It’s hard to believe summer break is almost over. This is the point of summer break where kids’ (and their parents’) thoughts turn to going back to school.
It may feel overwhelming when you start thinking about it. From buying school supplies and new clothes to getting your kids used to waking up early again, there’s a lot to think about.
Don’t panic though -- there’s still enough time to prepare. With a little patience, planning, and organizing, your kids (and you!) will be ready for that first day of school!
Getting ready to go back to school is as easy as 1-2-3!
1. Make sure you know your school district’s schedule. That first day is coming up for sure, but school start dates vary by district location throughout the North Georgia area. Do you know your district’s exact start date? Here’s a handy resource for school start dates around the metro area. You can click on individual links to see the entire 2017-2018 school year calendar for your district.
2. The supply route. Your student(s) will need supplies! Especially grade-school kids. With clothes, shoes, devices, etc. all being considerations, you may have to plan for those additional costs early enough to make sure all the purchases are made in time for the start of school.
- Start by checking the kids’ backpacks from last year. Yeah, they’re probably still in the corner where they were left on the last day of school, and there may be some extra school supplies in there. Also, check around the house for simple items that may be on the back-to-school supply list: glue sticks, tape, pencils, pens. Hint: check that “junk drawer” for the extra things, such as promotional items (i.e., pens and pencils) you sometimes get from businesses around town.
- Start early and shop around. Yes, if you go to an office supply store on the day before school starts, you’re probably going to spend more. Check out sales or try a local dollar/discount store to get the basics that you don’t need to spend a lot on.
- Keep an eye out for ‘tax-free day.’ Many localities have a designated sales tax-free shopping day for back to school. Hey, every little bit helps, right?
- Make a list and stick to it. The essentials should be on your list. Make a budget for each student.
- If the kids are along for shopping, you know they’ll want some extra stuff too. So agree in advance on what the ‘extras’ budget is. And perhaps even have them pay for their own extras from birthday money, summer job cash, allowances, etc.
- A tight budget is a reality, but for some supplies, quality counts. For items like backpacks and electronics, for example, it may be better to pay a little more for quality, durability, and peace of mind.
3. Transition to the school schedule. Going back to school can be stressful, and it’s made even worse if your student(s) have been sleeping in all summer. Start a few weeks in advance with getting them up a little earlier to help them acclimate to the school schedule. Of course, earlier rising requires an increasingly earlier bedtime, too.
As for the parents out there, one good piece of advice for you is to allow yourself some flexibility in your schedule when school starts. Missed buses, forgotten items, and oversleeping, for example, may mean you have to pull up some slack. By keeping your schedule relaxed, you won’t feel as stressed or over-extended.
And most importantly, maintain a positive attitude (at least around your kiddos!) about going back to school. Help your kids think of the positive aspects of school such as seeing their friends again after a long break, meeting new people, and learning new things.
So are you ready? It’s going to be a fun school year!