Milwaukee Area Guide to Back-to-School


2020 Milwaukee Area Back-to-School Guide

2020 Editor’s Note: We recognize that not everything on this list will pertain to the 2020-2021 school year. However, some of the information is still helpful. We support you in this upcoming school year, no matter how it might look.

The time is here….and it looks a whole lot different than we ever expected. For some families, our kids are filling their backpacks, packing the lunch boxes, and headed back to the classroom. For others, we will be waving to them as they leave to meet with their teachers some days, but will be home seeing them through a screen for others. And yet for many families, school will be completely virtual for a while, conducted not from a classroom but in a whole new environment entirely. No matter what back-to-school looks like for you and your family this fall, we support you, we see you, and we know this is TOUGH. 

We’ve compiled all of the need to know information and must read resources to help you and your family start this school year off on the right foot! Here’s to another year of growth, adventure and hard work!

Guide to Early Education and Preschool

The Pre-K years are so special! We hope this guide is useful in conveying the options that are available to your family’s needs.

Read with Pride : 100 LGBTQ+ Books for Kids and Adults

Books that celebrate and represent those from the LGBTQ community are a crucial element for making a more equal world for all of us and everyone can benefit from adding representation and diversity to the bookshelves of our homes, for both adults and children.

Back to School Shopping for Kids Who Crave Sensory Input

Our back to school shopping includes buying sensory tools for our kids to use at school. In the middle of the last school year, we created sensory bins for school and they helped our kids be successful during the day.

Back to School Shopping: Stress-Free, Budget-Friendly Tips

Before hitting the stores (or websites), I’m getting us organized so that we can enjoy the last little bit of summer while still feeling prepared for the new school year.

Managing Food Allergies at School

We’ve had some teachers who do an amazing job and are sensitive to his allergies. We’ve also had teachers who didn’t really seem to get it. Here are some tips I’ve learned over the last nine years. If your family struggles with food allergies, I hope these help!

Dear Teachers: I Know This is Hard for You Too

I’m suddenly regretting that I didn’t get you a better Teacher Appreciation Day Gift. If I had known what was coming, I would have gone far beyond the Starbucks gift card and wrapped up a shiny new Tesla or perhaps a puppy.

Surviving a Tough School Year

Six weeks into the school year, a phone call from the principal ended with, “He is suspended until Monday.” We knew it was going to be a rough school year.

Teacher Appreciate Gifts: What Do They Really Want?

Everyone wants a way of showing just how much you appreciate teachers. But what do teachers really want (and what do they NOT want)?

Casa de Corazon : A New Kind of Daycare

The first of its kind in Wisconsin, and among providing an excellent Spanish immersion curriculum, Casa de Corazón emphasizes social responsibility and sustainable practices.

Children With Special Needs: The Early School Years

Creative ideas flowed, but in a school with lots of collaborative teaching, each adult interacting with him were using short term strategies to help him be successful.

What is Play-Based Education? 

Play based education is the idea that young children learn best when given the opportunity to play during age-appropriate activities. Play helps children develop cognitive skills, physical abilities, social skills, and vocabulary and literacy skills.

Target School List Assist: Crush School Supply Shopping in Five Minutes or Less

This is about as close to the magic School Supply Fairy as it gets, Mama. I am not even joking when I tell you that I ordered school supplies for all three of my children in less than 5 minutes.

Milwaukee Area Guide to Virtual Education and Homeschool

2020 has thrown parents a lot of curveballs, not the least of which has been an uncertainty surrounding schooling for our children. For many parents, this new environment has prompted questions and curiosity about virtual education and homeschool options. This resource is here to help parents learn more about virtual education and homeschooling options and resources so they can make the most informed decision for their family.

At Home Learning Resources for Families

Many of us have been thrust into a scenario we were not prepared for – facilitating our kids’ learning virtually and trying to support teachers as they try to figure out how to TEACH from this new platform. These resources are readily available and will help learners do their best!

Laughing Together at How Virtual Learning is Going

Countless families and teachers throughout the world are navigating the new reality of virtual school together. The new school year promises to be an adventure full of unexpected twists and turns. Instead of getting frustrated, angry or embarrassed, let’s make the hiccups and snafus in virtual learning fun and laugh together at the collective mishaps that are bound to happen in this new environment!

A Teacher’s Take on Online Learning

As a teacher and a mom, I have been very conflicted about my thoughts on this new forced online learning. I feel pulled in so many directions on what is “best” for our kids and learners. Do I have a lot of questions? Yes! Do I have any of the answers? Nope!

