Click The Link Below For Your 2018 Back to School Guide!
If you’re like most parents you keep your eyes open for any discounts that will save you a few bucks! Every year I try to post some resources that may save you a few dollars. This is one of my favorite resources from Bankrate, which is a list of each state and the days you can shop for school supplies, clothes and more…tax free. Check out the list below and start shopping!
The city of Heidelberg is not participating in the 2016 tax holiday and will collect sales tax during the tax-free period.
Local jurisdictions can opt out, meaning that they will collect those sales tax amounts, but the state’s 4.225% tax will remain exempt for qualifying items.
|New Mexico||Aug. 5-7||
|South Carolina||Aug. 5-7||
Read more: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes/sales-tax-holiday.aspx#ixzz4G6hybTdl List provided by Bankrate.
I hope all your lovebugs will have a great kick off to the new school year! Single moms know the morning can be a challenge when you’re trying to get the kids out the door along with yourself. Here are a few tips on making your routine easier that have worked for me.
- Prepare lunches the night before. Some lunch items you can prepare for the week. For example, if you pack fruit, prepack your fruit in 5 ziplock bags for the week. Then you can just grab them and throw them in the lunchbox. Whatever you can pre-baggie for the week do it!
Getting dressed is half the battle. If your child wears a uniform to school have them washed for Sunday for the week and simply hang them up to be ready to go for the week. This will work for you too! Think about what you want to wear during the week and have it ready to go!
3.Prepare bookbags the night before. Make sure the homework is in the bookbag and the bags are near the door or in a closet ready to grab. Try to get the kids into the habit of putting their books into their bookbag once they’re finished with their homework.
- Purchase a dry erase board calendar and hang it where everyone can see it. Make this central command! On this calendar put all classes, PTA meetings, field trips, and special homework projects due. If you find one that has a cork board use it to post invitations, permission slips, etc.
I’m a big advocate of eating around the dinner table so preparing a menu for the week keep us from ordering out. During the weekend talk about what dinners you want for the week. But the food, slice and dice veggies ahead of time, and try to prepare a couple meals for the week so you can just heat it up and skip all the prep time. Also remember that the slow cooker is your friend, utilize it as much as you can.
If your kids have activities after school, like mine does make sure those uniforms are clean and packed in a separate bag for the week. For example, my daughter takes ballet on Monday, so on Sunday I have her ballet gear packed in her ballet bag and in my car so we are sure not to forget it.
Preparation is key to getting out of the door on time! Make your mornings less stressful with just a few extra worthwhile steps!
If you have to buy uniforms for your back to school shopping then you may want to check out these deals on Polo Shirts. I usually buy 5 short sleeve and 5 long sleeve one for each day of the week, it just makes it easier in terms of laundry and preparation for the week. Here are some of the better deals I’ve found on polo shirts.
Walmart-The George – Girls’ Short Sleeve Polo Shirt $4.97 each
Target-Cherokee, Girls’ Fashion Polo Shirt $5.00 each
Old Navy– Girls Uniform Polo 4-Packs $20.00 (there are also coupons for 25% off any amount of total)
School is back into session and every little discount matters! If you are looking to save some money take a look at the days your state offers Back to School Tax Holidays. Check out Bankrate’s Interactive Map to see if your state is offering a tax break on back to school shopping. When you click on the map you’ll be taken to the original posting which will take you to your state. Happy Shopping!
Make Separate To Do Lists for Each Child
List A: School Supplies-Including bookbags and lunchboxes
List B: Clothing-If your child has to wear a uniform make sure you have a complete list from the school of everything they need such as the color of socks, the type of shoes, shirts, rompers, pants, gym uniforms, etc. If they do wear a uniform call the Uniform Supplier at least 2 weeks ahead to make sure everything is in stock.
List C: Forms-Some schools may require medical forms make sure you have your child’s medical records available. Also have your emergency contacts ready by ensuring you have correct numbers, emails, and addresses.
List D: Finances- If you have any deposits or tuition payments try to square that away well in advance of the first day of school. If you are getting tuition deducted automatically confirm that the correct amount is being taken out. If there are expenses that you know that are coming up take note of these so you can prepare for them.
With the start of the new school year comes the beginning of extracurricular activities. My daughter actually starts ballet a day before her first day of school. Make sure that you purchase any specific gear they need a couple weeks beforehand so that you can avoid last minute running around.
Having your house organized to a degree that will make your mornings easier will be a life saver and save you from being a grump. Here are a few suggestions:
- Keep It, Give it Away, or Throw it Away- Take some time before school shopping to have your kids try on clothes and shoes that they normally wear to school. Then decide if you are going to keep it, give it away, or throw it away.
- Laundry- Have uniforms and clothes washed, ironed and ready to wear for the first week will help you feel like your one step ahead.
- Labeling-Label clothes, lunchboxes and school supplies as soon as you get them
- A Space for Stuff-Give your kids a designated area if they don’t already have one to put bookbags, shoes, etc.
- Grocery Shopping-Try to get to the grocery store and plan in advance the lunches you’ll be making a week before. Get all zip lock baggies, plastic containers, etc. that you’ll need to make lunch.
Save the Dates!
