Summer Break is Almost Over

As a homeschool family, we plan for the coming school year in different ways than most families. While you may be out shopping for school wardrobes and backpacks, this Mommy is already taking personal study breaks and making sure her home library is overflowing with a year’s worth of books for her inquisitive and eager young minds to devour.

I can venture to guess, though, that we have one thing in common when getting our kids ready for classroom learning – stocking up on school and art supplies. One of my favorite parts of beginning a new school year is sitting with my kiddos on the floor in my living room, as we fix up our binders with crisp lined paper, sharpen our new pencils, and open our new boxes of crayons.

This seems relaxing to me, in a way; a sense of escape from my own back-to-school stress and jitters. Being a homeschooling mommy can be very overwhelming and many things go through my mind as we near the first days of a new school year… Am I prepared? Do I have everything I need? What if I’m not ready? Did we not take enough time for summer fun? Did we take too much time?

I have to say that in the midst of my back-to-school jitters, I feel blessed, as both my children’s mother and teacher, to have an extra advantage as we start our lessons after our little break. I know exactly what my kiddos did over the summer, what concepts need to be refreshed, and that we can skip the lessons on light refraction and move straight to review because they learned all about rainbows during their summer play in the sprinklers.

You and I may prepare in different ways, or have different concerns about the upcoming school year, but maybe we all need to shake the jitters and enjoy these last few weeks of summertime. After all, our kiddos are only young once.

Lots of us are gearing up for school – an exciting, fun and sometimes, hectic time. Hallmark has put together a great resource to help you calm the butterflies and build your kids’ confidence. Just for joining the conversation you’ll be entered to win a $500 back to school package – Check it out.

Comments

  1. says

    I was homeschooled growing up so my memories of school are actually very similiar to yours today. We would sit with my mom and spread all the new materials out and jump right in! Now I am an elementary teacher so my prep for school is a bit more as I prepare to welcome 25-30 students. Of course in the midst of that I’m getting my own two ready to go back. I enjoy getting the lists to school and taking them out to buy their school supplies. The new pencils, new crayons, new paper…just waiting to be used as they fill their brains with new information. Sporatically throughout the year as well as during the first year I will write them little notes and slip them in their backpack. Just something that says I love them, they are smart, can’t wait to hear what they did that day…notes to tell them that I was thinking about them.

  2. says

    school supplies! what a fun time of year…even for a homeschool mom!

    we always make our lists – type them out then scour the ads for the best deals on what we need! then when whatever we need is on sale…it’s a trip to the store time!

    gets the kids involved…esp. with the saving money part!

  3. says

    well I always get my kids new school supplies but they always choose their backpack and get 1 outfit for school.

  4. says

    This is our first “back to school” so we don’t have any traditions yet. My son is starting Kindergarten this year. Looking forward to startingsome traditions though. I’m sure we will get him a new backpack, some new shoes and maybe some stylin’ shirts because he has recently informed me that Thomas the Tank engine is no longer OK. “Great kid, what do I do with this train table now?”

  5. says

    We are preparing first by going to buy uniforms. This gift card would help us immensely with the 2nd step – getting everything on the school supply list!

  6. Tracy says

    I guess our experience of getting the kids ready for school isn’t as exciting as yours. My kids range in age from 17 – 2, however, we all go together shopping for clothes and new shoes, than off to buy the supplies. I have been fortunate with my 7 year old who is entering 2nd grade, that the back pack and lunch bag we bought her in Kindergarten is still holding up, so we save on that, and allow her to splurge on folders – puppy ones!!!

  7. says

    I homeschooled my kiddos for a couple of years, so I identify with leafing through the new school supplies. Nothing smells as good as new books.

    We have that same eagerness now, even though the kiddos are in public school. There’s just something about new school supplies, ya know?

    This is year is a big one for us as my son prepares for middle school. We’re both a bit nervous but even still, I have high hopes for a great school year!

  8. says

    I’ve been homeschooling for a few years (since my eldest was an itty bitty) but this year will be different as they are going to public school. I still love back-to-school shopping no matter what though….cruising the aisles looking for the right pencils, the smell of the freshly opened box of crayons, paper, etc….and clothes. My favorite part of back to school shopping was always new clothes. I hope to pass on some of these memories to my children.

  9. says

    We are trying to buy everything on the mile-long school supply list! Who knew kindergarten was so involved!

  10. says

    How me and my kiddos prepare for heading back to school – We are preparing now by reviewing math and other basics. We keep daily summer writing journals and the kids have practice books to get ready .. We go shopping in August and my kids pick out their own new clothes, shoes, supplies + a few fun extras. All 4 of my kids will be in school this year!!!! I am not ready for my youngest to get on the school bus. I love having him at home with me. We get a fresh calendar all in order .. and I take lots of pictures of their first day of school .. I will walk the 2 youngest to their classrooms. Summer is going to quickly. I love that they are all at home with me now – a carefree summer. Blessings!!

  11. says

    We have two different “first days” here. My elementary kids started already and my high schooler starts in August. We buy supplies in two sweeps (that sure helps with cost too). The younger kids and I sit down and put their names on everything and pack up their bags. My highschooler isn’t so fond of going back to school so I just let her tell me what she needs, we go out and buy it and she takes care of the packing up. :)

  12. says

    We also homeschool and have 2 special back to school traditions. On the first day of each new school year we take extra time picking outfits and fixing hair, then line everyone up for a group photo and then individual school photos. (Sometimes kids will choose to hold a favortie pick out of the new year’s book selections or some other symbol to represent their age or grade for the picture that year).

    Then we sit down with small cardboard boxes and everyone decorates the outside with paint, stickers or other fancy things. We mark each box with a child’s name and age/grade and all school papers and project for the year are collected there. The boxes then line a top shelf in my office and year-to-year we can see the changes in artistic styles on the outside while the inside cradles treasures from each child’s year. :)

  13. Heather says

    We homeschool year around so we don’t have a traditional “back to school” but we do enjoy shopping the school supply deals and sales in August and if any one needs a new computer now is when we buy.

  14. says

    I don’t have any children of schoolage yet, but I most definitely plan to homeschool my daughter when she’s ready. I love reading stories about other homeschooling moms and how they prepare, I have so much reserach to do ahead of me.

    What I look forward to the most is picking out new school supplies for the year and organizing for the upcoming months ahead. I can’t wait!

  15. says

    My husband and i are really leaning towards homeschooling our 15mth old girl, the more i learn about it the more positive that that will be our way to go and i am so excited

  16. says

    I am a teacher, so I am searching everywhere for free and cheap supplies in the budget crisis this year. Thanks for the giveaway!

  17. Lori Sifuentes says

    We have a tradition to go the lake for the weekend prior to school starting. It gets the kids excited for school because they know after this trip school starts.

    Thanks!

  18. says

    Our oldest son’s birthday is in the beginning of September. . .sometimes his birthday happens to fall on the first day of school. . .yuck! So, every year his birthday not only signifies the day that he was born, but marks a new school year! Party on!

    Be Blessed,

    Amu (Honestly)

  19. LyndiLou says

    I have jitters already for when my little one is old enough to go to school, and that’s still years away!!! Some things MY Mom did to help us calmly get ready was to help us pack our school bag with fun new supplies and set out our first day of school outfit! We would also receive “back to school” religious blessings from my dad (when he was around) or my Grandpa! That helped us calm down about the upcoming school year!