Read with Pride : 100 LGBTQ+ Books for Kids and Adults

Books that celebrate and represent those from the LGBTQ community are a crucial element for making a more equal world for all of us and everyone can benefit from adding representation and diversity to the bookshelves of our homes, for both adults and children.

FREE Routine + Activity Charts for Families

Schedules can make a huge impact in keeping some element of normalcy amidst the chaos. For many parents, having to work from home while also managing their kiddos and their school requirements is a whole new world we aren’t familiar with. For those with younger kids, something as simple as a clear routine can be a big help.

Go-To Survival Guide for Parents During a Pandemic

Lots and lots of resources, ideas, activities and more for parents in these crazy times!

Our Family Got COVID-19 | A Mom’s Experience and Q+A

As the virus continues to endure and more and more people are finding themselves getting tested for COVID-19, parents are asking the very real question: WHAT IS IT LIKE TO ACTUALLY GET THIS VIRUS?

COVID Care Kit: The Stuff That Helped Us Through Recovery

This post is about the items that I considered to be most helpful when we had COVID-19, many of which I really wish I had on hand before it struck so I wasn’t relying on others to bring them for me or praying for the fastest Amazon delivery in the history of the universe.

Baby Jack & Co. Clear Masks Allow Your Smile to Show Through

Face masks are now required in indoor spaces for quite some time in the state of Wisconsin, so parents everywhere are learning to get used to doing life while wearing one, and kids are too! Especially as many area kids get ready to head back to school, getting comfortable with wearing a mask is now an essential skill and these Smile Masks help adults and children alike be able to let their personality shine through.

Guide to Working Out at Home 

We have gathered together some great websites/apps to help you to continue to work out at home. These are great if you are trying to keep a routine up, are just starting to want to work out, or are needing to have the kids get some energy out!

It’s Not Crabbiness : It’s ‘Rona Rage

I’m referring to the crabbiness that isn’t just crabbiness but borderline rage about things that may have annoyed me five [months] ago, but now seem to make me nearly murderous.

What Your Middle Schooler Wants to Tell You, But Probably Won’t

We talked to middle school students, parents and teachers to find out what middle schoolers wish parents and teachers knew but probably can’t or won’t tell them directly. Not all of these will apply to your child, but I’m guessing more than a few will!

What Middle Schoolers Are Saying that Parents Need to Know

But as a middle school ELL teacher, I am in a very unique position where I have been allowed to sit in on their conversations and even asked to participate when more expert knowledge was needed. I have taken some notes and now am bringing it back to parents, to hopefully shed some light on your child during these challenging years.

I Don’t Want My Kids Home This Long

I feel guilty, but this was my first thought when I heard the announcement about school. I choose not to be a stay at home parent because it isn’t the right career for me. I don’t love every minute of school breaks. I struggle to stay calm and balance education with fun.

When the World Changes, Maybe We Need to Adjust Our Lens

We have all adopted a deeper appreciation for the people in our lives and communities who do so much for us. We are teaching our kids how to lend a hand to the world in new ways. More importantly, perhaps, we are finding a renewed appreciation for the family we live with every day.

We All Need a Laugh, but Not Everything is Funny

COVID 19. Safer at home. Worrying about loved ones. Educating our kids in a new way. Trying to meet our families’ mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional needs during this new normal. I don’t know about you, but I could really use a laugh most days. I want funny things in my timeline.

School Shooting: When My Son Heard a Threat

On the drive home from school, my son nonchalantly mentioned he heard about a plan to “shoot up the school” on a specific date. It was mentioned at the lunch table by one of his friends who heard it on the school bus.

Why We Decided Not to Redshirt Our Kids

I know there are many parents who decide to redshirt their kids–that is, wait a year before starting them. In fact, my in-laws chose to and my parents were forced to by my October 1 birthday. (Back in the ’80s and ’90s, September 30 was the cut-off.) For some people, this works. It is what is best not only for their family, but for the child in question.

Composting with Kiddos

Starting your own compost may sound daunting, but once you commit, I bet you won’t regret it! Involving your children makes it even more fun. Not only will you save money and reduce waste, but you have the opportunity to encourage your family to learn about how your daily habits and choices really can make a difference.

Transitioning to Middle School

While transitioning to middle school is only for three years of your life and your child’s life, but it can seem like eternity. This is the time for your middle schooler to learn new things and to make mistakes.  Guess what?  Mistakes in middle school can be some of the best life lessons your child will ever learn.

FREE Virtual Learning Bingo Card Printable/Download


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