A blog about education technology, teaching, learning, and startups

Back to School Tips 2014

Some thoughts on how to transform the back to school dread to a positive optimistic opportunity

Summer 2014 is coming to an end, so it’s time to pack up those swimming trunks and goggles and time to bust out the backpack, school supplies and books as the first day back inches closer to your front door. The high stress related to first day back can be really tough for some parents as the transition from a relaxed summer schedule to a hectic fall schedule can be overwhelming. I present to you part 1 of a two part series of some quick tips to make that back to school transition less of a headache:

1.) Make the First Day back a Celebration. More likely than not, both you and your kids will dread going the first day back to school. It is usually associated with groans, the dragging of backpacks across the floor, coffee brewing in the background, and lots of sad, tired faces. Try turning this usually sad day into a celebration by turning it into a morning/day filled with joy. Wake up a little earlier and make the family’s favorite breakfast foods, take a family picture commemorating the first day back, promise to take the kids out to a fun family activity after the first day of school. All of these are ways to make that first day back not so bad and gives the kids and the parents something to look forward to.

2.) Pack a Note in your Child’s Lunch. Sometimes, it’s the little things that count. Taking the time to write a simple note to your kids reassuring them that they are “Awesome, Fantastic, Amazing, Intelligent, Charismatic,” will surely brighten up their day and keep them going.

3.) Shop for School Early…or Late? Even though school sales occur mostly mid to late August, you’d be surprised that some stores have quick sales in July. Now this applies mainly to clothes as many clothing retailers have flash back to school sales. Be sure to keep an eye out to your local malls to see when these sales occur. School supply sales such as pens, paper, binders, notebooks, etc. mostly occur towards the end of August where you can find pencils for as low as a penny. This is also the time when you can find expensive back to school items such as laptops and tablets for a cheaper price, mainly because manufacturers are all trying to compete with each other in selling the most affordable items to students.

What parents don’t also realize is that September is a great time to buy school supplies, specifically after Labor Day. This is mainly due to school is already around 2 weeks in so most parents have done all the school supply shopping they needed to do. As a result, stores are looking to get rid of their remaining school supplies at a cheaper price. Smart parents will take advantage of these after school sales and stock up on back to school supplies for the following year to save them the hassles of going through that madness the following year.

4.) Establish a “Bonding Time” Ritual. As soon as school starts, the amount of free time that everyone in the family has decreases. Homework, club events, PTA meetings and extra curricular activities are just some of the things that parents and kids both have to deal with, which results in less quality family time. That can take a toll on family relationships and dynamics if this occurs over a long period of time. In order to keep familial bonds, maybe try creating special nights or rituals that are dedicated to solely family time. Examples of this include a special dinner night such as “Take Out Tuesday/Thursday, Spaghetti Saturdays, Mac n’ Cheese Mondays,” just to name a few ideas. This can be followed up with a fun family game to solidify the family themed night.

Photo Credit: Paul Greely