  20. Belinda M says

    To make it more exciting we make it a special day out to get my son’s school supplies and clothes for the upcoming year. We do a bit of shopping then stop for a nice lunch to rest up for the next round of shopping. I let my son pick out his first day of school clothes also.

    The night before the first day we make sure that all off his new stuff is packed in his backpack, I make a special lunch complete with a cute note to make him smile and lay out his first day clothes as well. This makes for a stress free morning when we get up.

    Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat – join us at CoolCanucks.ca

    bluebelle0367(at)hotmail(dot)com

  21. says

    My son hates to shop so the one tradition we have is to go shopping for school supplies. He doesn’t have to try anything on, go into the girls dressing room or take “forever” in the store. It’s a nice compromise and I get to shop with my boy! Its the one thing I look forward to about going back to school.

  22. says

    I remember that my dad used to take us to school on the fisrt day. He usually couldn’t but he made it a point to take us and then pick up that first day. Then he would take us to dinner at the local Mexican restaurant and hear baout it.

  23. Autumn B. says

    my dad would always write me a note on the 1st day of school & stick it in my pencil box — i have a note from preschool to senior in high school – it was such a special thing

    autumn398 @ yahoo.com

  24. Margaret Smith says

    What’s gotten to be a family tradition for us is that each year, on the first day of school, I surprise the kids with a homemade cake for desert. I shape the cake into something school related. So far, I’ve made a school bus, a crayon box and this year I’m looking into making a book or bookbag. The kids really look forward to this “surprise”.

  25. says

    Our back-to-school tradition involves running around Walmart the day before school starts looking for ANYTHING that’s on the kids’ lists. But not this year! I’ve already started getting some things, and I vow not to wait til the last minute.

  26. Darlene says

    I always loved getting new clothes for school and would wear them on the first day. I remember wearing a wool jumper and long-sleeve white shirt on a hot September day. It was not pleasant but I had to wear the new clothes.

  27. LindaD says

    Here I go dating myself, but does anyone else remember this jingle from a long-gone store: “School bells rings and children sing, ‘It’s back to Robert Hall again'”?

  28. April says

    When I was younger, I knew it was almost time for school because I’d stay the week with my grandma and we’d go shopping for school stuff!

  29. Paula H says

    We homeschool so getting ready for back to school means buy that years curriculum and other supplies we will need. The kids do enjoy helping to decide which extra subjects to get. We try to do something fun the week before we start. Last year, we went to an amusement park :)

  30. Danai says

    We spend some extra time together in the weeks leading up to the return to school. Catch some movies at the theater, extra days at the pool, we make a special day of clothes shopping with my daughter getting to pick where we go out for dinner.

  31. sarah d. says

    About a week before school starts, we get back into the school routine – going to bed a little earlier. That seems to be the hardest part for the kids. They get used to going to bed a little later and getting up a little later.

  32. Cynthia C says

    I have great memories of shopping trips for school supplies and new clothes. Thanks!

  33. Linda Fish says

    My kids are grown now, but we ALWAYS did new clothes shopping for back to school, made them feel great

  34. Heather S says

    We would do the traditional back to school shopping but then make sure to get them one special item they picked just for themself like a sweater or whatever so it was their special piece for school

  35. Patrice P says

    Make it a fun day of back to school shopping. Let your kids pick out some of the clothes and supplies themselves, then go have lunch at a favorite spot.

  36. Vicky H. says

    My sister and I have a little sister of elementary age, and we would get the majority of her school supplies and send them to her (she lives in a different state). My older sister loves finding awesome bargains. She even managed to get three packs of paper for free (it was a glitch the store let slide, but hey, she got it). This year, we’re doing the same for my God-daughter who starts Kindergarten.

  37. says

    I remember when I was a kid and the back-to-school sales would start and I would suddenly realize how much I ‘needed’ this cool folder or set of crayons or whatever. Of course I wouldn’t keep these ‘needs’ a secret. I knew from an early age that the proper response to “no” was “but I NEED it!”

  38. Karen says

    I take my kids on a back to school buying day. We purchase school supplies, a few clothes, lunch box and then I take them to lunch at our favorite restaurant. It has become a fun and looked forward to tradition.

  39. Lisa Woods says

    The first day of school we get up extra early and go out and eat breakfast. It helps my feelings, anyway.

  40. Mary says

    I homeschool my sons year-round, so we’re not really going “back to school”…we never left! But one thing that I did last year, which I plan to do this year, is to buy workbooks and supplies during our state’s tax-free holiday next week. The stores will have good deals in addition to no sales tax.

    mfalcon13@hotmail.com

  41. allyson ayala says

    we live so. cal so school shopping for clothes is always in late october.too hot for new clothes

  42. Angela J says

    No longer applicable, but when it was, I just shopped early to avoid the last minute rush.

  43. Sharon Franks-Rivard says

    As grandparents, my hubby and I help our grandsons prepare to ‘go back’ by taking them shopping and letting them pick out some of the clothes that THEY like. Because, after all, we all need to feel that we ‘fit in’, especially when we’re young and not so sure of ourselves. God’s Blessings to all…
    grammyrivard@live.com

  44. Mary M says

    My son always got a fresh haircut right before school. I think I liked shopping for school supplies much more than he did. I still like the smell of a fresh box of crayons!

  45. says

    Ahhh I love Tax free weekend.. the smell of new crayons and now that my Daughter is going BACK to college for her second year.. the JOY of peace and quiet..
    I remember my girls first days of Kindergarten and how I cried when my first daughter went, and how I jumped for joy when my little one went!!
    Thanks for a GREAT giveaway!
    Leslie

  46. Alicia Webster says

    We homeschool our three children, so we don’t have back-to-school moments. We teach all year round, but the month of January feels the most like “being in school” to them because it is after the excitement of all the holidays.

  47. says

    I let my kids pick out a special outfit for the first day of school. Its a tradition that they look forward to every school year! We also try to have them meet with their teachers prior to the first day of school so they feel comfortable!

  48. Alice C says

    i drag my boys to the mall for shopping, they really don’t like it all that much but i love it :0)

  49. billy says

    Research the heck out of everything the kids need… on the web, before heading off to stores. That way I have a good idea what a good price is for each thing. Not everything under a big SALE sign is a bargain!

  50. Susan T says

    My favorite memory of starting school is going shopping before school for that just perfect outfit to wear the first day. This was so exciting to get. Also, when I was in school we received a list of items we needed on the first day. Loved going shopping as soon as we got home for all those pencils, notebooks, etc. I still remember the first day of school as a fun day. semtaylor(at)yahoo(dot)com

  51. Pat says

    Please try to relax and enjoy the time you have in helping your children to learn. Everybody says it and it’s
    true–they grow up so fast. Thank you for the contest.

  52. David Leavitt says

    A new school year mean new clothes!

    Everyone in the family gets new clothes right before school starts so they can look their best for their friends and yearbook pictures.

  53. shar w. says

    the weekend before school starts, we usually take a mini vacation (somewhere we can drive within 2-3 hours), see a zoo or children’s museum, hang out at the pool, enjoy some good food and just have fun. it’s our last “summer fling” before settling down into the routine of school. it’s good to get the nervous energy out of our child and it’s nice to have a vacation before the hectic schedule starts up again.

