinners wants to help you start a tradition and create more memories with your family.

From football to crafts, here are a few wonderful and creative ways you can spend your holiday.

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