I sometimes find it difficult keeping track of all that goes on with one kid, so I can only imagine if you have a couple kids how scheduling can get hectic. Do yourself a favor and jot down the dates in your calendar whether that is on your phone or in an organizer and if you have a family calendar make sure you update it every month. Many schools have their schedule out for the whole year, take a minute and put them in your calendar. Here are some things you may find schedule worthy:
- Teacher Meetings
- Breaks and Holidays
- School Pictures
- PTA Meetings
- Events for parents and grandparents
- School Events like field day, parades or class parties
- Extracurricular Activities
If you share weekends or weeks with your child’s father make sure you communicate and share a calendar also keep your kid in the loop they like to know what’s going on.
If you are doing a car pool confirm the schedule, pick up times and drop offs. Be clear on the arrangements and have a back up plan in place. I suggest doing this a few weeks before school begins in case any unexpected changes occur.
If your kids have any homework over the summer this is the time to make sure that it is getting finished. You may also want to help them sharpen up their skills before they go back. A quick review of the basics will go a long way.
The laid back days of summer may have meant being laid back on bedtime. For the sake of yourself and your kids, start gradually getting back into the school routine 2 weeks before the first day. This goes for you too! 🙂
Have a Family Meeting
This doesn’t have to be anything formal or long and drawn out. The idea is talk about the upcoming year. If there are changes to your schedule and your child will be in aftercare an hour longer those are things you want to communicate. This is also a good time to discuss bed time, homework, and just anything that’s on their mind. You’d be surprised how nervous kids get about a new school year and talking about what’s on their mind can help alleviate some of that anxiety. Make the meeting fun, maybe have pizza for dinner or go out to a diner and get a yummy treat afterward.
The more prepared you are the easier it is for everyone! Lastly enjoy the remaining lazy days of summer with your kids!
I try to prepare an after school snack for Anya before she gets home, so it is ready. Which means I need it to be healthy and easy to make since I’m working at home and often really busy. Today’s snack is rolled up turkey tolls, strawberries and a few grapes. I try to sneak some protein in there and to hold her off until dinner and turkey rolls are simple and healthy!
The end of the school year has arrived! Didn’t I just write a post on how to get prepared for the 1st day of school, sheesh! I’m ready for those lazy days of summer and I know my daughter is counting down the days. The last day of school signifies a sense of victory that should be acknowledged and celebrated! Hey, your kid got through another year and so did you mom! You made it through the field trips, report cards, the early morning hustle, and the million other little things that take place between those 8-9 months. So yes, the last day of school is reason for a celebration! Here are 10 fun ways you can celebrate the last day of school with your kiddos!
- Go Berry Picking! What better way to start the summer with berry picking at a local farm? Make a yummy dessert afterwards. We did this last year and it was fun and delicious!
- Plan a Picnic by a Lake: Gather up all your kid’s favorite foods, get a blanket and eat dinner by a lake, a park or even your backyard.
- Have a Party! Everyone loves a party! Keep it small and simple. Grill some food, play games and celebrate!
- Go Camping-Dust the tent off, pack light and surprise the kids on the last day by going camping for a night and have fun under the starts.
- Find a Fun Event to Attend– Look in your local listings and see if there is anything special happening like a concert or festival. This year I’m taking Anya to see Kidz Bop on the last day of school, it’s a surprise shhh 🙂
- Have a Hotel Sleepover– There’s no party like a hotel party especially under strict adult supervision LOL! Okay, so get a few parents that your close to and pitch in for an affordable room at a hotel with a pool and have a fun slumber party!
- Go the Drive In– A drive-in screams summer! This is one of my all time favorite things to do when the weather is warm and it’s great bonding time!
- Host a Game Night– Invite friends over and have each of them bring their favorite game. There’s nothing like a good old fashion board game to add some fun into the mix.
- Go to the Pool– Kids love the water and what a great way to start summer by lying by the pool and playing Marco Polo. Pools are cheap entertainment and they keep you cool!
- Let Your Kids Choose! It’s their day! Ask them what they want to do and try to make it happen. You’ll be surprised at what they come up with!
Remember to have a good time and to congratulate them on a job well done! Have some fun because you deserve it to Mom!
Anya is really intelligent and has always done well in school, matter of fact she has achieved a 4.11 for two semesters in a row. But, recently her teacher told me that she needed to work on her executive skills. At first I had no idea what she was talking about, I mean she’s 8 what kind of executive skills is she supposed to have? She explained that is it the task initiation, the focus, and organizational and few other key skills that kids need to develop . She told me about this book, “Smart but Scattered,” by Dr. Peg Dawson and Dr. Richard Guare that gives you tools on how to help kids reach their full potential by improving their executive skills. I told my mom and I think she heard the worry in my voice and had the book sent overnight, gotta love moms right?
I was concerned, I know there are times that Anya can easily bunny trail, I mean the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. But, I didn’t want this lack of focus to become a real issue. I dived into the book and it was so informative for myself as well. The book offers assessments that you take for both your child and yourself. It was amazing how closely these assessments figured us out. Then it gave tools. One of the tools we’re using is the checklist and it is working out great, but there are others I can’t wait to try. She earns tally marks and rewards for every time she completes a task without a reminder. I have seen an improvement in our morning and night routine almost immediately. She loves using her clipboard and checklist! Her teacher said she has already seen improvement during her school routine as well.
If you’re facing any issues with your children in task initiation, focus, organization or other skills, I highly recommend this book and if you’d like to improve your skills read it for yourself as well!