August 2023

7 Things to do Before School Starts

No matter if your students are big or small, here are a few ways we ease ourselves back into the school year.  

1. How to Start a Back to School Bedtime Routine

Man, this is the HARDEST thing at back to school time for us.  We stick to a somewhat normal summer bedtime but it's much later than our school day bedtime. 

And I always let our kids sleep in as much as they want to during the summer months.  Our pediatrician has told them "sleeping helps you to grow taller" so that's helped too.

I let our kids each pick out their own fun alarm clock and choose which setting to put it on each night.  I figure it gives them more control over how they wake up in the morning and then it's not all on me to shake them out of bed :)

Back to School Tip: The best way to help kids adjust to an earlier wake up call is by moving their bedtime back by 10 - 15 minutes every few nights.  So if they are waking up at 8 am but will need to be up by 7 am on a school day, you'll need about 2 weeks for their internal clock to adjust to the new time.


2. Plan an (Easy) Celebration for the First Day of School

Since the first day can be a momentous occasion, I like to plan ahead for that first day.   Something fun and unexpected -- but easy and not too elaborate since you never know how that morning will go.

Back to School Tip:  I've learned over the years that if there's something to look forward to at breakfast, it's much easier to get the kids out of bed that morning ;)

Some years, I'll decorate the table with a fun back-to-school layout -- for example, use a globe, old photos from when the kids were younger or other school-related items to create a "First Day of School" themed table.  Other years, I let the kids pick the breakfast menu for a special first day treat!


Books to read to get ready for back to school

3. Read Some Back to School Books

If your kids are a little anxious (or even just excited) about starting school or moving to a new grade, plan to read a book or two about with them. 

See our 24 Great Books for Back to School for fun titles about their upcoming grade level. 

Reading also helps kids to create a visual picture of what they can expect on the first day.  Many times, they will be anxious about "the unknown" so talking about it helps to ease their concerns.


4. Organize Closets & Lunch Items for Back to School

Oh my word, I can't tell you how much time this has saved me over the years!! Honestly, it's one of my big Back to School secrets (shhhh!)

Every August, we organize an area of their closet for 'school clothes only' so kids can easily see & find outfits that are appropriate for school (you know, things that aren't stained or too small or items that CLEARLY aren't approved under the school's dress code). 

I know quite a few families who use a weekly closet organizer & have their kids choose outfits for each day on Sunday evening so there's no need to make decisions during the week.

This is one of those quick tasks -- only takes about 20 minutes -- that really makes things run smoother! Plus, once you have all the school clothes in one spot, it's easy to see it you'll need to add any items to their wardrobe.

Back to School Tip:  Don't forget to try on those shoes to see what needs to be replaced.  I swear my kids outgrow flip-flops & sneakers between May and August!

Next up -- organizing School Lunch Items so they are all in one spot!  And not just a lunchbox but those little-overlooked items like:

We gather them up & put all our lunch items (except freezer packs ;) in one spot so it's easy to grab things we need when prepping the night before!

5. What School Supplies Do You Need?

Do the kids remember where they put their backpack at the end of last year?  How about those school supplies you purchased a few weeks ago?  (Confession:  Ours are still in the Target bag sitting on the floor in the den.)

Time to get everything out & organized -- and re-assessed -- so you know what you still might need to grab before classes begin. Especially this year -- if you'll be doing any remote learning in the Fall, it's time to know what you need & carve out a small but dedicated space at home where kids can store their items and sign in online for classes or homework.

Check your school's website for a class or grade supply list (most have them) or just buy the minimum and take notes on back to school night (great advice for middle & high school kids because each teacher has a different supply list at those grade levels!)


 6. Technology for Parent & School Communication

So much technology is used for parent/school communication during the year -- items like grades, teacher emails, school events and sports schedules can all be coordinated early in the year so you have the info on hand when it's needed.

Download the apps you'll need this year, register for the bus alerts and put in the numbers of families who are sharing carpool duties!

Ask your school which apps or websites they use for communicating with parents and get them bookmarked or on your phone during the first week.

Back to School Tip:  Download a timer app so you can set it to go off each morning to get the kids out the door on time :)


7. Plan One Last End of Summer Activity

Was there something that you didn't get to do this summer?  Maybe make s'mores or play flashlight tag?  Do the kids might want to have a lemonade stand or head to the pool for a night swim?




17 Fun Things to do before the end of Summer

17 Things to do Before Summer Ends

What are some of your family's favorite summer activities? 

Most of us do not like to see Summer end! 

Kids don't want to head back to school yet and as a parent, I'm just not ready for all the schedules and activities to begin. 

We try to eek out as much Summer fun as we can during August.

Not only do we do some big time celebrating before school begins but we also continue to plan a few fun days and activities throughout the month (taking advantage of the longer days).

Why not schedule a few more 'lasts' over the next few weeks and enjoy making some end of summer memories!

August also has some great days that you can celebrate together. 

Aug. 3rd - National Watermelon Day

Enjoy some of summer's favorite fruit today -- and maybe a seed spitting competition in the backyard too ;) 

Aug. 5th - National Underwear Day

I know -- they have a day for everything, don't they!

But if you have little kids who LOVE to run around in their skivvies (or big kids who never care who sees them ;) this is the day to let it slide.


Aug. 6th - Root Beer Float Day

I know that popsicles and ice cream cones are summer favorites but making a root beer float is so much fun.  Create your own at home or find a store that serves old fashion floats at a soda counter -- such a cool experience!


