Back to School ABC + Sol Republic #Giveaway

School is back in session in our neck of the woods on Monday.


Hold me.

And then, step up out of my way because I’ve got a to do list that’s a mile long.

back to school tips

The ABCs of Back-to-School: 26 Tips & Tricks for an Awesome First Day

Adjust the sleep schedule.  The Dudes have been staying up until 10 (okay, fine, 11) since they finished their summer camps earlier this summer.  Not gonna work come Monday.

Buy them something special.  A cool pencil, a pair of funky shoelaces, dope headphones your friend’s will want to borrow.  This year, Dude 1 is getting his hot little hands on a new pair of Sol Republic Tracks headphones.  We are huge brand loyalists when it comes to Sol Republic (DudeDad uses them daily & we gave my dad a pair last year for his birthday too!) because they make a quality product.  It’s durable (perfect for tough on stuff Dudes), the sound quality is crisp, and they look pretty cool too (they have interchangeable headbands so you can get them in a ton of different colors and designs).  Plus, they’re relatively affordable (you can buy them at Kohl’s for like $100).  It’s a great gift for your middle, high school, or college bound music loving dude.

sol republic


Cleanse.  Before we start our school shopping for the year, we spend an afternoon emptying out the closets and the drawers to see what fits, what gets donated, what needs to be handed down to a younger Dude, and what needs to just be dumped due to blown out knees, untreatable stains, and other wear and tear.  I have 10 bags of donations to get to Goodwill sometime next month week, they’re yours today if you come get them.

Discuss procedures. When you’re the mom of a child who suffers from OCD, procedures need discussing, and discussing, and discussing again.  But, even if OCD isn’t a part of your life, helping your child know what to expect by familiarizing them with the schedule can be super helpful in easing anxieties and making the transition back into the classroom smoother.

Eliminate bad habits developed this summer. For example, not wearing underwear.  The Dudes ditched the restrictive garments the day the school bell rang.  Gotta get back into those.

Figure out a good weekly lunch budget for those that buy. The middle schooler doesn’t need a meal, a pretzel, AND a cookie from the cafeteria every day.

Glue.  Apparently it’s a big deal at school because our first grader needs 12 of the big sticks.  Make sure this and the other school supplies are ready to go.  No one wants to be the kid who has to borrow paper and pencils on the first day.

Haircuts.  Get them.

Ignore their back-to-school whining.  And try not to do too much of your own.

Jump off the year with a positive attitude.

Kiddecals.  Because kids at school steal stuff.  Okay, not really. That’s just what my children seem to think when they can’t find the new winter gloves I got them or their lunchboxes.  They swear their classmates would steal their eyeballs if they weren’t sewn firmly into their sockets.  When that logic fails them (because they can’t name a single child they could envision robbing them blind), they resort to witchcraft and wizardry as an explanation (Dude 1 once blamed the Easter Bunny for stealing some of his items, and Dude 2, a leprechaun).  We use Kiddecals to label all of their junk.  They have plenty of cute styles as well as mature looking ones for almost-13-year-olds who “don’t want no baby labels” on their things but still can’t manage to keep up with them.

cute labels

Lunch. It doesn’t have to be just bologna sandwiches and Twinkies. You want your child’s midday meal to be energy boosting and healthful.  Sushi, tuna sandwiches, and chicken avocado wraps have been a hit here.  Also, check out my school lunch ideas pinboard.

Make new electronics usage schedules.  Watching Good Luck Charlie in bed every night is just not gonna happen when school starts.

Never underestimate the power of a detailed shopping list.  We never leave home without one because I have a memory like a sieve sticking to a budget is important.

Open the lunch box and air it out.  Evil things may have grown in there over the summer.

PTA.  Sign up for it.  Even if you don’t volunteer, the money you donate via your membership can help your school immensely.

Quit lamenting all of the things you didn’t get to this summer.  Your bad, it’s over now.

