I left a review for the Melissa and Dough Wooden Abacus.
Mothering's Annual Back-To-School Giveaway! - Page 4
Hmmm... I guess my best tip for back-to-school tip would be to have good, home cooked meals, even when there's no time to cook them!
Every week or so, I spend a few hours cooking multiple foods... Meats, sides, even desserts. I do this in large amounts, like 2 family size packages of chicken thighs, 3 meat loaves, ten pounds of potatoes, etc.. I then freeze everything into single portions. This way, when there's no time to cook, I just look in the freezer, and grab some precooked chicken, a baked potato, and veggies, pop it in the microwave, and I have real food in minutes! It is much cheaper because it is bought in large amounts and healthier than prepackaged foods because it does not contain all of the salt and preservatives.
I have a PreK student and 1st grader this year and we have a large woven basket near where they do art/homework that is a drop off zone for their backpacks. The girls know to take their lunchboxes out of the backpack, place it next to the sink for me to wash up, take out papers/folders from the backpack and leave the backpack in the basket. The basket fits with our decor (I like things to look pretty AND be functional, thank you TJ Maxx!) which works for me, the backpacks don't end up all over the house, and everyone has what they need where they need it for preparation for the next day. I also have a little magnetic folder on the refrigerator that notes home from the teacher go in (like a mailbox for me) so I know what I need to review and either send back with the girls to school or file into our family binder. These are simple things that so far seem to help control the chaos.