Back to School Tips

You may be saying a tear-filled goodbye as your oldest trots off to preschool (She'll be ok, even in you're not.), or perhaps the youngest is finally off to college and you have the house to yourself (Although you may not be home much anymore.), perhaps a friend has taken the plunge back into academia (Plan to treat them to homemade goodies soon.), and maybe it's YOU that's heading back to those hallowed halls (Way to go!).  Use these helpful tips to get everyone's  school year started off right.
  • Get plenty of sleep. New people, new routines, and new ideas use up lots of energy.  Our brains and our bodies need a little extra down time about now.  Adults need 7-9 hours and children can require as much at 12 hours!  Teens fall somewhere within these guidelines but often get much less sleep than they need to stay healthy as they work, study and socialize late into the night and awake early for school. 
  • Eat right.  Busy schedules can lead to more junk food and skipped meals.  Plan and prepare for your lifestyle.  Know healthy fast food choices.  Keep nutritious snacks with you like nuts, granola, and fruit.  Avoid sugary drinks by choosing water to keep hydrated.
  • Be ready for anything.  Know your emergency and communications plan and carry a small emergency kit with you everywhere.  Include a flashlight, a little cash, a list of phone numbers, and possibly emergency medications.  Be aware of and follow school restrictions for items like pocket-knives and medications (even over the counter medications).
  • Make a plan first, then shop sales for school supplies.  Stock up on items you know you'll need more of like paper and pencils, but don't clutter your space with items you won't really need.  Some items (like binders) will last longer if you buy higher quality.  Buy colors and patterns you enjoy, you'll be looking at them for a year or more.
  • Assess clothing needs now.  Keep everyone's wardrobe full of simple, good fitting staples in coordinating colors. Then pick a few fashion and accent pieces to keep things fresh.
  • Establish some household routines right away.  Plan for and announce laundry and grocery shopping days.  Designate the location of a shopping list.  Post a family calendar for sports, events, and transportation needs.

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