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Back-to-School

Your Epic Guide to Awesome Back-to-School Tips

July 23, 2019, Author: Tamra Cater

back to school

It’s that time again to start preparing for the next school year. For me, I still have a preschooler, so there’s not a lot for me to do. She only goes to school 2 days a week, and I don’t have to prepare a lunch or bring supplies. But, it won’t be long before I have to start REALLY preparing for the school year. Ughh, time goes so quickly. If I could, I would love to keep my daughter at this age. 🙂 She’s too cute! Here’s a picture of her during her first day of preschool last year:

back to school

However, if you are a parent with a child going back to school, I wanted to create a post that offers lots of good tips and advice to help you and your family prepare for the year. I asked other moms for their best advice, so it I hope it helps!

back to school

Back-to-School Shopping Tips

Buying School Supplies

1. Shop for durable school supplies. Cindy, from Living for the Sunshine, has great tips for saving your sanity when it comes to back-to-school shopping. She suggests looking for durable school supplies, which you shouldn’t go looking for at the Dollar Store. In fact, she says to run QUICKLY from the Dollar Store. She makes a good point that the supplies are not likely to last long.

Cindy also makes a good point about buying extra school supplies before the back-to-school sales end. For example, stock up on pencils early on, so you don’t have to go back in February when the prices will be much higher.

She also suggested that you will want to get what the teacher wants or recommends that you buy. Even if the request seems to be too much, the teacher probably has a good reason for including it.

For more reading, please visit her post.

2.Shop early. Jess, from Just Call Me Jess, suggests that you shop early for supplies and don’t get caught up on Tax-Free Weekend.

3.Consider buying some essentials online rather than in-store. Jennifer, from Teach Workout Love, suggests that it would be easier to buy some back-to-school essentials online, so you don’t end up buying too many extra things when you take the kids with you to the store. For example, she suggests getting a rolling backpack, a lunchbox, and water bottle all online. For more information and suggestions on what exactly to get, visit her post here.

4.Shop on Tax-Free Weekend. You can save on sales-tax by shopping during the tax-free weekend in your state. Ashley, from Irish Twins Momma, has a list of the tax-free weekends in most states. You can check it out here.

Saving Money on Supplies

1. Re-use items. Gina Morris, from Steps to Self, suggests that you re-use items from last year if possible. Binders and folders are good candidates for this. Also, if your child hasn’t written through most of a notebook, rip out the papers that they did write on, and then keep the notebook. Also, check for other art supplies that you may have around the house (such as colored pencils), so you don’t have to spend more money on that.

In addition, Gina mentions buying used items. For example, a used graphing calculator may be found at a college bookstore if you need one of these.

She also suggested checking your kids’ closets to see if there are enough outfits and clothes. There may be some good clothes that they haven’t worn much, so this can help reduce what you need to buy. If you do need to get more clothes, consider getting some quality basics (basic shirts, for instance) with some fun pieces mixed in.

For more information or reading, check out her post here.

2.Laura, from  LaLa to MaMa, suggested teaming up with a few other moms and buy some of the supplies in bulk to get a better deal. And then, the supplies can be split up from there.

Surviving Back-to-School Shopping at Target

1. Jennifer, from Failure to Thrive No More, has some great points about shopping at Target. So, this may be another option to consider for your back-to-school shopping. Apparently, you are able to order your supplies online, and there are 3 options for getting your products. You can pick up the items at the store, drive up and someone will bring them out to you, or get it same-day delivery.

Target also has School List Assist. Enough said. 🙂

For more information, see her post (and she explains the School List Assist).

How to Make Morning Routines Easier

Now that you have the shopping done, let’s consider how to make morning routines less of a hassle. I admit that sometimes it’s even hard to get my daughter out of the door for anything. She moves very slowly! Or I will have to tell her to get dressed a million times before she does.

1.Use a task list. Traci, from Traci’s 2 Cents, uses a  ‘lift the flap’ task list. She leaves all of the flaps open at night, and then as her kids complete them in the morning, they close each each flap. This helps you avoid having to remind your kids to do each thing. Here’s a picture of it from her post:

back to school

She’s got instructions on how to make this on her post, so please take a look here.

2.Gradually shift bed-times and wake-up times. Krissy, from B-Inspired Mama, has some hacks for morning routines.She talks about gradually transitioning to earlier bedtimes and wake-up times, as well as going through a trial week before school starts (where you start to gradually shift bedtimes and wake-up times). In doing this, hopefully your kids will be less grumpy in the mornings when school does start! Visit her post for more information and great tips!