  54. linda says

    We are preparing already. We shop for clothes and school supplies early enough so that we can get everything we need without stressing out. A bit tough with my teeange son, but we manage :)

  55. says

    Just last week I was telling my fiance’ how my parents used to give us a Ziploc bag full of nickels before we started school each August. We had one morning set aside as our “school supplies shopping day” and my sisters and I would purchase supplies from “our store” with the nickels our parents gave us. We learned to be very careful with supplies so that we didn’t have to buy replacements throughout year due to misplaced notebooks or broken pencils. At the end of the year, the leftover nickels in our bags were ours to keep. :)

  56. Elena says

    I’m also a homeschooling mom! My preparation consists of putting away last year’s materials and ordering the new stuff online. It’s always exciting when the box arrives! Thanks for the contest!

  57. Kate says

    No traditions yet as this is the first year of preschool for my oldest, but we are reading lots of books about it to prepare him for the idea of what it is all about (and the fact that I will be leaving him there and going away for a few hours). I will be a wreck the first day after leaving him at school.

  58. Anne D says

    My kids don’t go back until the second week of September but we’ve already started buying thier clothes.

  59. Leslie D. says

    We always go shopping with my Mom, as she likes to buy new school clothes for each grandchild. We also do additional clothing shopping and supply shopping. Our daughter always gets a new messenger bag and new tennis shoes as well. Thanks!

  60. Jamie says

    One big shopping trip to plan for the new year. Clothes, supplies — something to look forward to.

  61. Teresa L says

    Every year I always bought one special item that each kid could and was allowed to carry to school and keep with them to help keep them calm.

  62. says

    My mom’s tradition was to leave a note in one of the pockets of our new school clothes on the first day of school, telling us how terrific we were and that she was proud of us. I plan on continuing this tradition when my son eventually starts school.

  63. vanessa says

    Our tradition is one fun thing. You got to do one great fun thing before you go back. It doesn’t matter what. Movies, amusements parks, cook outs, boating, anything. You got to go back with high spirits, (oh and lots of sleep the night before).

  64. Tawnda says

    3 teen girls in a store shopping for supplies & clothes… and arguing about EVERYTHING… yeah… I LOVE this time of year… lol

  65. Kelly Ann T. says

    We go shopping on tax free weekend. This saves us so much money. We also make sugar cookies in the shapes of buses, A’s, a schoolhouse, and an apple. The kids like making lunch special for the first week.

  66. Amber G says

    I prepared to go away to college by buying lots of storage and organizational tools at The Container Store’s college night!

  67. steven lewis says

    my grandniece is a pistol when it comes to getting ready for school….sister is worse getting her granddaughter ready

  68. Colleen S says

    Somewhere in 6th grade or so i figured out my standard first day of school outfit. A white shirt and blue jeans. Eliminates stress of oh gosh what do I wear?..

  69. Beth says

    I homeschooled 5 for 11 yrs, and now I am getting my grandson ready for elementary school. He enjoys traditions of photo each yr on first day, special lunch homemeade treats, new supplies and clothes.
    Kudos to all those homeschool mamas here….my memories make me smile and yours will too one day!

  70. Erica C. says

    We always have fun shopping for school supplies…and then decorating the notebooks afterwards :)

  71. Tari Lawson says

    I take my youngest son to school a week or two before the actual first day so he can familiarize himself with the classroom and meet his new teacher.

  72. Carol G says

    One of my memories comes from when my oldest daughter was going into her senior year. She really did need a new wardrobe for school, and since I was extremely busy with getting ready for the new year where I taught, I took a chance and sent her shopping with my credit card, and told her to buy about 4 outfits. I admit her taste was impeccable, but let us say that those outfits expanded to a closet full! We did take some back, but she worked off some of the extra buys. It wasn’t funny at that time, but has eased in the years that have gone by.

  73. rachel rice says

    We start supply shopping early so that we are not stressing at the last minute. I also take the afternoon off so that when my daughter gets home on the first day of school we can talk about how it went and if she is worried about anything.

  74. Tracey Byram says

    I shop all year round when I see something on sale so that I don’t have to fight the crowds to shop at the last minute.

  75. Deborah R says

    One of my favorite back-to-school memories is of my son’s first day in kindergarten. He was a litte worried and asked me to drive him and to pick him up after school. I drove him and delivered him to his teacher, and I was waiting when school got out. He ran up to me, threw his arms around my leg and hugged me and said “mommy, I love school! Can I take the bus home?” I said sure and walked him to the bus and smiled all the way home.

  76. Brandon Ralston says

    We prepare by going to Dollar Tree and picking out most of the back to school stuff needed. Saves me some green!

  77. says

    I’m the grandma now of 2 school age children. We peruse the Sunday papers for those special sales and make a “bag” for each child. Each week when they visit they get to see how their bag has grown and just before their moms go back to school shopping we send the bags home so they can mark off any of the items we got and save a little on the school supplies.

  78. c. penner says

    Buy a new planner and she starts filling it in right away. Different colors for fun, appointments, homework due, etc.

  79. Mary T. says

    We make our own book covers out of paper bags. The kids are already organizing what they’ll need to decorate their covers. The kids use old greeting cards, cut-outs from old magazines given for free at our local library, pieces of old clothing, and whatever else they stumble across during these last weeks of summer vacation.

  80. Joannie says

    Each year, take a photo of your child on the first day of school. These will show yearly growth and will someday be a special memory book for your child to share with his or her own child!!

  81. Heidi Gail says

    On my daughter’s first day of kindergarten, I expected her to cling a little or even cry. Not only did she do neither, but she said, “bye, bye,” and ran off to play without looking back. I spent the day choking back tears-lol.

  82. jeannie says

    Go shopping with your child and buy a nice outfit for him/her to wear on the first day of school!

  83. ashley says

    school supplies shopping! its my favorite part and has been since i was a in school. theres nothing like new school supplies (and maybe some new clothes for school too)

  84. Denise B. says

    We don’t do anything to prepare. I’m a stay-at-home mother who homeschools, and we always have an abundance of supplies that I’ve gotten from freebates.

  85. Sandy says

    As a family, we’ve always enjoyed shopping for school supplies together. We make a day of it and enjoy a milkshake afterwards.

  86. Jennifer King says

    I am lucky that both of mine are in High School and I only have to get basics (pen, paper, backpacks) before school starts. However, clothes have gotten so expensive that we started shopping at the begining of summer, getting a few new items each week.

  87. Linda C says

    With two boys it’s a lot of fun.Buying for two and you got to buy equally.It’s a challenge.

  88. Debbie Criss says

    Shopping all the school sales. cutting their hair myself. Cleaning out the closets. We stock pile with the sales, so our sons have plenty of paper, pens, and pencils and any other things they might need through the year. Please enter me, thank you

  89. Ellen Huber says

    I started a tradition last year. I am going to take my grandson back to school shopping every year as the first day of school approaches. I pay for what we buy, and this removes some of the burden of both time and money from his parents.

  90. Sandi Smith says

    We always head to the store to load up on the fresh new smell of paper and ink, etc.

  91. says

    DS is still too young to go to school, but from my childhood mishaps, I think one of the best pieces of advice is just to make sure your kid remembers which bus to take. Thanks! thebubbledies(at)gmail(dot)com

  92. Melinda says

    We have pancakes on the first day of school, its the tradition

    mjf926 at gmail dot com

  93. Sarah Hirsch says

    We prepare by doing the “big shopping trip” to buy all the necessary supplies. Then we make sure our bedtimes and wakeups are at a good time for the week prior, so that waking up early for school won’t be a shock to the system.

  94. Marilyn Wons says

    My grandsons love to hear stories about my school days. They look forward to their first day knowing that great experiences and fun are ahead for them!

