Back-to-school season will (hopefully) be here before we know it. Rather than feeling frazzled at the last moment, prepare now, so you can spend your last weeks of summer soaking in the fun, rather than trying to frantically prepare at the last minute.
Shop early. Rather than rolling your eyes at the fact that stores are already stocked with school supplies, embrace it. Shopping now ensures that you will avoid the headache of busy aisles and stores sold out of the specific supplies your child needs.
Buy extras. Do you have a child in middle or high school? When new classes begin midyear, the teachers often request another round of supplies. Pick up extra folders, notebooks and pencils now. You’ll thank yourself in January.
Don’t succumb to the pressure. You don’t have to buy everything new. Do your child’s tennis shoes still fit? He/she can wear them until they’re outgrown or worn out. Can you borrow a graphing calculator from a friend or relative?
Check before labeling. Some teachers prefer every pencil, eraser and folder be labeled with your child’s name. However, many elementary teachers are moving toward community supplies. Hold off on labeling until you’re clear on the teacher’s preference.
Speaking of teachers—don’t forget about them. Teachers have been preparing over the summer to welcome your child into their classrooms. Can you send in an extra box of pencils, tissues or dry erase markers? Drop off a few $5 coffee gift cards to teachers and school staff at open house. The gesture will be more than appreciated.
Nicole Pierson is a former elementary school teacher.