Sunday, August 8, 2010

Back To School Already? Some Great Tips For Moms

Summer always seems to fly by, but this summer in particular has come and gone like a sunset. School ended late in June and, before I knew it, my three oldest were taking their first plane trip to Houston to meet and visit family. It seems like they just came home and it time for school already?

I mentioned in my last blog that I have weird children. They love to go back to school! They are actually excited! Are there any mothers out there that are with me when I say that I dread the going back to school crunch?

Back to school shopping, back to school lists, back to school clothes, back to school physicals, back to school sales, back to school signs, back to school excitement. "Back to School", to me, means getting up earlier (and I'm already a bear in the morning), spending lots of money on crayons, notebooks, new backpacks (because they all have to have brand new backpacks each year), pencils, erasers, binders, calculators, clothing, shoes, socks, underwear...

And, this year, four of my children will be in school, so that means four times everything on the back to school list. Then, it never fails...about a week into school, they will all come home with a completely different list of school supplies they will need in addition to the already purchased hundred and fifty dollars worth of supplies.

There are shortcuts to this are some hints to make your and your child's back to school endeavor more organized and less stressful.

Only Buy The Items On The List

Many schools post the current school supply list for each grade level on their website. Print it out and only buy the school supplies that are on the list. If you cannot find the list on the website, go to the superintendent's office or the school's office; you should be able to get a list there. This will eliminate the chances of buying items that are not going to be needed, leaving more money for other clothing.

Establish A Budget For Clothing, Accessories, and "Wants"

Did I say clothing? Every child has to have a brand new wardrobe to start school in, or at least that is what my children would like me to think. Clothing, shirts, shoes, underwear, socks...girls may need more hair accessories and jewelry. Establishing a budget-and sticking to it-will ensure that the buying is not going overboard. These are growing kids and they will most likely be outgrowing the "back to school" clothes and acquiring more clothes throughout the year anyway.

Go through closets and drawers and evaluate the needs of the wardrobe. If there are already plenty of jeans, why buy more? Teaching your child to stick to a budget is a great life lesson; not only will it teach the children to choose only the most important items that they need (prioritizing), it will also teach them to do it within a certain amount of money (budgeting).

Get The Trusty Calendar Out Again

The school year routine is a lot more rigid in my house than the summer routine. No specific wake-up times, far less appointments and extracurricular activities. When the school year kicks in, that calendar will become your best friend. For moms that have more than one child in school, create a calendar cork board where several different schedules can be tacked up for quick accessibility.

Back To Bedtime 

Back up the bedtime two to three weeks ahead of time. After a summer of many late nights, I've already started to wake the kids earlier and get them to bed about 5 minutes earlier each night. Their bodies need to adjust to a new sleeping schedule, and we all know that well rested minds do better in school. Although I get the question: "Why do we have to go to bed so early? It's not dark yet.", but we've explained that their bodies need to get adjusted...and they can't disagree with that.

I could give more advice than this, but essentially, finding your own groove to help you get organized and back into the school routine is the best thing to do. Can you believe our kids are going into the next grade level? Time flies...enjoy your kids.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this...very informative and makes it sound less hectic to head back to school. :)


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