Tips & Resources

Tips to Help You Prepare for Back to School

Tips to Help You Prepare for Back to School

While there are still a few weeks to take advantage of warm, sunny weather and lazy days at the lake, summer is undeniably drawing to a close. For many of us, that means the first day of school is right around the corner. You might be sending your firstborn to kindergarten or this will be your youngest’s last first day of school as a high school senior. Maybe you’re heading back to school yourself as a teacher or student. No matter what’s in store for your family for the upcoming academic year, here are a few tips to help you prepare for back to school.

DO WHAT WORKS
When it comes to buying new clothes and school supplies, there are as many opinions about the shopping process itself as there are colors and styles of notebooks. Some experts recommend checking weekly ads for the best deals and making detailed lists of what to purchase where. Others recommend saving time and buying everything at one location. One might encourage you to include your children in every decision while another might suggest leaving the kids at home when you shop or even ordering everything online. You know your kids better than anyone. Do what works for your family (and your pocketbook).

STRESS LESS
We’ve all been there. You push the cart into an aisle crowded with families just in time to see a frazzled parent clutching the school supply list, attempting to calm a sobbing child who insists on the sparkly unicorn pencil pouch that costs three times as much as the plain one. Maybe you’ve been that frazzled parent yourself.
School supply shopping can be a painless process during which everything goes as planned… or not. The kids break out in a boisterous contest of America Ninja Warrior around the Crayola displays. Someone knocks a Venti iced latte into your purse. Every store within 50 miles is sold out of yellow wide-ruled notebooks. We’ve got enough stress in our lives. Take a deep breath and let it go.

MAKE NOTES FOR NEXT YEAR
Once you’ve returned home, sorted the goods into backpacks, and set aside the classroom donations, take a few minutes to make notes for next year’s school shopping adventure. Write down the brand and style of gel pen that your son prefers. Keep track of stores that sell the required sketchbook. Note clothing sizes and styles for future reference. Hang on to receipts for any returns or exchanges.

BE PREPARED
Don’t wait until the night before to help your child decide on a first-day outfit or double-check the supply list. Print the menu and deposit funds into lunch accounts. Determine which days, if any, the kids will need to pack a cold lunch. Hold a family meeting and go over the calendar to smooth out any scheduling bumps. Do as much as you can to be fully prepared so the first day of school goes off without a hitch.

FAMILY MEETINGS
Keep the momentum going and stay organized after the school year begins. Many families schedule a regular time to meet each week to plan meals, discuss upcoming events and activities, and review their calendar. Parents and older kids with smartphones can use a shared Google calendar or an organizer app like Cozi to keep track of who needs to be where when. Or go old school (and big picture) with a large wall calendar that works for younger kids, too. The Giant Family Calendar offers plenty of space to write in activities and lots of fun stickers.

Brainstorm ways to reduce school-year stress as a family, such as meditation, walks or bike rides after dinner, or putting together a puzzle. Need ideas? Helpful resources include apps like Calm or Headspace for meditation and better sleep; Mindful.org, which offers daily mindfulness practices, guided meditations, and numerous articles on kids’ health and mindful parenting; and The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook for Kids: Help for Children to Cope with Stress, Anxiety, and Transitions.

The Bank of Elk River offers numerous personal banking products and services including convenient online and mobile solutions for busy, on-the-go families. Contact us today to learn more.

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The Bank of Elk River Back to School Google Calendar Cozi Calm App Giant Family Calendar Headspace App Mindful.org The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook School Supplies Back to School Shopping

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