Although this summer has been a blast, it’s gone by much too quickly. I’ve had a wonderful time planning trips with my family and enjoying activities with my little nieces and nephews. However, the time has come to prepare for getting back to school. This can be a stressful time for some but since I’ve been through it a few times I know how to make it go as smoothly as possible. After all, back to school season means we’re that much closer to Christmas. That’s what I tell the little ones when they lament about summer being over. Keep reading to find out other tips and tricks I have learned along my parenting journey.
1. Start now! You may still have a month left, but a month can run up on you quickly. The sooner you start, the less likely you’ll be to have a last minute frenzy trying to get everything together. Plus, the sooner you start, the more sales you can hit and save big on all the items you need.
2. Make a list. This seems simple because, thankfully, some teachers will draft a list and send it to you. For those who don’t, making a list will help you ensure that you don’t forget any essential items before leaving the store.
3. Check to see if there are any supplies you can use again. Items like scissors, mechanical pencils, and folders can be reused from the year before. Just make sure they are in good working condition.
4. Do some research to find the best deals. As the school year approaches, many stores will be having back to school sales. Check your local newspaper to compare the ads of several stores. You can also research online but I like having the ads in front of me and sometimes there are coupons.
5. Make a set budget. If you set a budget you can ensure you are only getting the essentials and that you’re getting the best deal. Allow your kids to be a part of that process so they can better understand why you are not spending extra money on a folder with patterns as opposed to the plain green one. It also helps to start teaching them how to make smart financial decisions.
6. Go to a one-stop shop. If you’re not worried about comparison-shopping to save money, try going to an office supply store to save yourself some time. Office supply stores often carry everything your child will need from pencils and calculators to notebooks and protractors.
7. Revert sleeping schedules back to school time. During the summer the days are longer and can change sleeping habits and bedtimes. Some little ones may be early risers but I know not all my children are. Start getting them in the routine of getting up and going to bed earlier so it won’t be such a struggle when school actually starts. You can even stage a few practice runs of getting everyone ready and fed before driving to the school or bus stop. You’ll be so glad you did.
8. Take your kids on a tour of the school. This is especially important for the kids entering a new school for the first time whether it’s transitioning to a new town or changing schools as they move up a grade. Giving children a chance to familiarize themselves with the new environment will help ease the stress of the first day of school. It’s even better if the school hosts an open house where you and your child can meet the teacher and office staff.
9. Buy quality products instead of a lot of more inexpensive items. It will actually save you more money to buy quality products that you can use year after year than it is to buy cheap products that may not last this school year. With that said, you should look for items you can buy in bulk. Buying in bulk saves a lot of money.
10. Stay positive when you talk about school. Kids young and old may be nervous about their first day or just want summer to last forever. However, if you always keep a positive attitude about school starting, so will they!
Take it from me, if you follow these ten tips, you’ll ease right into the new school year. The first few years can be a little hectic, but after a while, you become a pro at sending your kid’s off to school.