Back to School

Learn more about preparing your child and wallet for a new school year. Inside you’ll find valuable advice to help your family prepare for the transition from swimsuits to school. While there is no tuition, public school education does not come without costs. Learn more about budgeting for a new school year and get great money saving tips.
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Published August 24, 2013 |
Parents Spending Less to Send Kids Back to School
We look at a recent study that shows parents are aggressively looking for ways to save on back-to-school shopping this year, from reusing last year’s supplies to hunting for tax holidays.
As kids and parents get ready for the back-to-school flurry, it doesn’t appear pocketbooks will open up quite as much as last year. According to three different national surveys, parents are planning to pare back on school spending this year, although the specific amount varies somewhat. As kids lament the end of their summer vacations, parents are on the hunt for ways to save as they equip their kids for their new classroom experiences.
 
Spending Expectations from National Retail Federation
 
The National Retail Federation predicts spending for back-to-school to be about $50 less per family than it was last year. This time last year, the average family in the United States spent $688 on school supplies, clothing, shoes, and backpacks to send the kids back to school in style. This year, that number is expected to be closer to $634.
 
The NRF predicts overall back-to-school and off-to-college spending will total $72.5 billion. The majority of that will come from college costs, while back-to-school spending should total around $26.7 billion of that larger number. The average family sending a child to college is expected to spend around $836, as opposed to $907 that was spent last year.
 
“The good news is that consumers are spending, but they are doing so with cost and practicality in mind,” Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation, stated on the organization’s website. “Having splurged on their growing children’s needs last year, parents will ask their kids to reuse what they can for
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Published August 14, 2012 |
10 Ways to Help Your Student Start the School Year on the Right Foot
Use these sage tips to ensure your children’s start to the school year is as smooth and trouble-free as possible.
The upcoming school year brings a mix of emotions for kids and parents alike – from excitement over the promise of new beginnings to anxiety over the fear of the unknown. No matter how you child faces the new year, you can help him or her to make the most of the experience. These tips help you to help your child start the new school year on the right foot.

Ease into a Schedule
 
Most children spend their summers staying up late and sleeping in, which can make the adjustment to an earlier school schedule a bit of a shock to the system. Plan for a softer transition by easing children into the school schedule gradually during the last week or two of summer break. By pushing bedtimes up by one-half or one hour each week, your child will be better prepared to meet that first early bell with a smile.
 
Plan to Eat Right
 
PBS Parents recommends re-focusing summer eating habits that might have consisted of junk food on the run to healthy sit-down meals as a clan whenever possible. When children spend many hours each day in a classroom, they need all the nutrition they can get to keep their brains in top performing condition. Begin with healthy breakfast selections, and try to have family dinner nights as often as possible throughout the week.
 
Set Up a Homework Station
 
Homework time will go that much more smoothly if all the necessary supplies are right at hand. Create a corner
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Published July 18, 2012 |
How Much Will Back to School Cost for Your Child?  More than Before!
As parents get ready to send their kids back to school, we calculate just how far they will have to open their wallets to pay for the rising cost of public education today. Given that parents are paying for the PTA, extracurricular activities, field trips, and more, the answer is quite more than "free" public schools.
Whoever said, “There is no such thing as a free lunch,” could have easily been referring to the state of public education today. In addition to the rising cost of school lunches, many other components of the so-called “free” education system in the United States are going up in price as well. As parents get ready to pack the children off for the world of academia in just a few short weeks, it is wise to weigh the cost of such an endeavor to hopefully avoid the sticker shock that many parents are faced with today.

BYOS (Bring Your Own Supplies)
 
Parents who grew up in school systems that provided supplies to students are often surprised by the long supply lists they are expected to fill before the school year begins. The New York Times reports that one Brooklyn mother spent more than $300 on supplies to equip her two first-graders for their year at Public School 130 last year. Included on the list were items like construction paper, crayons and markers.
 
However, this parent might have gotten off relatively easy for this school year, as other parents reported purchases of graphing calculators to the tune of $300 apiece, as well as other expensive equipment. Others cite lists that include basic necessities for the classroom, such as hand sanitizer, soap and paper towels. One parent even told the New York Times that rugs for the classroom turned up on one of her recent supply lists.
 
Tina Manis, a parent
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Published July 04, 2012 |
Is Your Child Ready for the Upcoming School Year? 10 Ways to Know
From kindergarteners to middle school students, use this age-specific, sage advice to evaluate and help your child prepare for the next school year.
A new school year is filled with excitement and expectation for most children, but for those who are unsure whether they are prepared for the next grade, the time can also be filled with worry and trepidation. How can parents know definitively their children are ready to advance to the next step of their academic career? There are a number of signs to watch for, and many more tips parents can use to get their kids started on the right foot when the new school year begins.

Getting Started in Early Education – Separation, Focus and Reading
 
The early years of school are an exciting time for children, but they can also be a scary time for some. To ensure your child is ready to enter the hallowed halls of academia, consider the following:
 
       ·         Leaving Mom and Dad – Is your child ready to say goodbye to you every morning? If not, begin breaking those attachment ties down by enrolling your tot in a preschool or church program. According to Family Education, children entering Kindergarten should be happy away from home and be able to handle basic needs like bathroom trips on their own.
 
       ·         Focusing on Tasks – Throughout the early years of school, children must learn to focus on tasks and see them through to completion. This process begins in Kindergarten with “circle time” and cut and paste projects and continues through first and second grade, with reading groups, math tests and writing practice. Great
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