Back to school tips seem like they are a dime a dozen anymore. Many people want to give you tips that prompt you to buy things. Others are just focused on quick ways to get kids ready to start the school year. I would like to take a different approach and share some common things kids need to succeed in school. However, I also want to talk about the things that will help you as a parent to thrive with back to school this year!
Tips for Back to School Season
Summer will pack in the memories and leave kids feeling the dread and excitement of the school year all at once! Spending some time now can save you time, stress, and even money later. I have some great tips for you and I would love to hear what you do to prepare for the school year if I’ve left it off of this list!
Start with the school supply list
When you start a new school year the school supply lists are a right of passage. Some teachers ask for the bare minimum while others write you a book. These lists will generally be released well before the school year begins. I have a few tips for making the most of back-to-school shopping. There are also some items you need to buy extra of!
- Don’t go cheap on pencils! – If you spend good money on anything, make it the pencils! In this house, we’re Ticonderoga only! I won’t pay less for lesser pencils. You’ll end up paying more in the long run!
- Pick a backpack with a warranty! – Did you know that Jansport backpacks come with a lifetime warranty? They will replace a damaged backpack! You don’t want to stress replacing it mid-year.
- Go up a size on uniforms. – Kids grow fast and uniforms aren’t cheap! Go up a size if possible on things like shirts that they will grow into.
- Buy more of specialty items. – Does your child’s school need an extra-strength mechanical pencil or specific styles of highlighters? These items aren’t always stocked in store year-round. If you think you’ll have to replace it at all during the school year, take the time now to order extra if you can afford it.
- Buy items that aren’t on the list! – Are there items you will use at home that the teacher didn’t think of? As you are shopping for school supplies, make sure to include some of those items such as a stapler, printer paper, or even additional folders.
- Plan ahead! – One of the biggest hidden expenses in the school year is the hidden expenses. I HIGHLY recommend buying a few pieces of poster board from your dollar store when you see them in stock. Many schools will surprise you at some point with a Science project.
Adjust your routine early
It can be tempting to try to squeeze every ounce of fun out of the summer months! I know we are huge fans of trying to find every adventure we can. However, it’s also important to adjust your routine to prepare for the coming school year. This might mean starting to go to bed a bit earlier or starting to cut down on tech time. This will look different for every household and only you can decide what your boundaries are for your home.
Have a conversation about goals and schedules
Every new school year is packed with potential. One of my biggest back-to-school tips for you is to take some time to look at your goals and your schedules. It can be tempting to want to join every club, be a part of every sport, and fill every moment. This is where an honest conversation about goals will be so timely. Here are a few questions to ask when adding things to the schedule.
- What are you giving up to take this on? – Everything that goes onto the schedule will be a sacrifice of time and resources. When adding things on, it can help kids to learn that fact. Ask them what they are giving up. For example, joining track might mean giving up x number of days and many weekends for track meets. Helping them to understand the cost can help them to make the best choice for them.
- Will it allow time for your main priorities? – In our home, the main priorities are homework, down time for mental health, and maintaining their chores. Have a conversation about what their priorities are. Ask how this added event/club/sport will take their focus away from their priorities.
- Will it be a hindrance to the rest of the family? – Sometimes things seem good on paper but when you look at them through the lens of the entire family, the conversation can change. Take some time to discuss the family calendar and decide what will fit into it and what won’t.
- How will it impact your goals? – As kids get older they will start to set goals for their future. It can help to look at anything new they want to take on and ask if it will align with those goals or keep them from them.
Make a plan for lunches
Whether your child packs lunch or eats at school it can help to make a plan for school lunches. It can help to include some fun things like Harry Potter lunchbox foods or lunch box notes like the ones you can sign up for at the bottom of this post! It can also help to focus on study skills and filling in any learning gaps.