  95. Gena says

    I start talking to them about how they are going to see all of their friends and how much fun that will be. That way they don’t dread going, but are looking forward to it. As tradition, I let them pick their first day’s lunch

  96. star says

    We don’t seem to do any preparing, it’s jsut a sudden rush to get everything 2 days before school starts. hehe >_>

  97. Courtney says

    We always have a shopping weekend, We will go away for the weekend and shop, shop, shop!

  98. laurie says

    the most fun tradition for us was my daughter trying on last year’s school clothes. somehow we could never get through that task without hysterical laughter. one year we actually thought we might have to cut her out of a too small turtleneck!

  99. Kathleen says

    My little boy isn’t old enough for school yet, but I teach 4th grade so I do TONS of preparing! One thing I always do is shop the school supply sales because I always have some kids who are missing things, and some who come with nothing at all, so I supply it for them.

  100. Cheryl says

    My fond memories with my daughter were going shopping together and letting her pick out some brand new outfits. We had such fun!

  101. Amber says

    I always try not to let the kids come with me shopping because I know I will end up spending twice as much if they are with me than when they are know. That’s just for school supplies. For clothes however, it’s such fun picking out an outfit with them for the first day of school and taking that annual picture of them standing at the front door ready to go catch the bus!

    Amber
    Crystalclearbc@aol.com

  102. Rosey says

    I remember that I used to love to go to JcPenney with my mom and ride the escalator to the second floor where we would shop for young girls back-to-school clothing. Man, that was exciting.

  103. barbara wright says

    The week before school starts, my daughter gets her hair cut at a good salon. Then we go clothes shopping so she has clothes that go with her new hair . Usually this takes so long that we end up going out for lunch or dinner. It’s really a nice time.

  104. Karen says

    We shop for school supplies together. There’s nothing like that fresh box of crayons and a new backpack or pencil box to get you in the mood for a new school year!

  105. DeAnne says

    We watch for good deals and stock up on school supplies that we know we are going to need – pencils, pens, paper, glue sticks, etc.

  106. Selene M. says

    Although my school days are long gone, I still remember the excitement of having new school supplies each year, and arranging them just so in my school bag. I always got a new pair of shoes to start the school year as well.

  107. K. C. says

    Growing up, our family tradition was to go out to ice cream on the first day of school. It was here, over a special after school snack that we got to share about our first day and our hopes and concerns for the next year.

  108. Debbie Perkins says

    Growing up, we’d of course do the traditional school clothes and supply shopping the week before. It was always a treat to go out just me and mom and get some new outfits to wear the first week of school. On the first day of school, my mom would always make my favorite breakfast, and she’d take a picture of me in one of my new outfits, all ready to leave for school.

  109. says

    My son is starting kindergarten this year and he is really excited about getting a new backpack and riding on the bus. I have a book we read – My First Day of Kindergarten. We do the traditional haircut the week before school too…I’m so excited! lisa(dot)samples@gmail.com

  110. says

    I love back to school time and have fond memories of my own childhood of choosing our new school clothes, picking out what to wear the first day…all of the butterflies on making new friends and seeing old ones…But the most fond memories I have are from when I raised my 2 brothers and helped them shop for school clothes and new supplies!

    Open house at the school was always fun with meeting their new teachers!

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  111. says

    Prepping for ‘school’ has a new meaning for me now that I have just started teaching (University, one class per semester while I finish my degree). Teaching while still living on a student-like budget can be tough 😛 But I do love the teaching!

  112. says

    We don’t have any traditions, really. Just the excitement of all the brand new school school supplies! & picking up a school supply list is a big hit as well. :) Love it.

    XOXO

  113. Holly B says

    I will always remember my first day of school! my mom took me out for lunch first and I had a great memory of it!

  114. Jessica says

    I have so many fond memories of those days! My mom and I would spend all day out shopping and stop for lunch along the way. I would circle all of the things I saw in Teen Magazine that I needed to make the outfits I saw in the pages, including if I was lucky a few pieces of makeup. I remember the feeling that I was going to somehow reinvent myself for the new school year, that I was going to be a changed person and have a fresh new start-pretty deep thoughts for a 12 yr old, LOL!

  115. scottsgal says

    My boys loved to go shopping for their school supplies and to pick out their backpack and lunchboxes.

  116. Diane says

    I remember one year. It had to be like 4th or 5th grade I wore my new black high top sneakers with neon pink laces. Baggy neon pink shorts, a white tee shirt and a neon pink huge scrunchi in my hair. My mom always took pictures of me. Looking back now i wonder what us kids ever saw in wearing neon…

  117. Danielle L says

    A tip for going back to school is to sneak in notes or drawings into your child’s backpack, lunchbox, notebooks, folders, etc. It will put a huge smile on their face if they are feeling homesick and it will definitely cheer them up if they are having a hard day!

  118. Mary says

    I homeschool my sons year-round so there is no “back to school”, but I remember growing up being excited about shopping for fall clothes. I always wanted to wear a sweater on the first day of school, even if it was too hot for it.

    mfalcon13@hotmail.com

  119. Miaelkaye says

    I try to include my kids on the experience of school shopping. They love going to different stores and picking out the items they’ll need.

    They don’t like the transition of being able to stay up late during the summer to going to bed early for school however. :)

  120. Dana says

    Instead of cramming it into a busy weekend, I take a day off of work to have some mommy/daughter time while we do our back to school shopping. My daughter started Middle School last year, and this is a great time to make sure that I am still in touch with teen life!

  121. Jacob says

    About a week before school starts we review some of the things they learned the year before so they are not overwhelmed and the info is fresh in their mind. It really is helpful!

  122. Mary says

    We pick a day to go shopping and make it fun by ending with eating out or getting a special treat. Then we always take a picture on the first day of school.

  123. Jennifer M says

    My mom always left us hand written notes in our lunch boxes for the first day of school. It was something to look forward to and made you feel better. I’ll do that for my kids too.

  124. Linda J. says

    What I remember about back to school shopping as a kid was that there was always one weird, impossible-to-find item on the mandatory supply list from the school. We lived in a small town, and there were only so many places to shop!

  125. MelodyJ says

    The memories that come to mind are the ones about shopping for clothes. Every year I could get one or two outfits. I always liked what I got.
    melodyj(at)gmail(dot)com

  126. Kimberly says

    I took my granddaughter shopping for school supplies for kindergarten and she was so excited to pick them out. She can’t wait for “big girl school” to start!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  127. Jason says

    By setting a bed time in August gets them prepped and ready for getting up early for school

    jason(at)allworldautomotive(dot)com

  128. Marjo G says

    I always had my kids stop and pose at the bottom of our stairs, just before they walked out on the “first day of school” each year.

  129. Tamara B. says

    I remember the first day of 6th grade for my son & daughter. I took them to the bus stop, when the bus came to a stop my son turned to look at me and he was white as a sheet almost as if he was going to pass out or get sick. Now they are entering the 8th grade with confidence but wait till nest year High School LOL. We get all of our school supplies throughout the summer picking up the sales that way we are down before school starts.

  130. says

    I don’t have children of my own, but when I was younger getting ready for school, I was always excited about going back to school shopping. I hated the actual THING, but the shopping was fun…so it’s a way to get your kids excited if they enjoy it or you try and MAKE it more fun.

    -Lauren

  131. Jacob LaFountaine says

    Getting all your school stuff into your backpack and then stand next to the door and take a picture. That is the tradition

  132. says

    On the first day of school, our entire family takes the kids to school. My husband goes in late and we go in and walk him to his desk (with little brother and sister in tow…).

