This post is sponsored written by me on behalf of ScholarShare.
As a ScholarShare ambassador, today I am sharing some time-tested tips for organizing for back to school. It is hard to believe that it is just about that time again. It is a busy time of year, but with a little planning and organization, it can go very smoothly. After all, it should be an exciting time for kids as it is the start of something new. These tips will help you prepare for school year with ease.
Back to School Tips
School Supply Shopping – Before school starts, check your school’s website. Most schools have a preferred list of supplies needed by grade level online. Check for items you already have and make a list of what you still need. Check out the Sunday Paper or online ads for office supply stores and big box stores. Many of them have great sales going on. If the kids are joining you shopping, let them know that they must stick to the list they made so that unplanned purchases are not made.
Create an Information Hub – This spot in the home should be somewhere easily accessed by all, a corner of the kitchen, family room or even near the refrigerator. Hang an erasable calendar and a place to tack reminders or event invitations. Have the kids help set the area up or decorate the calendar to get them pumped for going back to school.
School Information Binder – Start a binder or folder for the school year. Use this binder for important information and papers that come home from school. While many things are online now, it helps to have printed copies of important information readily available. Keep school information handy for yourself and any other caregivers that might need it. To get your started, there is a free printable is below.
Plan School Lunches – Have the kids help determine (and if old enough) and prepare a lunch box menu. Searching for lunch box ideas now will help you be prepared by the time school starts. Buy items in bulk and have kids help sort them into baggies for snack portion-sized treats.
Discuss Homework Guidelines – Before school starts, consider having a family meeting to go over homework guidelines, electronic game and cell phone use before the school year starts. By setting rules for the school week ahead of time, they will know what is expected. This teaches kids how to handle distractions which will help them throughout their student (and adult) career.
Prepare for College – Talk to the kids about college. Even young kids can appreciate a visit to a college campus for a sporting or cultural event. If you neglected starting a college fund, consider starting one at the beginning of the school year.
It is never too early to start saving for college for your kids. A simple way to do it is with the ScholarShare California’s 529 Savings Plan. By the way, you do not need to be living in California to have one and just go ahead and start with a small contribution.
If your children are already in college or beyond, ScholarShare has a great gifting and legacy program. A unique part of the plan is the capability to give and receive gift contributions from friends and family — making supporting a child’s future education a little easier.
You can easily open a ScholarShare account in just 15 minutes. You can set up automatic contributions from your bank account or by payroll deduction (if supported by your employer), making regular contributions really easy. Recently, ScholarShare decreased in the program management fee from 0.05 to 0.04 percentage points makes it one of the lowest-cost, affordable 529 plans in the country.
To sign up for an account or for more information about the plan, visit www.scholarshare.com.
Take Photos – Remember to take a photo of your kids the first day of school. It is an exciting day and the year will go by fast.