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Monday, August 31, 2015

5 Important Things To Remember About Back-To-School Time

I know some of you have kids that have been in school for a month already, but up here, school starts Monday. Here are a few helpful things I've learned in my years as a Mom:

1. School supply lists are a helpful guide, but come know you're going to end up needing posterboard a couple of times, two more pairs of scissors (they'll lose them), enough glue sticks to wallpaper an airplane hanger and five more composition books than you planned on because your daughter used the ones for school to write down One Direction song lyrics. Might as well get it all while it's cheap.

2. Hold off on the school clothes if your kid is older. Seriously. Get them the basics if they need them (a few pairs of jeans, new sneakers, etc) but wait for them to get to school and really get a feel for what the other kids are wearing (if that's important to your kid), I'm not saying you have to bankrupt yourself or raise your kid to be a slave to fashion, but I spent one year buying a ton of Aeropostale shirts on sale ahead of time only to be informed that Aeropostale was a fifth grade thing and my daughter wouldn't be caught dead in those. She'd loved them the year before, but then again, that was fifth grade.

3. Pay attention to how your kids studies best. My son needs relative quiet and zero distractions around him to get his homework done (of course, this is when my daughter simply must turn cartwheels in the kitchen or the cats suddenly start fighting) and my daughter gets in her zone with the TV on as background noise (with a show she has little interest in, like a news channel). Trying to force them to work in a way that doesn't work is extra work and useless. 

4. Give a thought to the teacher. A lot of school districts are under a budget crunch. Teachers frequently dig in their own pocket for classroom supplies. If your teacher has a wish list posted on the classroom webpage (or in the classroom itself), buy something off it and gift it to the class. Some other things a classroom always needs:
  • Clorox wipes
  • Kleenex
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Extra pencils/pens/markers
5. Remember after all the furious shopping, trying on of new clothes and shoes, packing of backpacks and waving at them as they board the's all flying by so fast. Take those moments between dinner and homework, and really spend some time with your kids - even if it's only a few minutes here and there. I'm a working Mom, and I can't emphasize enough how critical this is. Ask them about their friends, their classes, their lives. Laugh at their anecdotes and support them when they tell you something's frustrating them. School years are a growing time for everyone. Grow together and don't let them grow apart.

The school years are fun years. Memorable years. They may be chaotic, but they're precious beyond words.

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