Back to School – The Smart Way

As summer comes to an end, we begin to think about the start of another school year. The relaxing and endless days of fun will soon come to a close and now is the time to start planning for the year ahead. This will possibly mean a new school, new teachers, new friends and, of course, the dreaded homework. But before taking on this year’s back-to-school experience, take these simple tips into consideration.

1. Back-to-School Shopping

The one thing kids get excited about when thinking about going back-to-school is picking out their new shoes, backpacks, supplies and all the other fun stuff they can think of. However, for the parents that can get expensive, so take away some of these convenient tips to help you save.

  • Bargain shopping! – There are a lot of school-shopping sales out during this time of year, take advantage whenever you can.
  • Look for state “tax free holidays.” Every penny counts right?
  • Hold a swap party with friends and neighbors – Last year’s barely used supplies or clothes may be brand new and exciting for someone else.
  • Use credit or debit cards with reward incentives.
  • Stock up on basics for the whole year – paper, pencils, glue sticks, folders, etc. These items don’t ever go bad and using the sales and bulk items will save you money in the long run.

2.Begin a Routine

To transition your child from the lazy days of summer to the strict school routine, start by establishing a set schedule. This will help eliminate the craziness through the first week of school.

  • At least a week prior to school beginning, start a bedtime routine. Even if your child is not falling right to sleep, have them lay in bed, reading a book or a quiet activity the same time every night.
  • Get your kid used to waking up to an alarm. Starting the week before school, set the alarm an hour later than it will go off when school begins. Then every other day, set it 10-15 minutes earlier until the kids are getting up at their regular school time.
  • Prepare as much as you can the night before school begins, so no one is running around frantic the next morning. Pack lunches, backpacks and any sports equipment needed. Lay out your outfit the night before.
  • Stay organized by providing a spot designated for upcoming events, announcements, permission slips, invitations and more. This way everyone knows what and when everything is going on.

3.Ease the Stress

It can be scary and stressful to all when a new school year begins, think about ways you can help reduce your child’s stress and in turn, reduce your own.

  • Take your child to meet their teacher. Depending on the age of your child, they may feel better if they have previously met their teacher before the walk into class on the first day.
  • Connecting with classmates is another opportunity for your child to become adjusted to the new people he/she will be encountering every day.
  • Communicate with your child about everything involved in the process; the routine they should follow, bus/pick up schedule, lessons they may learn this year, etc. Let them ask questions to know what will be happening in their new day-to-day schedule.

With a little planning, communication and loving attention, the transition from summer to school can be peaceful and smooth for the whole family. Help your child be ready to succeed and you will too.

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