  133. artistic baker says

    To help kids get ready for school we review simple addition, and buy back to school outfits, which they love!

  134. says

    I absolutely love this time of year! Shopping for school supplies is something that I adore and this year, my kids are getting into it. I have 2 preschoolers and armed with our school supply lists, we’ve been hitting sales and trying to learn important lessons about getting the most for your money. It’s been great and I’m looking forward to escorting them to their first days of school next week!

  135. says

    My favorite thing about back-to-school is freshly sharpened #2 pencils – before the eraser is gone and is topped with a brightly colored eraser crown.

    I’m starting preschool at home for my 3 1/2-year-old this fall. I’m really trying to get prepared with books and having coloring sheets for each lesson. Mostly playful lessons, but stressful nonetheless as this is my first year. Thanks for the giveaway!!

  136. Lexxi says

    We uaually head over to Officemax and get everything in one day (when they have those August sales)! If we can’t find some things, we’ll go and check Target.

  137. says

    My kids aren’t school-age yet but one of my best memories is that my mom always made my first day of school dress or outfit.

  138. Molly Capel says

    One tradition that our family has, is that my mom takes each of the grandkids shopping for their backpacks. And they end up getting a few folders, or shoes, or something extra too. It help get their supplies, and also lets them spend some one on one time with grandma.

  139. Leslie says

    Back to school shopping at the Prime Outlets during tax free week. I love buying new jeans–nothing else says back to school better.

  140. cwaltz says

    My oldest two teens get a $50 alottment to shop for back to school at the thrift store. They get to pocket anything left over which means they tend to take care of their stuff from year to year and search out bargains rather than ask for the latest “it” brand. My younger two come shopping with me for 2 new outfits. I pick up the rest at consignment shops. I also let them pick out folders and pencil boxes,each child gets a specific color for notebooks.

  141. Marie R says

    I usually stock up on school supplies and hide them and take them out as we need them. I also go clothes shopping and take pictures the first day.

  142. Sylvie W. says

    Back in the day we had loose leaf binders that looked like they were covered in denim. I remember starting my “artwork” on the cover. By the end of the school year, the entire binders were covered with a multitude of decorations in many colors.

    Also, my mother would take any textbooks we received an cover them using brown paper bags. Aha! More room for artwork.

  143. Jeanine B says

    It’s always fun to go get back-to-school supplies, and the sales are great right now (20 cents for filler paper!). It helps a lot to lay things out the night before — an old tip but one that really works for our family. Those extra few minutes make a huge difference.

  144. Caroline S. says

    With the current economic and global-resource crisis, our family has resolved to be a more money-saving and eco-friendly household. We see the start of the new school year as a perfect blank slate for such a resolution to be adapted. To get a head start, we decided to test out our new resolution this summer, and so far things are working well!

    For example, our house is filled with an abundance of technology (computers, cell phones, video games, etc.). With that, there’s hardly any time for interaction with our family. To combat this, we’ve been having what we call “daily blackout hours” where we turn off all the lights and electronic devices in our house, and spend time together outdoors as a family. Last week we had a picnic in the park during our daily blackout hour. And yesterday we played hopscotch and frisbee in the backyard! This simple solution has allowed our family bond in ways we would not have otherwise, as well as helped us to save money on electricity, and cut back on our family’s usage of the earth’s precious resources, such as oil (which is currently the largest source of electrical energy in the US)!

    We’re hoping that through this new resolution for the upcoming school year, our family not only learns the importance of doing its part to help keep our planet healthy, but to appreciate the smaller things in life, like the importance of a strong and healthy family relationship.

    Cheers,
    -Caroline

  145. pam day says

    We try to start getting prepared as early as possible usually around the 1st. of August.

  146. crystal says

    I think that it is great to take the little ones to the school before the first day back. That way your child is familiar with their classrooms and layout of the school!!

  147. says

    My daughter starts preschool next week. She is scared and we have already picked out her present for completing her first day of school. I like this idea and think I will continue with this tradition.

  148. Beka says

    Start getting used to the new school routine ahead of time. That way when school does roll around it won’t be a nightmare.

  149. kris says

    we took pictures every year with new first day of school outfit and lunchbox. Its so much fun to look back on!

  150. jennifer says

    We try to get lists for supplies before school starts and stock up as things go on sale.

  151. Shawna says

    My kids love to count down the days of summer. . .then when we get closer to school’s start. . .they kind of dread the countdown, and I get happy! for instance. . .when they get out of school in June, they are happy to have 85 days of summer (or whatever the count is) and I am saying “UGH!” and in August right around the 15th or so, I am so happy with the countdown and they are saying “UGH!” LOL :)

  152. Stephanie moore says

    We prepare by getting a new wardrobe for the new year. We shop all the summer sales and it gives her something to look forward to when school starts

  153. Agata says

    We always went shopping for new school clothes and school supplies a week before school started.

  154. says

    my twinkies are just 2, so we are not heading back to school yet, but the gift card would sure come in handy for new fall clothes and jackets and shoes. oh yeah and diapers! looking forward to having them potty trained! thanks!

  155. says

    On the morning of the first day of school we make a special breakfast including balloons and somehow incorporating the grade number he is starting. We are only up to 3rd grade so that has not been so difficult yet!

  156. Kimberly says

    As an elementary school computer teacher, I am updating all the computers and working up lesson plans on all the new programs. I love finding new informative sites for our students to do research. I also love finding fun math and language sites so the students are having so much fun they forget they are learning.

  157. miquelle mickelsen says

    My mom would always make us a new outfit. Looking back at pictures, we just laugh, she made some pretty funny things! My girls are not old enough to go to school yet, but when they are, I don’t think I”ll make them an outfit, but for sure let them pick out a new special first day of school outfit!

  158. Christina says

    We prepare for back to school by finding a few little getaways to make the most of summer’s end.

  159. says

    what is it about new school clothes? it just makes you feel so good. my husband just finished his masters degree, and even he had the urge to buy some new clothes each august! my mom used to take a picture of us kids heading out the door in our new outfits each year on the first day of school. i kept threatening to take my husband’s picture with his new outfit & book bag. he wasn’t quite as amused as i was! :)

  160. Denise says

    We make a list of needed clothes and school supplies, then make a reasonable budget. The kids help find the best prices on what we need. They have incentive – if they come in under budget they get to pocket the difference.

  161. DeeDee Hunt says

    I am 48 years old and still remember my first day of kindergarten. My childhood friend Cindy and I both started at the same time. Cindy and her mom picked up me and my mom and drove us to school that morning in her red mustang. I wore my best dress and remember holding Cindy’s hand as we walked in together. I turned to wave good-bye and I saw the tears in both of our mom’s eyes..I’ll never forget that.

  162. says

    My son will be starting preschool in a month and so I have no idea what I need to do to prepare for school! I guess I’ll get the school supply list and head out to Walmart.
    Davina

  163. Kerri says

    Our daughter is only 2, so no school yet for her. However, one of my favorite memories of starting school was shopping for the supplies and then rearranging them over and over again in my backpack.

  164. Karina says

    I always get my kids new school supplies every year and every year, tehy choose different matching colors for them

  165. Karen says

    I homeschool my kids too and we love to find coupons for school supplies and go shopping for the best deals. everyone in my family loves the smell of a fresh box of crayons.

