Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Back to school already?

A couple of weeks ago when I started seeing television advertisements for back-to-school supplies I was stunned. ‘Why are they advertising in July,’ I thought. Regardless of how much I deny it, the reality is school will be starting in a few short weeks and it’s time to let go of the lazy summer schedule of rising anywhere between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. during the week and leisurely arriving at summer camp; of letting the children stay up a little late on some nights; of allowing the alarm clock to gather dust and not worry about ironing school uniforms and clothes. There’s the ease of scheduling appointments around what I decide we’re doing instead of around the school schedule and homework load. There are no worries of carpooling or shuttling back for PTA meetings, teacher conferences, recitals, awards ceremonies, lunch dates, holiday events or book fairs. There isn’t the constant note or school memo about more money needed for a public school outing, t-shirt, yearbook or everything else in between. For this work-at-home mom, summer is my chance to laugh in the face of the 5:30 signal to rise and relish the quiet of the night until the wee hours of the morning.

Although working from home with children around can present a bit of a conundrum it isn’t any bigger of an interruption than during the school year especially since the two middle children are able to go to summer camp for most of the day right in our complex. And, although I complain, this summer schedule has been way easier on me than summers past.

If you’re like me you’re loosely planning your back-to-school attack of buying uniforms and sorting through last year’s wares and acquiring school supplies. You’ve reminded your younger students that school is coming soon and refreshing their brains with spelling words, math skills and reading comprehension. You’ve stared at your calendar to see if you can get in one more getaway and still manage to be organized for the beginning of the school year.

So, what’s left to do? Here are a few tried and true tips :

  1. Start getting your children back on their school night bedtime  schedules. If you’ve been letting your crew stay up later than normal then slowly get them back on schedule. By gradually getting them back on schedule you’ll have an easier time of getting them to bed on time and rising on time when it’s finally time for the performance.
  2. Make a list of school supplies and clothing need. Keep your eyes open for sales. Today I was almost tempted to get composition notebooks for about $1 each, I’m glad I didn’t because in one of today’s sales papers a local store was selling them for $1 for three.
  3. Write your shopping days on your calendar. There’s nothing worse than saying you’ll do something the next day and a week later realizing it was never done. Scheduling your school shopping day helps reduce last-minute, stressful jaunts to the store.

What fail-safe tips do you have for ensuring the beginning of the school year is successful?