Remind them about their school behavior.  The Dudes live like wolves in the summer, time to come back from the wild.

Set goals.  Be more organized, read each night before bed, participate in the science fair, those are on our list this year.  We find it helps to set some of these before the school year begins and we get caught up in procrastinating about projects everything else that needs doing.

Talk to teachers.  This is particularly important for children with special needs, especially if your child doesn’t have a learning plan of any sort in place.  For Dude 3, his teacher needs to be aware of certain behaviors (he has an oral tic that can be pervasive, we don’t want her to think he’s just making noise!) and anxieties that don’t necessarily affect his ability to perform academically on a day-to-day basis, but may be an issue in class or in social situations.  We like to make his teacher aware of these from day one (or before) to eliminate any discomfort and/or misunderstandings.

Understand that your child may be nervous.  It may seem silly that they’re worried about “not knowing any 1st grader stuff” to you, but it’s a legitimate concern for them!

Visit the school.  This one is for newbies.  You want them to see where they will be spending 6 hours of their day.

Wear appropriate back to school clothing and footwear on your first day.  Flip flops are NOT appropriate clothing.  Pants are required.  Masks, not cool.


X.  Come on, no words start with X.

Zip up those jackets and have a good day.  Although, their aren’t many places where you will really need a jacket on the first day, you get the point.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: We have received complimentary products from some of the retailers listed.  All opinions are our own.

Giveaway Restriction:  Please note, if you have won a giveaway from Sol Republic in the past 12 months, you are ineligible to win this prize.

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  1. Janice Cooper says:

    I like old school r&b music

  2. 80’s metal!

  3. I like listening to Rap. It get’s me motivated to do my workout.

  4. Kayte CookWatts says:

    I love old school blues!

  5. erin dear says:

    I enjoy listening to a variety of music from country to classical, rock pop and everything in between. It depends on my mood

  6. Musicals

  7. michelle brooks says:

    Pop and country.

  8. rock

  9. Ashley Busse says:

    I love alternative :)

  10. H.E. DeLuna says:

    It depends on my mood but I listen to just about everything. My favorite workout music is rock.

  11. Mostly Christian music but I jump around depending on my mood.

  12. Call me weird, lol, but I love Big Band swing music

  13. Tracy Jones says:

    I listen to a little bit of everything….alternative, dance, country.

  14. classic rock

  15. My favorite kind of music is southern gospel so I don’t really think that can be considered jamming music :).

  16. amy pugmire says:

    I like house and pop music.

  17. Rock!

  18. carol clark says:

    i like all music pop county but i love miranda lambert

  19. Birdiebee says:

    Classic rock.

  20. Mary Jenkins says:

    When I’m by myself, I listen to Parisian 60’s pop and tribal beats.

  21. Cheryl B. says:

    Rock and some 80’s hair band music.

  22. Candice Taylor says:

    Anything but country!

  23. Rock music is my favorite. I do like some new country too

  24. Aqdas Ahmed says:

    new country

  25. Julie Harris says:

    I listen to any styles of music but mostly listen to pop music recently

  26. I love all types of rock music.

  27. I like classic rock

  28. Sarah Griffin says:

    I really like my christian music.

  29. nikolas alexander says:


  30. KAJal suriya says:

    Love listening to alternative rock and pop and edm

  31. Lorina Padgett says:

    I like listening to Jazz and Old School R&B

  32. soha molina says:

    I like to listen to dance music.

  33. Christie Mullen says:

    I love symphonic metal.

  34. Chris Stockford says:

    florida georgia line

  35. roger simmons says:

    The Crystals, The Shirelles and everything in between to Michael Jackson and ACDC and Selina Gomez

  36. I love pop music mostly or anything that has a good beat!

  37. jenn giannetto says:

    i like acoustic, indie, and alternative

  38. Karla Sceviour says:

    I like all kinds of music,,usually whatever is on the radio,,rock,country,pop,etc.

