33 Things For Parents To Do Once The Kids Go Back To School

by Robyn Wright on August 25, 2015

in Living

33 Things For Parents To Do Once the Kids Go Back to School | RobynsOnlineWorld.com

Just about all of the districts in my area have headed back to school for the new year which means there are some parents who have a bit of extra time on their hands. Not a lot mind you, but a little at least. When my son was younger and was attending school it was always a bit lonely, especially the first few weeks, when he started back for the new school year. So today I am sharing a list of things moms (and dads) could do with some of that free time.

  1. Take a nap
    We all know stay-at-home parents never seem to get enough sleep! Enjoy the peace and quiet and take a well-deserved nap.
  2. Read a book of your own
    I love a good Dr. Seuss book as much as anyone, but sometimes I need something a little more my own speed and to read to myself and not allowed.
  3. Join the PTA/PTO
    Schools rely heavily on the parent volunteers to help with activities and fundraising throughout the school year. Learn more about PTA and PTO.
  4. Take online courses
    There are thousands of online classes, like at Udemy, (disclosure – affiliate link, but I take classes there myself) that you can sign up for which are actually pretty inexpensive
  5. Deep clean the house
    Okay, this is totally not my personal idea of fun but I know a lot of people actually enjoy cleaning so have a ball. For those that need a system, check out Flylady.
  6. Learn to paint or draw
    Get that creative side moving again and create your own masterpieces to hang up next to the kids art projects from school. Udemy offers Complete Portrait and Figure Drawing (step-by-step) for just $10 (disclosure – affiliate link) or check out your local arts council
  7. Get a job outside the home
    There are actually many jobs where they want people during regular school hours. Just be sure to let your potential new employer understand what times you are able to work.
  8. Redecorate the house
    Head over to Pinterest and find some great ideas to redecorate any and every room in your house!
  9. Learn a new language
    I actually tried learning Spanish along with my son when we homeschooled but that didn’t work so well. When your kids are in school take up any language you want and learn at your own pace. Try Duolingo site/app for this.
  10. Have lunch with friends
    This is one of my favorite activities! I love catching up with friends over a nice leisurely lunch without any kids. Go to those bistros and places that don’t cater to kids – you know – the ones without the playgrounds!
  11. Start a new exercise routine
    Once you get the kids off to school take some time to work out!
  12. Organize all those digital photos
    I use OneDrive to store my digital photos and did a blog post on organizing digital photos but there are lots of options out there for whatever suits your needs. Add those tags and descriptions finally, delete the photographs you will not use, even make digital scrapbooks.
  13. Create some new recipes
    If you are a regular reader you know I do love to cook and try to come up with new recipes. Take a shot at it yourself. Use online recipes or cooking shows as your inspiration and then put twists on those recipes to make them perfect for your family.
  14. Treat yourself to a mani/pedi
    It doesn’t matter if you go to a spa and have it done or do it yourself at home. Just take that time to pamper yourself and maybe try a fun new color!
  15. Visit a museum leisurely
    I love museums and galleries, but if you go with the kids you know that you are busy being mom and you can’t spend the time you want on the things most interesting to you. Go by yourself and spend all the time you want looking at what you really want to!
  16. Start a new business of your own
    You really can do this! I have worked for myself (in social media) for many years now and love it. Before that I did Tupperware and Avon and the like too. Whatever floats your boat. Just one thing though, please do NOT invite me to your nail products or essential oil parties – most of us are bombarded with those things by everyone on Facebook already.
  17. Join a mom’s (or dad’s) club
    Check your local parent newsletters and magazines or MeetUp to find a local club for parents that matches you. If you can’t find the type of group you want, create one of your very own!
  18. Watch non-kid TV shows
    When the kids are home and you have the TV on it is probably something you feel appropriate for them. No judgment here from me – watch those salacious talk shows or catch up on the DVR recordings of Real Housewives – whatever you like – while the kids are gone.
  19. Take a long bath
    Or even a long shower. I remember when my son was young I would take the quickest showers on the planet when he was home. Once the kids are in school take the time to enjoy a nice long hot shower or a decadent bubble bath for as long as you like with no interruptions.
  20. Volunteer at your child’s school
    I mentioned PTA/PTO earlier, but there are plenty of other ways to volunteer at school also. I went in one day a week and volunteered my time to do whatever my son’s teacher needed, I helped in one of the Title 5 math classes, ran the “school store” in the morning, and did whatever else they needed. I really loved it.
  21. Start that coupon clipping you’ve wanted to do
    We all see those fabulous coupon and savings blogs out there and would love to try them but don’t because we are worried about the time. Most all of those blogs say you can do it in a short amount of time, but you do need time to learn and start the system. During the school year is the perfect time to get started.
  22. Can and preserve food from your garden
    This time of year our home gardens are bursting with so much. Even if you do not have your own garden the farmer’s markets are full. Now is a great time to can, pickle, and preserve all that bounty.
  23. Read blogs
    I love you already because you are reading my blog – but there are so many more out there covering any topic or idea you can think of. Explore, learn, savor, enjoy! Oh, and don’t forget to comment, bloggers love comments! (You can comment at the end of this post too.)
  24. Attend Twitter parties and chats
    I love Twitter chats – even before I started hosting them myself. They are kind of like a chat room (remember those days) and instead of a room deciding the topic it is a hashtag (#) that defines it. Take a look at my ongoing Twitter Party and Chat calendar to see what’s coming up.
  25. Have a well-woman visit with your doctor
    Our health is so very important. As women, we tend to put it on the back burner often. When the kids are in school is a great time to plan your appointment for the doctor, a mammogram, and whatever else is needed, without having to take the kids with us.
  26. Surprise your working spouse at work for lunch
    I know my husband loves it when I show up unexpectedly at work and bring him lunch or take him out to lunch.
  27. Provide child care to preschool kids in your home
    If you just miss hanging out with kids that much consider providing daycare in your home for others.
  28. Write a book
    It seems that so many of us would love to be authors. Now is the time – jump on that computer, open up Microsoft Word, and start typing! Don’t be afraid to submit it to a publisher or magazine either, but you can also self-publish with eBooks!
  29. Visit older family members who are also home during the day
    Do you have older parents who are retired? What about your grandparents or great aunts and uncles? They love having visitors usually. Go spend some quality time with them!
  30. Train your pets
    No matter what kind of pet you have you can have more time now to train them. Either basic pet training, behavior, or special tricks. (disclosure – affiliate link) PetSmart has tons of great products to help you with this.
  31. Volunteer at the charity of your choice
    Whatever speaks to your heart! Pick a charity and call them up to see what kind of volunteer opportunities they have available.
  32. Scan old family photos
    We have some really shutter-happy people in my family, or did in the past, which means we have thousands of old family photos that are printed and not digital. There are lots of new photo scanners that are super fast and you can scan in those old pics and have digital copies for yourself and everyone in the family to share.
  33. Afternoon Delight
    I’m not going to go into detail here, but you know what I mean. If your spouse can run home in the afternoon for a bit this is a great way to spend your time!

