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Your Back to School Guide

From school supplies to lunch ideas, here are tips to help you send your kids back to school.

As summer winds to a close, it’s time to go back to school. No more lazy days of summer. Instead, you have to deal with buying school supplies, packing healthy lunches, helping with homework and finding after-school child care. Scared yet?
 
Don’t worry! Here are A+ tips to help you manage the chaos.
 

    1 Month Before School Starts:
     

  • Save money on school supplies by doing your back-to-school shopping early, so you have time to find the best deals and avoid the crowds.
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  • Figure out what to do with your kids when school lets out. Explore your after-school child care options now, so you’re not left scrambling at the last minute.
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  • Want to hire an after-school sitter ? Start the process early – the best nannies and babysitters get snapped up early in the summer.
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  • Ensure your child has a great first day of school and an even better school year by getting organized and preparing early.
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    3 Weeks Before:
     

  • Talk to kids about important issues they may face this year. Watch a few back-to-school movies together to kick start the conversation.
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  • Is your child starting a new school? Ease the transition this week by going on a tour of the building, scheduling playdates with new classmates and using this advice.
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  • Sign up for after-school extracurricular activities, if you haven’t already. Find the right ones for your kids.
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    2 Weeks Before:
     

  • Get arty with some back-to-school crafts. They’ll get your kids in the school spirit and they make great gifts for teachers.
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  • Learn the common back-to-school problems that parents face – and how to solve them!
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  • Plan how your little ones will get to school and how they’ll get home. Decide if they’re ready to walk to school alone.
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    1 Week Before:
     

  • Contact your child’s teachers this week to see if they have any advice before school starts.
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  • Consider purchasing a special back-to-school gift for your kids.
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  • Get kids on a regular schedule before school starts, going to bed early and waking up early. Have them fill out a nighttime routine checklist
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    The Day Before:
     

  • Head to the store and stock your fridge and pantry with food to make these quick and healthy breakfast and lunch ideas.
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  • Squash any back-to-school worries that may be cropping up today by talking to your kids about how great school is.
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  • As you prepare your kids for school, get yourself ready too.
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    The First Day of School:
     

  • Start the year off right by keeping your morning relaxed and organized.
     

  • Encourage children to talk about their day when they get home from school.
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  • Help your kids release all of that post-school energy with these fun after-school games and activities.
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  • Prepare some simple after-school snacks so you can feed grumbling tummies.
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    After School Starts:
     

  • Kids complaining about classes already? Teach them how to love school.
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  • Look out for signs that your child is being bullied (or bullying someone else). Ask your after-school sitter to be aware of these red flags too.
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  • Give kids a hand with homework, but don’t overdo it — many parents get too involved, which hurts kids in the long run. Read up on these other homework solutions.
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  • Ask the teacher how you can be involved with your child’s classroom — your participation will help your kids do better in school. Try these options for parents who have three hours a day, a week, a month or a year!
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  • Prepare for the first parent-teacher conference by creating a list of things you want to discuss.
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