| Family Living |

Back with a Bang

Keeping things fresh and exciting can help make the transition from swimming pool to carpool easier

Smart Supply Stocking

Getting those lists of needed supplies in the middle of the summer is exciting, yet can also be stressful. We asked readers how they master their school supplies shopping for their kids. Here are their tips:

Esty Reich I go school supply shopping for the basics at cheap places, either in store or online, and save a lot of money. Dollar Tree has some great basics, as does Dollar General, and they both have websites. Then we fill in the missing items with cute stuff from other places.

Shira Schorr I turn school supply shopping into “special time with Mommy.” After a summer of fun, the kids usually dread getting those school supply lists from school. I started this tradition a few years ago to instill positive energy into the start of the school year. I take one child at a time (morning or nights depending on age and my schedule), and we have a special outing to shop for school supplies! Win, win.

Breindy Luss I have a large family so I do bulk shopping alone, and then set up my own school supplies “store” in the basement with all the basic necessary supplies. This includes folders, binders, composition notebooks, pens, pencils, and so on. Each kid comes and “shops” for what he needs.

Rena Kaplan We go away for the summer. When I receive the school list via E-mail I do all the shopping on target.com and send it straight to my house. This way, it’s waiting for us when we arrive home after the summer.

Homework Helpers

Homework doesn’t have to equal hours of misery each night. Here are five ways to get it done more smoothly:

  1. Make an assignment board. Every assignment gets written on a sticky note with the due date. Place sticky notes on the board according to when they’re due, what you want to focus on first, or level of difficulty. Remove it when completed. This keeps Mommy in the loop, and Child focused!
  2. If your child likes flash cards, cover flash cards with packing tape and use dry erase markers to write on them. Shuffle as needed and erase once done.
  3. Make a homework box. Too often kids have to hunt the house for crucial supplies, wasting precious homework time. Keep a stapler, scissors, reinforcements, Sharpies, and lots of pens and sharpened pencils in an easily accessible and regularly replenished basket.
  4. Schedule post-homework activities. Let them know you can play a quick game or bake a batch of cookies with them if they complete all their work on time.
  5. For kids who have a hard time sitting still or struggle with sensory issues, consider a weighted vest, a wiggle cushion, or even a therapy ball so their bodies get the stimuli they need, as their brains focus.
Try These!

From the fun to the “how-did-I-ever-live-without-that?,” here are some products mothers are loving:

Ooly Do-Overs Erasable Highlighters

Your child learns best by highlighting, but you don’t want the permanent marks in your book? These highlighters can be erased!

$11.99 for a set of 6 at ooly.com

Wordlock Combination Padlock

The days of struggling to remember a string of random digits are over! This padlock is based on letters; choose a memorable word, and you’re all set.

$9.90 at Walmart

Ticonderoga Neon #2 Pencils

Yes, they’re just pencils. But the neon colors will brighten any pencil case, plus they come pre-sharpened, write crisply, and can last a full year.

$4.49 for 18 at Amazon

Hommie Colored Sticky Notes Bundle

This bundle gives you a whopping 402 sticky notes in every size you could possibly need. Great for the classroom  — and the kitchen too!

$9.27 at Amazon

Pop-it Keychains

The latest craze goes mini.

$10.99 for five at Amazon

Spin Your Snacks

What a fun way to choose your snacks on the way out the door. You can even assign one child to the job of keeping the “snack Susan” stocked.

Focused Mornings

Set multiple timers for each part of the morning routine. Bzzzz. Time to get dressed. Bzzz. Brush your teeth. Bzzzz. Eat Breakfast. Bzzzz. Pack your Backpack. This is a great method to keep less organized children focused. You can have a checklist on the fridge — using pictures for the younger set — for each part of the process. Kids loving checking off what’s done!


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 757)

Oops! We could not locate your form.