Summer is winding down, say it ain’t so! On that note, I’m going to share five ideas to prep for back-to-school. It revolves around documenting memories, crafts for a rainy day and preparing for the school year to flow smoothly.
And, in all honesty, it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. That can actually be the fun part, and I’ve found myself challenged in those situations, where my funds are limited. I come up with creative ideas, cherished memories to make, uses for some of my clutter, and remembering what’s truly important.
My last rant, before I share my ideas. You hear it all the time. Live in the moment. Some days are easier than others. I can tell myself how blessed I am (because I truly am) but there are days that are just hard. I think the important thing is letting those emotions play out but not getting “stuck” in those moments.
So here’s to creating and sharing summer memories with your family, getting organized for the school year, saving money and practicing good habits.
1. End of Summer Re-Cap. Talk About it. Document it (for almost free!)
It’s hard to keep up with scrapbooking or photo albums. Believe me, in scrapbooking years my six-year old son is two. I haven’t even started a memory book for my daughter…yet. Try this offer for $40 off $40 with shipping starting at $6.00 from Paper Coterie. I had to read it twice, too. Re-cap your favorite summer memories, vacations or stories with a stylish, unique and customized book, calendar or poster.
2. Bedazzle, stamp, sticker and let your inner artist shine.
Find cheap, plain folders and decorate with glitter, stickers, stamps and markers that you already have around the house. Or, spend time shopping for fun or themed decorating supplies. It’s a fun rainy day activity.
3. Pencil it in your calendar and test run your morning routine.
Start preparing your morning schedule and what works best for your family. I know how hard it can be to get all of my chicks (kids) in a row for school and work. Start the kids on a routine before school starts. Depending on their ages and grades, a little prep will help the whole family out.
4. Create a school organizer for each kid.
Take an old file bin, container or rack and create a personalized organizer for homework, papers and school information. This will help kids learn how to organize, stay responsible and remain accountable. I couldn’t believe the amount of papers, slips, requests and school flyers that came home in a kindergarten backpack. I also used a magnetic whiteboard by our shoe bench to hang important slips, weekly newsletters, invitations and the school lunch calendar (even though my son ate hot lunch twice the whole year!)
5. Eat green and save green with re-usable lunch bags.
If you’re crafty, make washable bags for sandwiches and snacks. Or learn how-to sew with your child for a fun, easy project. If you pack your kid’s lunch, think of all the plastic bags and money you will save. If you don’t have time or skills, check out Drugstore.com and buy Lunckskins. They come in a variety of styles with $2.00 off when you buy two, 6% FatWallet cash back, 5% Drugstore.com dollars and free shipping. Otherwise, check out Etsy.com and support handmade items.
Back-to-School is filled with many emotions.
It’s exciting and the beginning of a fresh, new school year. It’s stressful because there’s a lot of preparation and routines. It’s sad because summer is fun, and it’s over. It’s a relief for some working parents to not have to pay for childcare or feel guilty for missing quality time with their children.
My advice (I’m going to try and follow) for the summer countdown.
First, try to absorb and cherish the activities winding down the summer. These are the days of swinging and watching the clouds go by! Second, get organized and let your kids help with fun crafts. Finally, mentally prepare. Talk about the summer fun you’ve had and capture it in a book. Talk about the school year ahead and make it exciting, not overwhelming. Don’t stress over the fact that you didn’t do as many math activities or teach your children a new language.
Summer is still fun. Even with all of the pressure and expectations for kids today, summer is still a spirited, free and adventurous season to energize, recharge and grow.
In the words of the great Dr. Seuss, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”