The supermarket store aisles are bursting with back to school items, clothing stores are advertising back to school sales, county fair schedules are coming out. That could only mean one thing: Back to School time has arrived! With this time of year comes stress, for both parents and children. Kids are not sure what to expect with the new school year, and parents are wondering how to pay for all the things on their children’s “back to school” list.
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Here are some tips to help you navigate through back to school season successfully!
Slowly ease bedtime back up. This can be done in 5-15 minute increments over the period of 1-2 weeks. If your child goes to bed at 10 now and you want it to be 8:30 when school starts, then bump it up 5 minutes over 18 days, or 15 minutes over 6 days. This helps your child get used to going to bed earlier again slowly and hopefully helps alleviate bed time fights right before the 1st day of school.
Go through your child’s wardrobe now and make a list. How many pairs of good jeans do they still have? What still fits from last year? Do they need new socks and underwear? Make a list of what they have, and then make a list of what they HAVE to have to start school. If new shoes are on the list and you hate taking the kids shoe shopping make an outline of their feet on construction paper. This is a huge help when it comes to buying new shoes for younger kids. Once you have a list for each child take that to the store. This will help prevent you from buying 5 pairs of new jeans when they already have 6 pair in their closet that still fit. If at all possible take each child separately. This gives you one on one time with that child, and also helps curb expenses.
Check the school supply list for your child’s school. I like to budget ahead of time for school supplies. Get the list and divide it up in 2, or per child. Buy what each child needs separately or if you only have 1 child divide the list up by 2. Then you can get all the school supplies in separate trips. This is good for the budget because you don’t have to do it all at once. Plus sometimes things go on sale later on. So, even if you don’t get the sale price on crayons this week, you may catch it next week when you buy child #2s supplies. When it comes to shopping sales for school supplies always check the ads for other stores. Wal-Mart will price match stores like Staples, Kmart and Kroger’s on school supplies. This helps keep you from driving to a bunch of different stores just to get a good deal.
Set a play date with a friend from your child’s school. This is especially important if you have a child just starting school. Find a family you know who has a child in the same grade and let them meet and get to know each other. It is a lot easier starting school when you already have a friend! If your child hasn’t seen his or her BFF from school for the summer track down the friends parent and invite the child over. This helps the kids get reacquainted with each other before school starts.
Review your family’s summer bucket list.If so did you get everything you wanted on it done? Probably not! Let each child pick one thing they still want to do and make a plan to do it! Did they want to go fishing? Catch a lightning bug? Learn to skip a rock? Savor the last few weeks of summer you still have left with the kids and cross off a few items off that bucket list!
What tips do you have to share for back to school success?