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Make Back-to-School Prep a Breeze with These 7 Expert Tips

Attention parents! Have you heard these back-to-school prep and shopping myths?

  • Myth #1: You have to start shopping right before school starts.

  • Myth #2: You can buy the "close enough" items on the school supply list.

  • Myth #3: Back-to-school shopping has to be stressful and time-consuming.

Make Back-to-School Prep a Breeze with These 7 Expert Tips

If you take NOTHING ELSE away from this blog, take these tips:

  • Buy the school supplies on the list provided by the school, purchasing the specific brands recommended by the teachers.

  • If available, opt for purchasing a school supply kit that includes all necessary supplies for the entire school year.

  • Communicate with the teacher if you are having difficulty finding specific items on the supply list, as they may have alternative suggestions or solutions.

  • Take advantage of tax-free weekends for back-to-school shopping in your state.

  • Consider sending extra supplies, such as tissues, to help students in need.

  • When shopping for clothing, buy a few new outfits after the school year starts and kids have decided what they want to wear to help older children fit in with their peers.

  • Remember to consider the temperature difference between outside and inside the school building, and consider sending a light jacket or sweatshirt with your child.

  • Label all of your child's belongings, including clothing, with their name or initials.

  • Use personalized stickers or name stamps to label your child's belongings.

  • Practice using new lunch containers with your child to ensure they can open them easily during their limited lunchtime.

  • Have conversations with your child about what to do with uneaten food in their lunchbox. Be clear about what to throw out and what to bring back home.


Back-to-School Shopping: School Supplies

The first day back to school is always an exciting time for kids. One of the most important preparations for this day is shopping for school supplies. This includes everything from stationary, textbooks, art supplies, and maybe even an exciting new backpack or lunch box. Educators usually provide a detailed list with all the necessities, helping to ensure that children are well-equipped to start the year.


When we dove into this topic, we discussed the significance of paying full attention to the school supplies list. Jenny emphasized that it's crucial to purchase exactly what's mentioned on the school's list, as these items are carefully chosen by teachers for specific tasks and requirements. Even the brands matter, she highlighted, since teachers select them based on quality, longevity, and their ability to meet educational needs.

Stick to the list, folks.


Speaking of sticking to the list...

Buy the school supply kit all at once. It's an easy and cost-effective way to get everything your child needs for the entire school year. —Jenny GK

School Supply Kits: The Holy Grail

Shopping for individual school supplies can be a daunting task that takes up a lot of time and energy. School supply kits offer a convenient solution to this problem. These kits typically include all the necessary items for a successful school year and can be personalized based on the school's unique requirements. They are often available at very competitive prices, which makes them an attractive option for busy families.


I spoke about the convenience of these kits in my personal experience in the podcast. My child's school offers a partnership with a school supply company where parents can buy the kit containing all the necessary supplies for the year. This method streamlines the shopping process and ensures that nothing essential is missed out. Thus, it makes the back-to-school preparation smoother and more manageable. And, the supplies are sitting on my child's desk on day 1, so he's prepared right from the start.


If you can send extra supplies, those are always going to be appreciated. There are kids who struggle to get everything, and no one's going to stop you from being extra generous. —Jenny GK

The Thing About Extra Supplies...

Going above and beyond the call of duty is an act of generosity that can make a significant impact. Extra school supplies might seem like a small gesture, but they can make life easier for kids and teachers alike. These could include anything from additional pencils and erasers to tissues and hand sanitizers. Providing such items reinforces a sense of community and mutual support within the classroom.


During the episode, I noted how her child's school has partnered with a school supply company that offers kits containing a year's worth of necessary items. This allows parents to buy everything needed in one go. It frees me up to send extra materials that I find on sale. Jenny added that parents, if they can afford it, should consider sending extra school supplies. There is always a need for such items in schools, and they can benefit students who might have difficulties getting everything they require.



Labeling Stuff is Key

As parents, we want our children's stuff to come home from school with them each day. A simple and effective method to ensure this is by placing labels on their belongings, including attire, backpacks, lunch boxes, and school supplies. Apart from preventing mix-ups, labels can aid in returning lost items to the rightful owner more quickly.


Jenny and I conversed about the importance of labeling in the episode. I suggested that labels could be created using markers, customized stickers, or even name stamps for clothing (there are some awesome label companies out there!). However, Jenny cautioned against putting a child's full name on visible belongings like backpacks for safety reasons. She suggested using only children's initials or employing a unique identifier.


Safety Considerations for Labeling To Consider

While labeling can save us many headaches, it's important to remember not to jeopardize a child's safety in an attempt to ensure their stuff ends up at home every evening. An effective yet safe practice is to label in a way that a child's full name doesn't become noticeable to anyone who might come across their belongings.


The conversation between Caitlin Kindred and Jenny GK brought this point to the forefront. Jenny suggested using just the child's initials or a unique identifier on their backpack, which indirectly emphasizes students’ safety in the process of protecting their belongings. I agree with this idea. And Jenny, despite being known as the 'monogram queen', still only uses initials on her child's backpack. This discussion underlined that while it's essential to label school supplies, it's more important to do it in a safe and secure manner.


Check out more back-to-school tips in our Instagram reels. You've got this!

Love,

Caitlin

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