Summertime spoiled us with heat waves and sunny weather for the most part. We spent many a lazy afternoon at the local wading pool in July with some day trips cancelled due to thunderstorms in between. 

It’s been really fun but playtime is over. In just a few weeks the kids are going to be headed back to school and now is the time to start getting everyone back into habits forgotten and getting them ready for their big first days in new grades. 

Earlier bedtimes are one of the bigger hurdles for us. The kids need lots of sleep to function properly or they won’t survive the first week. I already know I won’t! Summer means the sun goes down later and days are longer. Now that it’s August it’s getting darker a little earlier so we have begun the back to school bedtimes. 7-7:30 for the youngest, 8:30-9pm for the boy and the oldest is allowed to stay up until 10pm. This schedule for them gets them enough sleep and allows them to have an hour of tv/quiet whatever time before bed.

School supply shopping is coming up and I know we can’t afford to spend a fortune on all-new items. We already have a habit of keeping still-good items (like school bags, lunch bags, binders, pencil cases etc.) from the previous school year and pick up whatever is missing plus the important things like paper, notebooks, pencils and pens, shoes and new lunch box containers (we all know they lose every single container in a single school year, you can’t avoid it!).

Sales and dollar stores. Kids lose things on the constant, even with labels on them. Buying on sale (online or offline)!or even at the dollar store gives us less guilt and worry the kids will have their things lost or stolen.

If you have to buy all-new supplies but are on a budget: buy only the basics to start. Most kids don’t need 100 HP pencils and 10 packs of lined paper to start the school year. You can usually find items year round at office supply stores as most kids (and classrooms if the teacher is providing the tools) need a refill mid-year.

Back to school can be an exciting but stressful time for both kids and parents. No matter what kind of shoes, a backpack or supplies they bring, you are doing your best and they will be fine. Now enjoy the rest of the summer!

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