Making the transition from summer mode to back-to-school mode is much easier when you take key steps along the way. If your family has two working parents, you especially need to prepare as things become are very hectic in these first couple months of school. Here are some of the top tips for preparing for school:
1. Take stock at home
If you’re like most parents, you probably still have a stack of papers in last year’s backpack or a pile of school crafts to store in your keepsake box. You may find that your child’s lunchbox is in good condition and can be used for another year, and you may find the stash of pencils you forgot about buying in May. Organizing school supplies at home will help you avoid buying extra items.
There are several hacks you can use to organize pencils, paper, paperclips, art supplies, and all of the other items your kids will need to use throughout the school year. Many of them utilize materials you most likely already have at home and can save you some money, which is helpful since your child probably outgrew many of his school clothes from last year.
2. Take the guesswork out of clothing sizes
Some parents hesitate to purchase a ton of school clothes because they aren’t sure which sizes their child will need. The best thing to do is to have your child try on the clothes that he wore at the end of previous school year. Chances are, it will be warm at least through September, and he will be able to wear the short sleeve shirts and shorts that he finished out the school year wearing. Take stock of the clothes that you have and keep in mind that your child may not need long pants or long sleeve shirts right away.
While you are checking out last year’s school clothes, consider which ones your child did not wear. If he didn’t wear it to school last year, there is a good chance he won’t wear it this year, either. Find a local consignment shop or have a back-to-school yard sale and sell these items to get extra cash to purchase new ones. Or, donate the clothes and teach your child about paying it forward
3. Make a schedule
Making a schedule will help you to determine whether you have child care, pet care, and transportation needs covered for the upcoming year. You may not have realized that your kids are double booked with soccer and dance. Or, you may not have remembered that your family is attending your college homecoming weekend, and you need someone to walk or board your dog.
It is amazing how much stress and money you can save by preparing for back to school ahead of time. This year, get started early, and you may just find that your entire family transitions more smoothly than ever before. Here’s to a great year!
Joyce Wilson loved being a teacher, and though she has recently retired, she hasn’t lost that passion. She continues to educate (and help educators) by mentoring teachers in her area. She is also the co-creator of TeacherSpark.org, a resource for teachers to gather fun, engaging lesson ideas and activities.
Image via Pixabay by Wokandapix