  39. Thomas Murphy says:

    I like rock.

  40. jeremy mclaughlin says:

    Like rock music

  41. Amanda Sakovitz says:

    I love pop songs

  42. Heather Dawn says:

    I like to listen to punk and metal.

  43. Pop music i like it :>

  44. Alex Robles says:

    Rock most of the time :)

  45. Crystal Renee says:

    I love rock, classic rock, and alternative music the most!

  46. steve weber says:

    I like jamband music.

  47. Classic rock and pop are my favorites!

  48. Tabathia B says:

    I like listening to pop music

  49. I like hard rock, classic rock, metal and alternative for the most part.

  50. Classic rock

  51. Tammy Dalley says:

    florida georgia line

  52. Marci Wright says:

    Classic rock!

  53. Linda Kish says:

    I like country and classic rock.

  54. Pop Music

  55. Erin Marie says:

    When I am alone I like heavy metal, with the kids I tone it down to some 80’s rock

  56. Bailey Dexter says:

    I listen to a few different types, I love old rock, but then there is always time for classical music

  57. Amy Heffernan says:

    Old rock!

  58. I like classic rock

  59. Oh I love to listen to the Goo Goo Dolls!

  60. arena thompson says:

    Edm..aka music with a beat that I can clean my house to. Lol

  61. Tricia Martin says:

    I like rocking out to Group 1 Crew.

  62. Heather Hayes Panjon says:

    I Like Listening To Pop Music!

  63. I’ll listen to almost anything except country and classical type music!

  64. Ben (Ada) says:

    I jam to rock

  65. I can always jam to 90s pop music! lol!

  66. Kristen T says:

    Beck and Green Day!

  67. I’m pretty across the board in my music tastes. When working out though, I generally stick to pop.

  68. tara darity says:

    I listen to hard rock!!

  69. Cálaeb Temple says:

    i listen to a bit of everything but right now it’s the gaslight anthem’s new album ‘get hurt’.

  70. I like upbeat happy music!

  71. CR Williams says:

    Mostly Christian music

  72. braking benjamin

  73. Peggy Johnson says:

    contemporary christian and the oldies

  74. I jam to good old rock and roll

  75. Carrie Messer says:

    I like a lot of music- jazz, hip hop, R&B, classic rock.

  76. I like jamming to some rock, upbeat music

  77. christina moore says:

    I like country music

  78. I love listening to country and also modern Christian songs.

  79. Daniel G. says:

    Classic Rock and pop

  80. You forgot Y! Y am I telling you? Because I love you! And I want you to share your “recipe” for the school lunch chicken and avocado wraps- I have two kids who would love that, and I’ve never made it before!

    Um- and I like pop and dance music!

  81. I love R&B music the most but I can enjoy most music if the tempo is right.

  82. Brian Kautz says:

    Classic Rock

  83. Ellen casper says:

    Country and top 40 when working out

  84. Kim Kihega says:

    I like Pop music!

  85. rock music

  86. These days we have been enjoying some Muppets in our car cd player :)

  87. Melanie Montgomery says:

    I like folk rock!

  88. courtney b says:

    i like all kinds.. hip hop. country and rock and roll

    thank you!

  89. Love r & b

  90. Colleen Boudreau says:

    I like pop music.

  91. I like my Christian music. And older stuff like Vanilla Ice, Garth Brooks… c’mon they go together!

  92. I like classical music.

  93. Joe Bones265 says:

    It’s Jazz all day and night!

  94. vanessa buhler-rice says:

    We listen mostly to Contemporary Christian, but my kids play many instruments, so they are into all kinds of music. My little guy (11) is rarely seen without an MP3 player in hand!

  95. I’m a country girl!

  96. I like Christian Rock

  97. Julie Wood says:

    I like to listen to Bruce Springsteen and U2. I like to listen to tons of artists.

  98. Lisa Brown says:

    i like county and classical music