  166. Renee Turner says

    When my daughter, who is now 16, first started school, we went to the library and read all of the books about what it is like to start school. With my son who is 4 and will be starting pre-K for the second year, I did the same starting last year. It really helped ease my kid’s fears and had them excited to start school!

  167. michelle robbins says

    Let the kid pick out their first day outfit, preferrably something comfortable.

  168. Susan B says

    My mom used to take pictures of us on the front sidewalk before we headed out to our first day of school.

  169. Renee T says

    We are preparing to got back to school by starting to go to bed earlier so we get used to waking up earlier.

  170. Tina Gyokeres says

    I raise my nephew, and to make is first day of school special, we make it into a day all about him. I take him to Chic-fil-a for his favorite breakfast (the little mini’s) as well as packing his favorite lunch. For dinner, I make whatever he wants, from pizza to crab legs (for him). That night, he is allowed to control the remote (luckily we all think Sponge Bob was okay to watch). If he would rather play a board game, he is the one who chooses. It may seem over the top, but there is never any more apprehension over the first day of school. Now he always looks forward to “his day”. During times when school seems to stretch forever between breaks, we have another one of “his day” where the activities are based on his grades. The better the grades, the better activities he can choose from!

  171. mickeyfan says

    We always took a picture of the kids on the 1st day with their new backpacks, haircuts and outfits. Still fun to look back on those and say “Remember when….”

  172. ky2here says

    We focus on the positive and how each year is an opportunity to do something a little different.

  173. patricia says

    We always got up early on the first day school. My children were always eager to go to school. They were always first at the bus stop too.

  174. Linda says

    I always took a picture of the kids with their backpacks going off to school on the first day of school.

  175. Marcia Goss says

    I have pictures of my kids on the first day of school, wearing new outfits and carrying new bookbags, waiting for the bus.

  176. Sandra says

    When my children were small, I made them feel like they were in control of the going back to school process by allowing them pick out their clothes.
    Now that my granddaughter is going, I took her to pick out hers, nice to continue a time-worn tradition.

  177. Jill Myrick says

    We always make a day of going back to school shopping.
    We get up early and go to breakfast,go supply shopping,have lunch and then go clothes shopping.
    On the way home we stop for ice cream.
    Once we arrive home my children will pair their new clothes together for the first week and get their backpacks ready and hung by the door.
    I will really miss this tradition when my children are out of school for good.
    Thank you so much for the chance to win.

  178. Penny says

    My little girl and I are preparing for back-to-school with everything princess. Princess backpack, princess lunch kit, princess nap mat, princess clothes…. You can imagine.

  179. Nancy says

    We always enjoy stocking up on school supplies while taking advantage of sales, special offers, and coupons! We mark everything with names. The name clipped from address labels and covered with clear tape does well for most things, even pencils! Then, the week before school starts we get back on a “school year schedule”. The routine includes getting early to bed and being early to rise, and clothes are selected and put out the night before, etc. This makes shifting to the school year schedule so much easier! Have a fabulous school year!

  180. Nanaofzb says

    We watch for the sales and combine it with coupons and have found plenty of FREE back to school supplies.

  181. Kim says

    For years I have made a game of shopping for school supplies with the kids and I always put a special note and card in the lunchboxes on the first day of school!

  182. Ally says

    We shop the sales for school supplies – love school supply shopping! Quizzing the kids on their flashcards always helps…

  183. says

    We get a new pencil box and decorate it with a collage of things my kids are interested in that year. It’s sort of a decoupage project and the boys love it.

  184. Brandi says

    We have a fun and frugal adventure such as a picnic to celebrate going back to school.

  185. says

    I plan a special day for my son where we go shopping for his new backpack and school clothes if needed, then to lunch and a movie. It’s a nice chance for us to spend some time together and to talk about the new year ahead!

  186. Maria says

    Stock up, stock up, stock up! I get ready all year with sales, deals, freebies. It makes the sticker shock a lot easier to handle when school starts!
    :-)

  187. Alice says

    My favorite memory of getting ready to go back to school is just the anticipation of it all- I’d carefully select my school supplies, debate what to wear for the first day, and then spend extra time making the perfect lunch… All of the preparation was always so exciting!

  188. Karina says

    I homeschool too. Last year my son was in first grade, so it was my first “real” year of schooling. He picked an organization to raise money for – Heifer International last year – and set a goal. For writing he had to write out notes to family asking them to sponsor him, and for reading he set a goal of 180 books with $1 in sponsors per book. He didn’t make it to 180 – but he read 150 books at or above his grade level and raised $250! We’re planning on making it a tradition and he can pick a different organization and method each year. I can’t wait to see what we do this year!

  189. Julie says

    Shopping for school clothes, supplies & a new backpack are always fun.
    Actually, we did that today!

  190. Shelly T. says

    One thing both my daughter and I look forward to is taking the “first day of school” photo. I also take one of her on the last day of school. It’s fun to see how much she has grown over the school year.

  191. josie says

    my kids are 2 and 4 months so we haven’t made any back to school memories yet, but when i was growing up i loved going back to school clothes shopping with my mom. not because of the new clothes, but because of all the uninterupted time with my mom. we’d hang out at the mall all day and finish our trip with a sugar/cinnamon pretzel from aunt annie’s. perfect.

  192. says

    My oldest is not in school yet but I am considering homeschooling. I think my daughter would look forward to any new books. Even though she can’t read yet, she loves to pretend that she can!

  193. irene kegel says

    I still rememeber starting school in switzerland in a school house with only 1 classroom for elementry classes and on the first day of school the teacher would take a picures of everyone and again on the last day of school..it was fun to watch how much we changed in just 10 month..
    irenekegel@hotmail.com

  194. kimberly b says

    On the first day of school I still send in a note in the snack bag with a joke in it. It lets them know that I’m thinking about them and gives them a little laugh.

  195. joanmurraycefalu says

    We always go out to eat for lunch (or early dinner) on the first day of school after classes. It gives the girls my undivided attention to hear about their first day. :)

  196. rebecca says

    My son is going to be in preschool for the first time this year. I have been looking through the comments and love looking at all of the suggestions. I am going to start the tradition of doing something fun the day before school starts. Whether it is going to the park for picnic, the zoo, fishing, etc.

  197. LaToya says

    With all the running around I usually have to do ( my husband and I are also in school) We are usually the “late” shoppers. Memories of us going shopping are the sound of two kiddos chanting “Mommy, mommy I know you got me the spiderman book bag yesterday, but now I want the hulk one. Back to school, great! lol!

  198. says

    We always took pictures of our kids on the front step of the house the first day of school each year, it was great to see from year to year how much the kids grew and how much the front of the house changed.

  199. Carol says

    I have my ritual cry, does that count? I do get emotional when I see them off the first morning, and then I go to Starbucks with a friend and we have coffee and feel better. My Starbucks first day of school ritual helps!

  200. Steve Scott says

    Lucky for me my boys are happy with athletic shorts and tshirts. They do get to pick out their backpacks.

  201. says

    We definitely try to cram as much fun as we can into the summertime. We love camping and being outdoors. But we try to make sure we never really get out of our routine of getting to bed on time. It makes going back to school way easier!

  202. Deb K says

    my kids are grown but I love to take my grand kids out after their first week of school~We talk about the new teachers and friends it is so much fun :)

  203. Jennifer M says

    My daughter was adopted on September 13, 2004. It’s lucky that it’s at the beginning of the school year, because it gives me the opportunity to go to her class and have a little celebration and explanation. THat way, she doesn’t every have to worry about awkward questions or comments during the year.

