We have less than two weeks of summer vacation left. So sad! My daughter will be a high school freshman this year, and my son is heading into middle school as a seventh grader.  As we prepare to go back to school, a few things come to mind that I have learned through the years.  I thought I would share a few tips with you - and would love you to share your back to school tips as well!

"Back to School" Tips:

1.   When it comes to shopping for school supplies, I've learned which ones to spend a little extra on and which ones to get as cheaply as possible! I usually pay more for plastic folders and sturdy binders because I want them to last through the year.  Paper folders don't last long and some of the cheaper binders are more difficult to snap open and close and fall apart.  On the other hand, I try to find pens, pencils, crayons and other such supplies as cheap as possible.  It doesn't seem to make any difference what they cost, they last about the same -- if your kid doesn't end up losing them!

2.  I buy lots of cheap pencil cases! When my daughter went to middle school, I learned one pencil case will not do the job.  She was always at her locked swapping out books and folders and a bulky pencil case was difficult to carry.  So, we got the idea to buy the plastic cheap ones that go inside binders and folders.  We put one in each binder or folder for every subject and now she always has a pen, pencil and the basics.

3.  If your teach hasn't already asked you to - it's a good idea to color-code your notebooks, folders and binders by subject! My daughter found it a lot easier in middle school if the supplies for each subject were one specific color.  Science, let's say, has a green folder and notebook.  Her math binder and notebook might be red.  You get the idea.  It makes it a lot easier to get what you need and get to class before the bell rings. This works great for younger kids too and will help prepare them for middle and high school!

4. The first day of school can be difficult, especially for little ones.  If your child has anxiety about being away from you all day, try the "kiss in my pocket" trick. When my daughter was heading to Kindergarten for the first time, a friend told me a story about her then grown-up daughter's first day of school.  To ease her daughter's stress, my friend kissed the palm of her hand and put the kiss in her daughter's pocket to save for later when she was missing home.  I tried this with my daughter and it worked great!

I'd love to hear your back to school tips.  Please feel free to comment below!

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