It’s almost time to ring that school bell. Your kids may not be ready. But how about you? A few back-to-school tips tips can help you ease back in.
1. Get on a schedule
If you’re like many parents, you’ve been a little lax with bedtimes this summer. And 6am alarms are going to be a rude awakening—literally. Starting to get back on a bedtime schedule in the weeks before school starts can help ease the pain.
So can reintroducing bedtime regimens like bath time and reading time for those have taken a summer sabbatical. Mealtimes, especially for younger kids, should also be adjusted to accommodate earlier waking and sleeping schedules.
2. Designate a homework area
Kids thrive on routine, and a space set up just for them can help them be productive and efficient. For younger kids, the kitchen table often ends up being the homework spot. Not the best solution when it comes to clearing the table at dinnertime, but great for being able to help out with spelling words.
A desk in a kid’s bedroom can be an ideal solution for older students. Desks in every price range and design style, from the inexpensive, put-it-together yourself desks at IKEA to custom-designed and finished options, can give the kids a personal, and personalized, place to study.
Many homes, like those that can be built in SouthStar Communities' masterplans in Bryan-College Station, the Texas Hill Country, and on Joe Pool Lake near Dallas, can be customized with desks in kitchens or convenient study rooms, which can make finding the perfect spot for studying a breeze.
3. Pick a spot for paperwork
Staying organized isn’t just a good idea. Studies show that organizational skills are critical to school success. Papers coming home from school can pile up quickly, especially with more than one child. Borrow an idea from work and set up separate bins for each child with an in box and out box. As long as they (and you!) can keep up, you might actually stay organized all year.
Having trouble keeping up on a daily basis? Set aside some time every week on Sunday night and make “Organizapalooza” a weekly family event.
4. Put it on the calendar
Nothing makes the end of summer more real than having to think about carpools and after-school care if you have school-aged kids that aren’t yet driving.
Find a spot for a calendar in a main area of your home so everyone can see it. Dry erase boards make a great option since you can add and erase as needed. Color code for each child, including any relevant info, such as:
- School events
- Other after-school activities
- Holidays, school closures, and early release days
- Special occasions like teacher’s birthdays
5. Hit the back-to-school sales
By now you’ve probably bought your back-to-school supplies (or you’re realizing why you should do so earlier next year). If you’re still folder-free, check the usual suspects like Target, Walmart, and Office Depot for deals. Their stock may be changing daily, but many of the deals will last until school starts.
Deal-hunting site Ben’s Bargains says August is the time for back-to-school clothes and shoes. “Prices of apparel deals are about 18 percent lower than September and October. Shoes are discounted at an even larger margin, approximately 30 percent cheaper than waiting until September or October.”
Mid to late September “is the best time to purchase mobile devices like smart phones, tablets, and e-Readers. But if you’re looking for laptops, you can save “nearly 10 percent over prices in July and August” in early October, making it the best time to buy until Black Friday.
6. Stay Healthy
Not sure if your kids need shots or physicals before school starts? You can find your state’s requirements here.
For more information on SouthStar Communities visit their website.