I realize talking about the new school year might seem a silly thing to do in July.
Nonetheless, in little less than three weeks, our children will be loading up their backpacks and heading out to the bus stop.
Even though your mindset is probably still on sunscreen, staying cool and keeping the kids entertained, getting your thoughts together about the upcoming year goes a long way toward alleviating stress when the big day arrives.
First, check out the Web site of your child’s school. No doubt you can find important information and print out anything you may need to fill out.
Even though they are often a little generic, go ahead and print out supply lists and begin making your shopping list. If you have several school-age children, it is easier to have a separate list for each child.
Next, it’s time to do a clothes inventory. My suggestion is to take this opportunity to separate clothes into categories: give away, hand-down to sibling or friend, etc.
Another thing to think about is taking gently-used clothing to a consignment store. Speaking of consigning, you can often find terrific deals in these shops. You just need to check back often as their inventory changes daily.
Once you have a current picture of what your child has, jot down what you think they need for the next three or four months. Keep in mind just because we think of school beginning in the fall, we here in Georgia have several really hot months ahead of us. Unless your child wears jeans in this heat, hold off on purchasing too many cool weather items. Children grow so fast they may change sizes before they even need those long pants or jacket.
While you may be tempted to knock out all of your shopping today, keep in mind that Georgia’s tax-free weekend is Aug. 10-11, after school starts. This actually works to our advantage when it comes to school supplies.
How many times have I bought everything on the school supply list, only to have our children come home after the first day of school with a long list of additional supplies they need? This year we will have that list for the tax-free weekend.
Check to see if your child has summer reading. If so, you still have a few weeks to encourage your child to do their assignments so they begin the school year caught up. Even if your child doesn’t have summer reading, this is a good opportunity to do some reviewing with your child with regards to basic skills. If you hear groaning from your troops, try offering an incentive — going to the movies, a special outing or some other reward.
Lastly, if you have young children, remember to start moving up bedtime so that when school is about to begin, they can go to sleep at an early time and awake refreshed and ready to take on another school year.
Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.