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Turning Back-to-School Madness into Magic

It’s that time of year again. Time to pack away the swimsuits and start stocking up on school supplies. The beginning of school means early morning alarms, piles of homework, and the reemergence of sports, activities and events galore! However, back-to-school time doesn’t need to be chaotic, as long as you get your home and family organized now. Here’s tips on preparing for the best school year yet:

Ease into the School Routine

Don’t wait until the first day of school to implement a drastically different sleeping schedule. With summer daylight stretching longer, bedtimes may have been pushed back to accommodate all the fun in the sun. To ensure it’s not a shock to little systems, adjust your child’s bedtime gradually over the course of a week or more so that school year bedtime isn’t a shock once it rolls around. If you’ve got late sleepers on your hands, begin waking them earlier and earlier daily, as well. On the same token, it’s wise to dial in mealtimes and other routines that will be important come school time. Particularly for younger children, it is important to get them back on a school year snack and meal routine prior to the first day back.

Do a Practice Run

As with anything, the more you plan, the better! Don’t wait until the first day of school to realize it takes 10 minutes instead of 5 to walk to the bus stop. Before school even begins do a dry run to determine how long it takes to get your children to the bus stop or loaded up and ready for the carpool line. If they walk or ride their bike to school, make sure you walk the route with them several times so they are comfortable with it.

Focus on the Calendar

Each school year brings an influx of activities, meetings, school functions, sports and lessons. Keep track of everything by designating a calendar central that will house all family calendars and schedules. Whether it’s a large paper calendar, a dry erase board or an electronic calendar that syncs with multiple computers and tablets, ensure it is easily accessible by all family members. Take it a step further by color-coding entries corresponding to family members, in order to keep things straight. Include class assignments, sports schedules, school lunch menus, volunteer work, school programs and any other after-school activity so that it’s all visible in one location.

Shop Until You Drop

You’re either the type of person who loves back-to-school shopping, or you loathe it. Either way, if you put in some planning before making your purchases, your budget will thank you.

With August being the second busiest month for clothing retailers (following December, of course) it’s vital to be a savvy, informed shopper, instead of going in blind. Since tax-free weekend is August 3-5, the stores will be crowded. Pack your patience. For a list of tax-free items, visit: www.floridarevenue.com/backtoschool.

Start by accessing each child’s wardrobe and determining what exactly is needed for the upcoming year. Clear away outgrown or worn out clothing, determine if you have any viable hand-me-downs from older siblings, and discuss a “needs and wants” list with your children. A family discussion centered on budget and expectations prior to shopping can help alleviate any in-store tantrums. Similarly, once you have received the classroom supply lists, begin collecting the items as soon as possible to avoid out of stock merchandise or having to pay extra because you waited until the last minute.

 

With these tips, you’ll be swinging into the new school year with a happy family and an organized home!