Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Frugal Back to School Tips!

In another life I used to be a middle school teacher. You know, before I had three children under three. So, I think these two things combined give me some credibility on back to school shopping. Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind when preparing your child for middle school or junior high:

1. Buy double the amount of school supplies you think you will need. 

So okay, that doesn't sound very frugal. But, you and I both know that come November your child will be down to one pen and half a pencil. Buy double the amount now while all the sales are good so you can restock your child as the year goes on. Believe me, your child and your child's teacher will really appreciate it! Think about pens, pencils, folders, loose leaf (please, please, please), and notebooks.

2. Whatever you do, don't just hand your kid the whole pack of pens.

This goes along with number one somewhat, but handing your child an unopened bag of pens is like throwing them into a black whole. If you force your child to rely on three or four pens I promise they will last a lot longer. Plus, this way they can't lend out the whole bag when every one else is losing their pens and pencils.

3. Don't buy an expensive back pack. 

I swear every student of mine needed a new backpack before the year was up. Kids are tough on their bags, and the heavy books, bus rides, concrete, etc. doesn't help. Plus, you can get some cheap and even free right now with the back to school sales. Like I said before, you might just want to buy two now.

And now the teacher in me comes out...here are some friendly reminders from an honest teacher to all you great parents out there.

  • Make sure your child gets enough sleep. Have an early bedtime, whether your child/children like it or not.
  • Be sure that your child eats a good breakfast and has a healthy lunch.
  • Give your child some down time when they get home from school, before doing homework.
  • Set up a homework routine and fill out a daily planner with your child. 
  • Get your child out of the house. Sometimes middle schoolers want nothing to do with outside when all the gaming and TV is so enticing, but the fresh air and activity does the mind and the body good.  
  • Do buy everything on the supply list. If it is requested, it is because it is really needed. And, if you don't buy it the cost usually ends up coming out of the teacher's pocketbook.
Have any good tips to add? Comment below!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms blogging program to be eligible to get a HarperCollins book set. For more information on how you can participate, click here.


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