Published on August 1, 2011 inParenting on LandOMoms.com
Just typing the words, “back to school,” is a bit surreal.
How can it already be back-to-school time? It probably isn’t where you are, unless y’all do year round school, but down here, my pre-schooler, who attends private school, is starting on Monday; and my 2ndgrader goes to school on the 22nd.
We have been preparing for this eventuality all summer, though. The past couple of years, I’ve lived in a bit of denial about school starting and waited until the last minute and the big sales to do my school supply shopping, and with that procrastination has come the inevitable selling out of the must have necessities and the long lines.
This year, we approached it a bit differently and my life was made immeasurably easier.
Let me share my Top 5 Back-to-School Tips:
Keep last year’s school supply list: If your school doesn’t send the next year’s list home with the final report card. Not much changes and you can be assured of getting at least the most crucial items. With this list in hand (I keep mine in the notes section of my phone) add a few items every time you shop during the summer, before you know it, you’ve completed your back-to-school supplies shopping and you’ve spread the cost out over the summer.
Arrange a clothes swap with your friends: My daughter wears a uniform (a relaxed one) but a uniform nonetheless. Invite your friends over and ask them to bring gently worn school clothes to trade. With the girls we made it into a fashion show; they got to try the clothes on and parade around with their friends in front of their moms. The boys, depending on the age, may or may not go for this. This can save lots of money and is a great excuse to get together for snacks and drinks and fun with friends. Whatever clothes don’t get traded, donate to your local Good Will or Church. (You can go hyper-organized and create tickets and trade levels etc., or just have a free for all.)
Spend the summer with your kids talking about favorite foods and meal plans: Shop for fun shaped cookie cutters and/or small brightly colored portion cups and create fun themed lunches. Sandwiches cut into shapes, accompanied by fruits and veggies and cheeses individually portioned out into the cups makes for lunches where nothing touches, and it’s a treat for the eyes and the mouth.
Create cute goodie bags, or hand stamped notebooks with brightly colored pens, or even a fun book of cute quotes: Let your child have a hand in this and on Meet The Teacher Night, they have a gift for their teacher(s) and an easy way for them to introduce themselves.
Send notes in their lunch, their backpack, tucked into a book or a pocket: It can be a smiley face and heart for non-readers, or just a note of encouragement. These notes will give your child a reminder that they’re loved and important, and what person doesn’t need to be reminded of that?