In the mind of my oldest son the summer is still in full swing. He sees nothing in his future outside of playing, eating ice-cream, and his new bicycle.
For me, unfortunately, the end of summer and start of school is coming closer and closer everyday.
Now that August has made it's presence known (with some chilly and fall feeling weather I might add) I am officially in the "Plan-For-Back-To-School" mode.
And I'm not the only one.
If any of you have been to a department store within the last few weeks, you'll see that Back-To-School is in full swing for them too!
Making this the perfect time for Mommy, In Demand to dedicate an entire month to helping you (and, honestly, myself) become better prepared for the beginning of the school year.
Who doesn't like a little team work?!
So, to start off this months theme, I thought we'd talk about some basic things I'm doing to prepare myself, my son, and my wallet for that first day back.
1. Go Through Your Child's Clothes
My son is growing like a weed these days. It will often happen that I'll buy him a new outfit only to have it not fit him a month later.
By going through his clothes and making him try things on for me, I'm able to get a better understanding for what he'll need to look his best for his first day of school. I can then make a list of what he needs (and some things I really just want to get him) for when we go shopping.
2. Shop At Home For School Supplies
We always have things left over from the last school year that can be used or reused for the new one; Pencils that I can resharpen and replace the eraser on, pencil boxes and (sometimes) back-packs that look as good as new when washed, Notebooks that only have a page or two used...
If I can find anything in my home to use that I don't have to re-buy, it takes a great weight off of my shoulders. I can then make a list of only what's needed.
***Side Note: Don't buy school supplies until you get a list from your child's teacher. I did last year and ended up spending my money on things he really didn't need and having to spend more on the thing he did.
3. Make Lists, A Shopping Plan, & A Budget
For me there is nothing more painful than going shopping and forgetting what I need and in what size, color, etc. By writing it all down ahead of time I'm able to eliminate that pain altogether and think much more clearly when I'm in the crowded store with other panicky Moms.
It's also helpful in the month prior to the new school year to create a shopping plan and a budget. I like to sit down with my husband, a cup of coffee, and my planner and talk about when we want to go shopping, what that specific shopping trip will be for (clothes, supplies, shoes, etc.), and how much we have to spend on those things.
I find that breaking the trips down helps to eliminate stress. You aren't gone for long periods of time. You can keep to your budget. And you're able to get a better sense of what stores to visit for better deals on the things you need, since there aren't 100 of them all at once.
4. Start a Sleep Schedule
It's an already known truth that children need to be well rested for school in order to function and learn at their full potential. This is even more needed at the beginning of the school year when you're child is learning the classroom rules, schedule, and basically giving their teacher a first impression as to what type of student they'll be.
And don't forget that all important school photo that comes way too quickly.
The last thing you want is to have the grumpiest child in the room while all this is happening. By getting your child prepared for the new sleep schedule ahead of time; whether it's a month or a week, they'll be much more prepared for those first days.
5. Get Your Car Ready
Until this past weekend, I wouldn't have thought to do this. But I learned this here little tip by visiting the Mothering From Scratch blog and it makes complete sense!
Car maintenance is a big part of being a parent; for all those trips to and from school, all those soccer practices, and karate competitions, your car is one of the biggest parts of running you family smoothly. So what better time is there to make sure your car is up to date on it's maintenance than the beginning of the school year?
Schedule an oil change, put air in your tires, check fluids, and even vacuum it out. Your taking your time preparing your children, why not prepare your car too?!
Back to school can be so stressful for a family if you let it and I don't handle stress well.
But a little preparation goes a long way to ensure that my family has smooth transition and I'm sure it'll work for you too!