Aug. 7th - National Lighthouse Day

Explore one of these amazing structures and you'll find some really cool architecture and great stories! 

Aug. 9th - Book Lover's Day


 Go to a local bookstore or library, or just camp out all together and share a good book.  


Aug. 10th - S'mores Day

For a fun twist, try creating your own unique s'more today -- what would you put on it?


Aug. 11th - Play in the Sand Day

Maybe one last trip to the beach is in order?! 

Or if the beach isn't close by, pull out some kinetic sand and play at home!


Aug. 15th - Relaxation Day

We could all use one of these right before the start of school -- kick back and enjoy some quiet time today!


Aug. 19th - National Honey Bee Awareness Day

Learn about honeybees with these great books & activities and help to save one of our pollinators this summer!


Aug. 20th - Lemonade Day

Sounds like a perfect day to let the kids host a lemonade stand!  We had one on our street earlier this summer and my friends daughter raised more than $20 for the Red Cross. 

Plus, it's a great way to practice those money skills before they head back to school ;) 


Aug. 25th - National Waffle Day

Grab the syrup and enjoy breakfast outside today -- add some fun toppings and kids will enjoy a make your own waffle bar right at home!


Aug. 26th - National Dog Day

Take your favorite furry friend out for a walk or play a game of catch today!


Aug. 30th - Toasted Marshmallow Day

Maybe an end of summer campfire as a way to end the season?


Aug. 31st - Eat Outside Day

Picnic lunch anyone?  Make it super easy -- cheese cubes and fruit on kabob sticks or pb& j on a picnic blanket. 

Watermelon, popsicles and ice cream are also portable snacks too!







Daily Activity Kids Closet Organizer

11” X 11” X 48”- Prepare and Organize a Week’s Worth of Your Children’s Clothing, Shoes and After School Activities


 Available on Amazon



FREE: The Power of Positive Parenting


What you will learn:

  • What is Positive Parenting and Positive Discipline?
  • The 5 Criteria for Positive Discipline 
  • Where we are & where we want to go with our children and learn the most important parenting tool! 
  • Positive Discipline Tool Exploration 
  • How you can learn more! 

This class is interactive and experiential. Please be prepared to participate. I will send you an email prior to class with useful tools and tips as well as material for our activities.

August Class
​Date: Wednesday,  August 23, 2023
Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Location: Online via Zoom
Registration Deadline is Sunday, August 20, 2023 and will be limited to the first 24 participants.

FREE: The Power of Routines:  Back to School Addition

What you will learn:

  • Why Routines are so important to children?
  • What happens to behavior when routines are changed
  • How and When to shift gears to a new routine
  • 5 new routines to get your Children ready to start school
  • Roadblocks to Routine Success 
  • How you can learn more about Positive Parenting! 

Date: Sunday, August 13, 2023
Time: 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
Location: Online via Zoom


Positive Parenting Bootcamp - 3 Session Course

Join parents & caregivers like you for 3 Sessions of Positive Parenting classes taught by Melissa Middelthon. Based on Jane Nelsen's Positive Discipline books, you will learn to discipline with firmness and kindness. Have fun with kids and set the foundation for important social and life skills. Help children feel a sense of belonging and significance through mutual respect and encouragement. These classes are a fun way to connect with other parents in the community and practice the skills over a few weeks so that you can go more in-depth with the material.


"The class was very helpful in reducing stress and frustration in parenting. The knowledge that it is never too late to change your approach...we are so adaptable." 

"Taking this class was one of the best things I've done for myself and my family since my child was born. I refer back to the class's concepts in order to deal with day-to-day issues and also feel like I have an overarching philosophy to help me as I navigate the parenting world."


A course for parents and caregivers

 Parents and caregivers will learn long ­term solutions for raising kids to feel “I am capable, I can contribute, and I can use my personal power in useful ways to improve my life and the lives of others!” Positive Discipline teaches long ­term parenting skills that will encourage children to think for themselves, become more responsible and have a greater respect for themselves and others. Feel supported while learning some non­-punitive, respectful methods that will incorporate kindness and firmness into your relationship with your children. Get to the core of your children's misbehavior, practice encouraging tools and gain a sense of accomplishment.

This is a highly engaging ONLINE course that works best if you can participate on a computer or tablet. We will be co-creating a safe and supportive space that will include a mix of lecture, small and large group activities, role play and collaboration. 

Course Registration: $150 



Pricing includes one digital set of all materials needed for the course:  Positive Discipline, by Jane Nelsen, The Positive Discipline Workbook, Parenting Tool cards, and bonus access to videos of key lessons and a Family Meeting Toolkit.


Fall Session:

Dates to be announced soon.


Parent and Family Coaching 

Parent coaching is designed to provide insight, help parents discover newfound energy in their parenting, develop an appreciation for what they have and who they are, and create sustainable ways to achieve their vision or dream for their family.  Different than therapy, coaching’s unique methodology allows the coach to provide support as a cheerleader, guide, and mirror. Coaching is perfect for helping parents who are feeling overwhelmed, parents who are baffled by their children’s behavior, parents who are looking to bolster their parenting “tool box,” and parents who simply want to take their family’s life from good to great.  Interested to see if Coaching would be a good fit for your family?  Click below to schedule a complimentary discovery call.


Schedule Your Free Create Your Inspired Family Discovery Call Today