Chantelle here! How are you all dealing with the fact that summer is ending? How are you all preparing for Back To School? As a Mom of two boys, a second grader and a TK-er, I thought it would be fun to give you my tips on how to deal with Back to School, summer work (what?!), back to school clothes, supplies, meal ideas and more!
5 Tips for Dealing with “BTS” (Back To School)
Tip #1: Summer Work – First of all, it’s summer and why do we need to do any work? Let me explain. For children who are learning to read, it is important to make sure they keep up their reading during the summer break. Speak with your child’s teacher prior to the school year and ending and find out what DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment) level they are at. Purchase books from an educational source or use your local library to help you find books that are at your child’s DRA level. Since it’s summer, pick just a few nights a week for your child to read. By reading over summer break, this helps keeps their brains active and they won’t have a slow re-start once school is back up.
Tip #2: School Shopping Prep – This is a fun one! As a child growing up, I really only remember school shopping as a teenager. I remember my mother taking my twin sister and I to our favorite clothing store, and letting us go wild on the cutest trends! As a parent myself, I tend to ask myself, is back to school shopping really necessary? Especially if you are on a budget? My answer to that is yes, but there is always a balance. For me, I tend to shop more for my oldest because of obvious reasons, they are biggest and the younger brother gets the hand-me-downs. So that’s where I start! There are multiple steps in this tip so bare with me as I break them down. I just did this in my household so I know this will be super helpful!
Steps to School Clothes Prep:
- Clear out dresser and closet of clothes that do not fit, as a good rule of thumb, you should do this at least every six months, but ideally each season is good. If you can do it four times a year, you will eliminate clutter and you will function more efficiently.
- Make a list of what is needed to be replaced, basics like underwear, socks, then fashion like pants and shirts etc based on how much is being thrown out. Do this for each child.
- When ready to shop, put a budget together. Plan to shop during Back to School sales, or look up consignment shops (and sell your gently used clothing). Another good ideas for extra cash for new clothes shopping is to have a yard sale. If you live in a high traffic area, you can make a good dollar amount off clothing that is still in good shape!
- Be creative, for my boys, I cut their old jeans that are getting too short into shorts. The beginning of the year is still hot, so the extra pair of shorts carries them for a month at least until I really need to buy new pants. This is a big cost saving tip for the beginning of the year!
Tip #3: Ask Questions at Enrollment or Email Teacher Prior
Ok so I had a parent failure on this one. My little one started Transitional Kinder this year and I didn’t THINK I needed to pack him a snack. I was wrong! My poor baby was the only child without a snack and though he was fine, he admitted to me he was a little sad. Though, the school and his teacher did not give out any information about providing a snack for your child, I take full responsibility for not asking. I should have assumed he needed one or just right out packed him a snack just in case. I apologized to my son and he forgave me. Never feel like you can’t ask a question, better to be over prepared than to have your child feel left out. Big lesson for me!!
Tip # 4: Get Information on Supplies Needed At enrollment, if the school has a supplies list, make sure to grab that for your child’s grade. I have two children and I spent about $30 on supplies. Keep in mind, one of my boys is in TK, so the amount of supplies needed goes up as your child gets older. It’s good to budget about $50 for supplies just for a little extra cushion. If you have extra from that amount, put it towards school clothes. At many schools, the supplies are asked as “donation” so each family does not need to feel pressured to purchase if it is not in their budget to. Your district may not have this at all, the key is, get the information ahead of time so you can donate or provide if you would like too! Extra Tip – check dollar stores first, then hit up the big retailers afterwards.
Tip # 5: Save Money & Time By Participating In a Meal Train for Dinners
This is a great idea for both parents who work. If you gather up a few families and coordinate a meal train, you could have a wonderful cooked meal ready in minutes every night! The idea is, each family cooks on one night of the week in bulk. You hand out portions to the other families and in return, you get their portions of what they cooked. Then, freeze them! Each night you just defrost one of the meals, and voila! A yummy home cooked meal. And… if you live in a melting pot like I do, chances are you will have food from all over the world! It’s a pretty cool idea!
Back To School prep includes so much more like coordination of schedules, pick ups, after school care, etc etc. I hope that these 5 tips help to ease some of the madness! To learn more about me or read about my Christmas and Easter, visit this page!
Thanks for reading my blog! Xo, Chantelle