School's barely out, and already I'm getting ready for back-to-school. For the most part, it's really about maintaining some sort of schedule, and watching for good deals on things my son will need when he heads back to school come autumn. While it would be nice to completely forget about school for the summer, that may not be the best idea.
Keeping a Schedule
No, I don't have my son do “homework” every day. However, we do have something of a schedule. It involves him spending time each day reading, and spending time three or four times a week playing math games on the computer. That way, he can stay in some sort of “learning mode” when school comes along. He also continues taking piano lessons through the summer, and is expected to practice each day. Some sort of connection to learning and school should be maintained over the summer so that it's not a huge struggle when school starts up again.
Start Buying for Back-To-School Now
School just ended, so for most of us it's fairly easy to see what might need to be replaced. At the end of the school year, my son and I go through his school supplies, and see what he will need. We also inventory his clothing and shoes to see where we are at. I make a list of what we will need. Instead of trying to buy it all at once in an orgy of back-to-school spending at the end of July or beginning of August, I keep an eye out for sales throughout the summer. I also set aside a little money each month so that I build a “school fund” that can be used whenever I purchase something.
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I try to focus on classic pieces that my son can wear no matter the fashion trend. This is fairly simple for my son; I just need character tees of his favorite heroes and villains, and some jeans. If your child is a little more fashion conscious, you can buy a few all-purpose pieces ahead of time, and then save the rest of the shopping until after school is underway and your kids know what they want. There are usually good sales in the middle of September, and you don't have to worry about your child deciding not to wear something that isn't as cool as he or she thought.
Have Your Child Help
My son is already saving up for “extras” that he wants for back-to-school. We are very clear about what we'll buy for him. He knows that if he wants something more, or if he wants to purchase a more expensive version, he will have to make his own money, or save his allowance. If your kids are aware of the expectations you have for them helping to pay for some of their back-to-school items, they can do extra chores over the summer, or do odd jobs around the neighborhood to earn money.
In the end, preparation is key. If you know what you need ahead of time, you can take advantage of discounts and savings opportunities as they crop up. Additionally, you can put a savings plan into place now so that you are ready for back-to-school shopping without breaking the bank.