  204. jen says

    The night before the first day we make sure that the kids outfits and backpacks are ready. This makes for a stress free morning when we get up.

  205. Kathy Scott says

    My boys are growing like weeds so we will be making the 2 hour drive to Boise to do some serious clothes shopping.

  206. denyse says

    We just moved out of state so we have extra preperation this year. We showed the kids their new schools and have taken them to meet some kids their age at friend’s homes.

  207. Tonya Wesley says

    My daughter is starting Kindergarten and my son is going to the 4th grade. I take off of work for the first week of school and I take pictures of the kids on the first day of school. I usually escort my son to his classroom on the first day and sit with him for a few minutes. This year, I guess I will have to split my time between the two kids somehow. After school, I usually take them for some kind of treat like Italian icees at Ritas! I try to make back to school and fun and exciting time. I want them to feel good about school and learning.

  208. damon says

    We always start a routine a few days before school starts so the kids know exactly what to expect on the big day. Then we all have dinner together and discuss what happened.

  209. Bri Ethington says

    We always get fresh school supplies and new outfits for school, it’s always great to start the new school year clean and fresh!

  210. Heidi says

    I let the kids come shopping with me and pick out their backpack and a couple of personalized school supplies!

  211. Justine says

    We prepare for heading back to school by surfing the internet to find things my kids really want and enjoy to wear 😀 It’s much easier than going store to store and we get better deals and selection!

  212. Daniel M says

    just the usual, shop for supplies and clothes and mentally prepare them for another year of fun!

  213. says

    My mom always took my brother’s and my picture in front of the tree in our front yard. It’s funny to see us and the tree change from year to year and see our faces as puberty sets in and we are utterly embarassed by the dorky things our mom made us do. So now I’m starting it with my daughter!

  214. says

    I have 3 girls, 2 of which are school age. They have completely different personalities and tastes in clothing. I schedule a date with each of them where we go to breakfast, plan our shopping trip, and get their clothes, supplies, etc. It would probably be easier to buy everything together, but this way, they get my one-on-one attention and love. The $100 would be an awesome surprise. Thanks!

  215. Benita G. says

    Well, of course, we have to go through the closet, organize, give away, discard. Then we make a list of what she needs and shop, shop, shop. After the clothing is in order, we make a list of school supplies. We shop, shop and shop. Last but not list we make a list of foods we need for lunches. And what do we do? we shop, shop, shop.

    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

  216. Melissa says

    Since my son can wear most of his uniforms from last year, I don’t have a lot of school shopping to do. But, he was really excited to get a new Star Wars backpack!

  217. says

    We live on the border of TN and GA… and each state has a “tax free” weekend before school starts… no sales tax on clothing, shoes and school supplies! So I take advantage of that each year. On the weekend for GA, we’ll head to the outlet stores to look for bargains!

    And traditionally, I take pics of my girls each year on the 1st day of school!

  218. Melissa D says

    Our tradition is a school supply shopping trip for the entire family. This gets everyone excited and in a back-to-school frame of mind! I remember feeling that way when I was a little girl, so it’s fun for me, too.

  219. Charlene J says

    The highlight of back to school shopping is picking out “the bookbag.” It has become quite an event in our household.

  220. Mimi the kitten says

    fondest BTS memory: for my freshman year at college, my Mom spent all summer painstakingly, lovingly piecing together a quilt of over 500 pieces, to (literally) blanket her terrified freshman in love.

  221. Jennifer R says

    We go clothes shopping the day or Friday before – out to lunch, then Girl Scout troop always has a Back to school pool party. First day I get up early and make pancakes and we all eat breakfast together. Love the first day – the anticipation and excitement. Only the last day can be as fun.

  222. Christie says

    Have a “last weekend of freedom” party! Usually a sleepover party with popcorn, homemade cookies, movies etc.

  223. alycep says

    My memories are about when my mother used to make my “first day of school” outfit. We would start in July finding the right material and she would sew at night after work. Even if the outfit turned out to be not weather appropriate I would insist on wearing it and I felt very special in it. She would also walk me to school on the first day until I was in 5-6th grade.

  224. Heather says

    We love looking for the perfect lunchbox! The first lunch always includes something to know that I am thinking of them!

  225. charline says

    The kids love looking for new supplies and of course they have to have a new outfit and shoes. My favorite part is watching them meet up with old friends again.

  226. Donna says

    We talk about school often before they actually go back to ease them into it so that they feel less anxious. They love to get lots of new clothes and supplies! We try making “back to school” as fun and stress free as possible! Thank you :)

  227. Jay F. says

    Beyond the normal back-to-school shopping, we have the routine of waiting for the posting of the teachers, which they do in the elementary school we attend tomorrow. There’s plenty of excitement and speculation in the neighborhood tonight.

  228. phillip stacy says

    We make a plan about what we will buy and where we will buy it. We try to stick to the plan and a budget.

  229. Dante Tolbert says

    We just grab them and see what ever colors they like and just play it by ear, mixed results but always fun

  230. pam says

    The carpets get cleaned the week after school starts. Then I’m assured of about 8 hours of no one home to walk on them!

  231. Erica says

    I take my kids to Walmart for the back to school specials. I also like to start a schedule for them, and ask them what After school stuff they want to start the up coming year.

  232. Kathy K says

    My son is finicky about his clothes. When he was younger we HAD to shop at Sears because that was the only place we could find chinos that fit him comfortably. He was allowed to pick any shirts he wanted. He is quite the clothes horse now (G)

  233. Janette says

    We begin to work on getting back into our school schedule by getting the kids use to going to bed earlier at night. They stay up so late during the summer.

  234. Pam says

    i get all of the lists as soon as i see the stores putting up school supplies and wait for as many awesome sales as i can!

  235. Stacey Meyer says

    My kids favorite part of back to school shopping is picking out their new bookbags. I found great deals on them this year! They also love picking out a new outfit and shoes each year!

  236. Michelle says

    My oldest is head to kindergarten this year. Can hardly believe it! When I was a child it was always a big deal to go get school supplies and my grandma would always take us shopping to get a special shirt and then she would take us to a local water park! This year my in-laws took my son to the zoo. Any way to make the end of the summer special along with making the first day of school special!

  237. Beth says

    Firstly, we get school shopping done EARLY. We have to because everything in the stores is whiped out! Also, we pick our clothes out the night before and get back into more of a regular pattern. Healthy breakfast too of course. Ah ~ exciting. :)

  238. Homero says

    I actually buy the bare essentials, and then wait till they actually need an item, seems some supplies are rarely needed.

  239. Randi says

    Back to school shopping is one of my favorite things. Both of my kids are in school now, so we have tons of supplies to buy this year.

  240. Pam says

    Going back to school always meant a day of shopping to get new clothes, school supplies and shoes. Then if I had any money left, we would go out to dinner before going home and collapsing from exhaustion!

  241. Greta says

    My son is only two, but he goes to a preschool program with kids on the move. He loves to go to school. We’ve made a photobook with his friends from school. We look at the book and talk about his friends. On the way to class we sing the same songs they are learning in singing time. He also sings his own song that goes …”preschool, preschool, preschool, preschool.”

  242. Carolyn says

    Preparing to go back to school in our house was an exciting time of doing something together as we looked for new clothes and whatever supplies would be needed for the school year.
    cjnedrow at gmail.com

  243. Joanne Schultz says

    Getting clothes ready, getting supplies together; buying whatever else is needed.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  244. James Nickerson says

    A great back to school tradition is letting the kids pick out whatever they want in school supplies. Clothes is another issue but I love letting them find their perfect pen and pencils, etc. that they want to use.

