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5 Quick Back-to-School Tips for Your Family

August 4, 2014

By Amelia Orozco

5 Quick Back-to-School Tips for Your Family | A photo of school supplies scattered across a desk.

It’s August, which means it’s officially back-to-school time! Relieve some of the anticipation and pressure from the first day of school by organizing your thoughts and expenses with this quick list.

Registration Fees. Most schools (even public) charge a fee for registration, books, and other supplies than can only be obtained at the school. Check the school’s website and any documentation you may have received in the mail so that your wallet will not take an unexpected hit.

Electronics. Depending on what grade your son or daughter is in, he or she may need a scientific calculator, a new laptop, or computer program to complete certain assignments. Give yourself time to shop, put items on layaway, or swap with friends.

Clothes and/or Uniforms. Having to wear a uniform will remove some of the pressure to buy expensive, name-brand clothes, as well as buying lots of outfits that coordinate. But if you do have to buy regular clothes for your child, help him or her choose wisely.

This is a great opportunity for your child to show his or her stylistic independence. Emphasize how to choose a look that is all his or her own, and avoid falling into a pattern of wanting to wear what all the “cool” kids are wearing. Remind your child that he or she is cool in his or her own way, and that is something that cannot be replicated.

Shoes. Whether your family lives in a warmer or colder climate, the right shoes can make all the difference. If your child feels comfortable in his or her shoes, he or she can focus better on the task at hand. Whether it’s running around the basketball court or studying poetry in English class, don’t let ill-fitting shoes that cause pain and discomfort prevent your child from doing his or her best.

School Supplies. It’s never too early to start stocking up on the essentials like loose-leaf paper, spiral notebooks, crayons, pens, and pencils. Look for sales throughout the school year so that when school starts, you will only need a few items.

And remember to buy a sturdy backpack to carry it all. Finding the right one will save you money and time in the long run. When my daughter started middle school, I invested in a Dickie’s backpack with a leather base. She is now a junior in high school, and is just now considering buying a new one!

Throughout my years as a parent, I’ve found that thinking of these things before the back-to-school rush keeps me better prepared for my family. What tips help you? Tell me in the comments below.

Amelia Orozco is the senior editor and writer at the Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo and a community and entertainment reporter for TeleGuía Chicago. A mother of three, Amelia also maintains an active role in her community and church by working with youth and promoting education and diversity through her writing and volunteer efforts.

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