By Elisa D. Keller
WORLDNOW -- Yes, kids and parents, it's already time to discuss that dreaded topic -- back to school season!
Kids hate it because it means an end to days spent swimming, playing games or watching TV. Moms and dads hate it because it's like pulling teeth trying to get kids refocused after weeks of freedom.
If this sounds like your house, here's some tips on how to get everybody back on track before fall.
WORK NOW, PLAY LATER
If your school-aged kids haven't finished summer reading lists or any long term projects, now is the time.
To get kids used to a more school-like schedule, try setting aside an hour or two at the same time each weekday to work on assignments. It'll keep you and your kids from having to pull a last minute all-nighter come the first day of school, and as a bonus, make them appreciate their free time even more.
Get your back to school shopping done now, while you have some time to shop around and look for deals. Sure, you can pace yourself and get school supplies and new clothes in dribs and drabs if you're working within a budget this summer. But if you're not? Get it over with!
Stores are already running back to school sales and promotions, so it makes sense to take advantage before the aisles are crowded with last-minute shoppers. Here are 12 strategies to save a buck during back to school shopping before you even hit the store.
And if you're waiting for the standard list of supplies from your kids' new teachers, try and get the other necessary purchases out of the way first. Does your son needs a new backpack or schedule organizer? Has he outgrown last fall's jackets and shoes?
This would also be a good time to pick up any sports equipment kids will need for the coming year, and schedule any required physicals or immunizations before classes start.
SAVOR THE MOMENT
Perhaps most importantly, now's the time to help your kids make the most of what's left of summer! If you already took a vacation, or if money is too tight for a big trip this year, see if you can plan a few day trips or a long weekend.
At the minimum, make sure your kids are getting outside or finding time to play with friends. It's the memories made during these long summer days that will sustain your family through the next school year.
Elisa D. Keller is the Parenting editor for Worldnow, and to this day gets a Back to School-type thrill out of buying new notebooks and pens.