Do you have free time now that the kids are back in school? How do you spend that extra time? What was your favorite idea on the list above?


© 2015, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.

Comments on this entry are closed.


1 DeAnna Branigan Keller August 26, 2015 at 8:23 pm

Thank you so much for this! I learned a few things ;) And, just in time, my girls go back to school September 7th!

2 Robyn Wright August 27, 2015 at 4:33 pm

Awesome! So glad you found it helpful. Good luck to all of you in the new school year!

3 Lisa Brown August 27, 2015 at 4:22 am

Love the list; I do and take advantage of many activities on that list myself, especially cleaning. It is so much easier and faster to clean when one does not have anyone under foot :)

4 Robyn Wright August 27, 2015 at 4:33 pm

Agreed. I like to clean when no one else is at home.

5 Jacqueline Cromwell August 27, 2015 at 12:52 pm

My back to school routine never looks like this;). Oh well, luckily I get to do some of these things all the time!

6 Robyn Wright August 27, 2015 at 4:34 pm

Yes – as a homeschooler you have lots of other perks! I am always jealous!

7 Robin August 28, 2015 at 6:52 am

“Treat yourself to a mani/pedi” is my favorite on the list above…not that I will actually do that…but I do sort of fantasize about getting pampered a bit!

8 Robyn Wright August 31, 2015 at 2:25 pm

You should do it @rkosully22:disqus! You can do it at home even! Sometimes I go to the salon, but more often I do it myself because it is a lot less expensive. Still a nice feeling to treat myself even at home!

9 Sandy Klocinski August 28, 2015 at 10:13 am

I don’t have any kids in school. My favorite thing when my daughter was in school was being able to eat alone without interruption. My favorite thing from the above list is Surprise Your Working Spouse at Work for Lunch.

10 Robyn Wright August 31, 2015 at 2:26 pm

It definitely is nice to have a meal without interruption – no answering “hey mom” questions, no cutting up someone else’s food. Glad you liked the surprise your spouse at work for lunch!

11 Kristen August 29, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Naps are the best!

12 Robyn Wright August 31, 2015 at 2:26 pm


13 Erin Murphy August 30, 2015 at 9:34 pm

Naps are awesomeeee!!

14 Robyn Wright August 31, 2015 at 2:26 pm

Yes, they so are @disqus_hMbTxIlmvd:disqus

15 steve weber September 3, 2015 at 1:18 am

34. where is the daytime drinking?? haha just kidding.

16 Robyn Wright September 5, 2015 at 6:13 pm

ROFL – well you are probably better off not starting drinking until after you pick the kids up from school

17 Natalie September 3, 2015 at 8:26 am

I would love to take an online course now that my daughter is in school.

18 Robyn Wright September 5, 2015 at 6:14 pm

You should @disqus_V13DyMMdlQ:disqus – there are tons of classes in any subject you can think of available online!

19 Elena September 5, 2015 at 3:14 pm

#1 is my favorite. I need to do it more often

20 Robyn Wright September 5, 2015 at 6:15 pm

My mom always took a nap when she got home from work and I never understood it when I was younger – now, as an adult, I totally get it!

21 dpapsis2 September 8, 2015 at 11:14 am

Great list! Added some to my own list too ;)

22 Robyn Wright September 8, 2015 at 5:34 pm


23 Evie Clarkson September 8, 2015 at 12:36 pm

Reading blogs is my personal favourite!

24 Robyn Wright September 8, 2015 at 5:33 pm


25 Kristen September 15, 2015 at 8:40 pm

Lots of good ideas…

26 shellypeterson September 24, 2015 at 6:40 pm

This is a great list if ideas! Even though My son is back in school I watch my grandson while my daughter is in college so I really don’t have free time. But I do try and take a nap when he does.

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