How to Stay Organized During the School Week

Once school has started, how do you stay organized during the week, so you can stay sane?

Mamie, from Mamie Pack, has some excellent ideas. Here are her tips:

1.Hold Weekly Family Meetings. This can be a time to discuss chore assignments, upcoming events, as well as any goals for the week.

2.Choose and iron clothes for the week. This reduces the changes of fussing with your kids over not having anything clean and ready to wear for the school day.

3.Meal Prep. Plan out what you are having for dinner for the week, so you don’t have that dreaded question- “What’s for dinner tonight?” It also saves you time!

You can get more information on these tips here.

During the School Year

1.Nurture your child’s interests. In one post I wrote, I suggested that it’s important to nurture our child’s interests to help them build self-esteem. If your child loves to swim, consider registering them for a swim team. If they love dance, enroll them in dance. It’s all about helping them find what they enjoy and are passionate about.

2.If your child has events, whether it be sports or something else, try your best to attend. According to one mom, these are the moments that your children will remember. I believe she’s right. My parents always tried to attend my swim meets, banquets, art events, etc. I always remembered that. It helped me feel valued and connected to my parents. I know, as a parent myself, I’m tired and exhausted from everything I do. But I also know that I love watching my daughter at her events. I want to be there to support her as much as possible.

3.Praise effort. As I mention in one post, try to praise effort. If your child spends a lot of time studying for a test and doesn’t do as well as they had hoped, still praise the effort. This will help a lot with improving our children’s self-esteem if we praise effort as well as rewarding them for a job well done. In addition, they will realize that effort is just as important as the end result, so they will learn to persist and still try when faced with challenges.

Final Thoughts on Back-to-School Tips

School shopping may be stressful, but I hope these were helpful tips. It sounds online shopping and using Target could be great options to make it go more smoothly!

I really love the idea of the flap task list! This may be prevent a lot of constant reminders in the morning for your kids to do certain things. In addition, consider preparing clothes and lunches the night before, so this helps take out extra tasks for the morning.

I hope this post helps and that you and your family have a great school year!

If you enjoyed this post, please share!

back to school

 

 

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comments (14)

  • avatar image
    Great tips! We reuse our Planet Box lunchbox every year, definitely helps to save money. 4 years and it's still as good as new! I also agree with buying online, it's often a lot cheaper than in store.

    Maggie

    July 24, 2019 Reply
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    I love the lift and flap idea! So creative. Thanks for sharing.

    Sara

    July 24, 2019 Reply
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    These are some great ideas! Thank you for putting this list together. Especially love the back to school shopping tips you shared. The only one I'd add is to buy supplies for the following year during the back to school clearance (after school starts). Last fall I got 2 packs of folders and notebooks (the kind they need each year in the different colors required here) on clearance so I'm all set with those for this year! :)

    Traci

    July 24, 2019 Reply
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      Thank you!

      Tamra Cater

      July 24, 2019 Reply
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    Okay I agree with the flap task list. That’s genius! Our school has a program you can buy all their supplies through for a discounted price and when I researched it, it really was cheaper to just go with the pack. We are also currently adjusting bed time to get back on track. Thanks for all these other ideas!

    Jessica

    July 24, 2019 Reply
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    Helpful tips! Target is definitely your friend when shopping back to school! The task list is such a great idea for keeping them kids on time !

    Mallie

    July 24, 2019 Reply
    • avatar image
      Thank you for reading! :)

      Tamra Cater

      July 24, 2019 Reply
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    Great tips! My little is about to start Pre-K this year, and I need all the tips I can get!

    Kimmy Mason

    July 24, 2019 Reply
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      Thank you. I hope you guys have a great year!

      Tamra Cater

      July 24, 2019 Reply
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    Wow, these are all awesome tips for parents! I'm super excited for school but dreading it at the same time lol.

    Tricia

    July 25, 2019 Reply
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    Great and informative post! My son is starting preschool for the first time in September and I’ve been so nervous. I’ll keep all these tips in mind for years to follow!

    Kaila

    July 26, 2019 Reply
  • avatar image
    The flap task list is such a cute idea. I might have to make one for my son! And picking up items at Target is the way to go! Whenever I shop the old fashioned way I end up with WAY more in my cart than I intended to!

    Kelly | Pjs and Paint

    July 26, 2019 Reply
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    All great point I have a 20 months old but this are all great tips

    Meilifisayo

    July 26, 2019 Reply
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      Thank you!

      Tamra Cater

      July 26, 2019 Reply