Crystal Valley Blog

Back-to-School Tips and Tricks!

POSTED August 3, 2021

As summer draws to a close and school starts back up again, it’s time to round up a few tips and tricks to get kids ready to head back to IPL – in-person learning! From imposing bedtimes to getting kids excited by shopping for supplies and first-day-of-school outfits, we polled the experts (teachers, moms and dads!) who have found things that work for themselves and kindergarteners through tweens and teens.

Start Imposing Bedtimes

back to schoolIf kids have been sleeping in these last couple of months, Pragmatic Parent recommends setting bedtimes and getting-up times can help get us ALL get ready for the transition. It won’t be long before we have to face the rigors of earlier (and school-project-filled) nights and waking-up-early days. Putting kids to bed 30 minutes or so earlier for several nights in a row, then even more until kids are back to typical school season times. Setting alarms is painful for everybody, but it will make getting dressed, eating breakfast and getting out the door less stressful.

It’s only the first week of August but we’re already dreading having to say farewell to the summer of 2021!

Homework Stations and Extra Supplies

When you’re purchasing school supplies, grab some extras to keep at home. Set up a dedicated homework station in your house if you haven’t yet – one where your kids can drop backpacks, grab a snack and do homework once they get home. Having a space dedicated to homework where you can help and assist is ideal. And if possible, eliminate or limit any distractions such as toys or windows that look out onto cavorting neighborhood kids! Here are 10 ideas for a smarter homework station for students of all ages from HGTV’s curated collection suggested by homeschool and long-time teachers.

Spit and Polish (Okay, no Spit)

Picking out a new backpack, lunch box and water bottle for the school year is another mood elevator – and it’s something kids can look forward to every year. Along with a new first-day of school outfit, a new haircut will help your children feel excited about turning the page to the next chapter of their young lives. 

Pictures on the first day of school in new clothes, new ‘dos and a little polish are a MUST. One reason? Because it’s so fun and entertaining to compare first day of school and last day of school pictures. Kids grow, change, and mature throughout the year and it’s a way to mark the passage of time and enjoy these transitory moments forever! The Outlets at Castle Rock have ongoing sales and Good Housekeeping has some tips and tricks for commemorating these special days – and if you want to smile, check out the Instagram page with more than three million posts. Etsy offers up these inventive boards to fill in year after year, and you can order generics if you have a gaggle of kids to capture for posterity.


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Credit: Gretchen Brown, RD

Easy Meals to Make Ahead

Meals can add to stress, making breakfasts, packing lunches, and figuring out dinner is a full time job for any parent. Here are a few ideas that can help. Make ahead breakfasts, from super simple breakfast cookies – nutritious and tasty – to waffles, pancakes and egg muffins, paired with a bit of fruit and a glass of milk will be all you need.

And if you need ideas for healthy packed lunches, click over to HGTV’s collection for an entire month of kid-approved mid-day meals. With just 15 items per week, you can make a different power-packed lunch for every day.

If you pack a lunch on the first day of school, drop a quick note in their lunch sack as a surprise for them to find. Here are some quick notes to print, cut out, sign and drop in your kid’s lunch bag, bucket or sack.

Starting School in Crystal Valley

The schools that students in the master-planned community of Crystal Valley attend are full of compassionate and dedicated teachers and staff. Come and explore the new homes in the Douglas County School District, surrounded by nature and only minutes from the town of Castle Rock. With 9+ decorated models from Richmond American Homes, Kauffman Homes, Century Communities and D.R. Horton, the thoughtfully designed ranch or two-story models – are priced from the $400s.


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Our community enjoys a year-round schedule of events and activities. Register to receive the latest progress and news of upcoming events at Crystal Valley.

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