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Updated: Monday, 13 Aug 2012, 11:37 AM EDT
Published : Monday, 13 Aug 2012, 11:37 AM EDT
(WPRI) -- Even though the calendar says it's still summer, it's time to start gearing up for September.
Tracy Martin Turgeon of The Children’s Workshop has the following back to school bargain tips!
It may only be August, getting ready for back to school early will save you lots of money and time in the long run.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. If you have to buy school supplies each year, why not go through your child’s supplies from this past year. Such as: erasers, pencils, pens, rulers, flash drives, crayons and so on. If these supplies are in good condition why not use them again. You can store them away for the start of the New Year. Your list will be shorter; and you will teach your child about recycling and how to reuse items again. You don’t always need to buy new.
2. Second, back to school sales and flyers come out as early as the end of June and most department stores will not have everything you need in one sale flyer at the same time. They might have note books, crayons, and two pocket folders. That you can purchase for half of the price or lower instead of waiting till the week before school starts. You may need to go to several stores but well worth the trip. Do the same with clothes. The beginning of school year is usually not that cold to start. So buying back to school clothes a little at a time and on sale will also save you time and money. Purchase two or three items throughout the summer and put away for school. You can do this with socks, under garments, shirts, and really good deals on winter coats during the summer.
First you want to make a budget of how much you want to spend on school shopping. Go through your children’s clothes to see what they have grown out of or things that are really soiled. Next, put aside winter clothes that you know that your child can wear the first part of the school year. If your child participates in sports or band find out the financial obligations to these activities ahead of time. If there is an instrument your child wants to play, try renting it first until you know your child will stick with it.
Prioritize- once you have a budget in place involve your children in the process. Teach them the difference between “must- haves” and “wants”. If your child really wants those $80 sneakers find a way for them to earn money over the summer. Have your child do chores, cutting grass, helping with yard work so they really understand the value of a dollar.
Now that you know what you can spend on your child/children sit them down with sale flyers, coupons, paper, pencils/pens and a calculator. Let your child know the amounts he/she can spend. For instance, you have twenty dollars to spend on school supplies circle the items that you need most. Next, you have one hundred dollars to spend on clothes circle the item in flyers you want. Have them write down items, the store they are from, price, and then have them add them up. Now you have pictures, prices and stores of the items your children need or want. Next carry this with you as you shop throughout the summer. This will save you time, money, or “I didn’t want that one,” and above all stress.
The dog days of summer are some of the best days of the year. Yet, for families, it can become stressful because back to school season is just around the corner! It is super important to make the transition back to school as easy and seamless as possible for both children and families. Even for children who enjoy going to school and look forward to it, they can have an increased anxiety level if the transition isn’t flawless.
Fortunately, there is a lot parents can do ahead of time to help ease the transition. Here are some great tips to start the school year off right.
· Start organizing early. Get your children’s appointments for doctors completed before the start of the school year. Get a school year calendar ready and mark down any important days or appointments you have during the school year ahead of time. That way, when it gets busier for both you and your child, you won’t miss anything important! You can also organize your house for “back-to-school” mode. Designate a homework area early, label the area you want their backpacks and lunchboxes to go, and create a place where you keep any and all important school information.
· Buy school supplies ahead of time. Going shopping for school the week of school starting can be a very daunting task. Every time you go out during the summer, grab something you know your child may need. Every teacher may have a different list of “supplies” for their classroom, but you know every child is going to need the basics. Getting that stuff early ensures you are beating the crowds!
· Re-establish your school year routines. Summer is a time for children to stay up later than normal and eat at varied hours. In August, begin to prepare your children for the schedule they will have in September. Have them begin to eat breakfast as soon as they wake up, and go to bed
just a little earlier every night. That way, it won’t seem like such a drastic change for them and that night before school won’t be a big family fight.
Is your child nervous about the start of school? Can you see the anxiety in August when you bring up going back to school? There are some things you can do to ease the anxiety for them!
· Arrange a few play dates with classmates in advance, or plan a few weekend excursions and mark them on your calendar where your child can see. That way, your child has something to look forward to during the school year and the transition to September won’t seem so daunting.
· Arrange a visit to school before hand. Whether your child is new to school or just new to the grade, arranging to visit right before school starts and say hi to their teacher may help their fear of the unknown.
· Plan to spend a little more time at home the first week of school. Be there when they leave for school and when they return and spend a few minutes talking with them about their day. Giving your child the extra attention they need to converse about the good, and the bad, enhances your connection with them and helps them to ease their fears.
Back to school is something they may have to do every year – but it doesn’t make it any easier to prepare for it in September!