  245. Barbara says

    No unusual traditions. We get ready by going shopping for new clothes and backpacks and other supplies.

  246. Marie says

    I love shopping for back to school supplies because I have this (possibly unhealthy) addiction to paper and pens and notebooks :-) I’m glad to see that my children are also developing this addiction though — could it be genetic? So we had a great time going together this year to ooh and aah over pens and paper :-)

  247. AmandaK says

    A week ahead, I make sure to get everything I need! Here in my city, most parents wait until the last minute- when everything is almost gone!

  248. Happi Shopr says

    we get ourselves in school mode about two weeks before it starts – new clothes, gear, etc., changing bed times and get up times 😀

  249. Beth McNichols says

    I homeschool so my get back to school maybe a little different than most. My son and I also share our birthdays Aug. 31st and Sept 1st. Before we get back to school, we celebrate every year.

  250. Karen says

    I try to get the school supplies early and get haircuts a week or two before school starts so they don’t have that fresh cut look still.

  251. says

    We get the kids back on school bedtime schedules weeks before school starts so they’re not tired and grumpy through the first weeks!

  252. Laurie L says

    My favorite part of the whole BTS experience is taking some time before school starts back to do something relaxing that has nothing to do with prepping to start school. We usually take a camping trip or something like that the weekend before school starts back. Just a chance to relax and have some down time before the BTS rush sets in the next week.

  253. Molly K says

    My son will be starting kindergarten this year and I want to make up some traditions to carry on every year. The only one that I really remember from growing up is that all of us neighbor kids would have to go house to house the first day of school so that the mom’s could take pictures of us.

  254. Gabriel J. says

    This would help us a lot for my daughter who is goign to school this year for the first time!

  255. Adele says

    We go out to eat at the kids’ favorite restaurant and then it’s early to bed. Thanks for this offer.

  256. Yedid says

    This year my child is starting kindergarten so I will be taking her to a kindergarten story time at the library so she will be able to make new friends with kids that may also be starting kindergarten. It is always easier for kids to see a familer face so the storytime at the library is a great idea.

  257. Kate says

    WE always have a breaking in session where kids get to try out their school supplies. It helps everyone get excited!

  258. Bambi M says

    My back to school tradition was always photo day! The day before we went back we had our photo taken in front of the door, then every year we’d see how we had grown!

    thanks for the giveaway :)

  259. Erin Walsh says

    Our back to school tradition is the cleaning out of the backpack tradition. Yes, it’s only when it’s time to go back for a new school year, that we clean all of the funk out from the previous year. It’s almost like a disgusting time capsule of the previous school year and you never know what you’ll find.

    I won’t put my hands in there anymore, I let my fifteen year old son do it. LOL

  260. Geoff K says

    A back to school tradition my mom started with me and my sister, and one that I have continued, is to sit down and create a list of goals for the school year which must contain at least one new challenge, one thing we’ve never done before — for example, trying out for the school play for the first time, learning a musical instrument. What’s great is that my mom always made a list for herself as well, and I have fond memories of sitting down and going over each other’s ideas and getting excited about the year ahead. Then, of course, as a reward, my mom would take us to our favorite department store and let both me and my sister pick out six new outfits and a pair of shoes each. Looking back, I think both of those traditions – “trying on” ideas/goals as well as clothes, really put us in the right mindset for a successful year and alleviated a lot of the back-to-school jitters we inevitably had!

  261. says

    Well I don’t have kids, but I remember getting ready for the coming school year and helping to find my textbooks at a bargain price (I was homeschooled).

  262. Gloria says

    My tradition for my three kids is before I take them to school they line up with their new outfits (usually) and I take a picture of them!

  263. says

    Ahh Back to School. My kids are always excited but very anxious as well not knowing who’s in their classes. We make a list of their bestie’s and call them after registration to see who they have. Sometimes this makes for sad time (if there friends aren’t in their class) but they think its fun to call their friends anyhow. Thanks for the entry.

  264. Christine L. says

    Going back to school is always a fun time! Now a 3rd year in college, my college roommate and I like to go shopping with each other in preperation for the new school year!

  265. kris says

    I go to each store getting the “nearly free” doorbusters. What we don’t use I donate to a children’s shelter for abused kids.

  266. Christine L. says

    Going back to school is always a fun time! Now a 3rd year in college, my college roommate and I like to go shopping with each other in preparation for the new school year!

  267. Katherine says

    We don’t have school aged kids yet so we snag some of the cheap school supplies to pass along to those less fortunate. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  268. Sharon Seneker says

    We are not wealthy, but we shop for school supplies early before the tax free weekend because the stores here in TN and NC get so crowded and the inventory gets picked over quickly. So out tip is shop early! Thanks for a super opportunity! Happy new school year to all! senekers@comcast.net

  269. Jammie says

    I home school my daughter so it is basically me preparing her learning about 2 weeks before she starts. Then we get this going.

  270. samantha says

    This would truly help my family with school supplies and other necessities as we are in quite a bit of financial problems right now!

  271. says

    This is only the second year of school since we start Kinder this year but we let wee man pick out one special school item and a new outfit all on his own.. everything else is mommy’s pick

  272. Deb says

    We were a homeschooling family for 17 years…my favorite memory was my “back-to-school” first day speech I always gave the kids. They still remind me of it now. We had some fun years.

  273. Julie k says

    We start to cut back on the late summer bedtime about this time. It does take a while for them to adjust if we don’t do it now. The real tradition is for the kids to pick out their new backpacks. We also start filling out the reading list and doing some math worksheets here and there for a warm up.

  274. Annette says

    We do all the normal back to school shopping and preparing. I also try to do something special, like go to their favorite restaurant or a movie that they have been wanting to see.

  275. Jackie Wilkinson says

    I don’t have any kids yet but I do work at a school and enjoy seeing all the kids from June coming back refreshed from summer and ready to learn again.

  276. says

    I LOVE stocking up on school supplies! Especially since we can wait until they are on clearance! I go crazy and then not only have art supplies for the rest of the year, but I can give them as gifts and stocking stuffers! Great money saver!

  277. Ashley says

    Before my son heads back to school I spend extra quality time with him through out the week. 2 weeks before school starts, my son and I go to the park, and to the movies; this is our yearly tradition before schools starts for the both of us. After we’ve had our fun we search through his closet to see what he can and cannot fit anymore, and give it to anyone who is in need of help. After that we go through coupons and also see what is on sale, then we are off to get school supplies.

  278. says

    It’s funny, but I really don’t have any special memories of going back to school. Maybe it’s because my dad was in the military and I think I went to at least two different schools almost every year. I guess one thing that sticks out about the start of the school year was picking out notebooks. I usually liked notebooks and binders that had horses or cats on them, and if they were plain, I’d draw a horse on the front (the only thing I could ever draw halfway decently was horses).

  279. Michael says

    We’ve found that if the kids aren’t freaking out about their looks, they tend to pay more attention to the books!

  280. Ericka King says

    My kids and I prepare for heading back to school by getting as many sales items as possible, things are getting way to expensive now a days!

  281. Vicki Andrew says

    no traditions, I did a lot of shopping at thrift and vintage stores so my kids have grown up being aware of recycling and reusing. Our big tradition, since I had three daughters, was girls day out on the first day of the VS semi-annual sale

  282. Jere says

    This is our first year in our household…. some clothes and supply shopping, new backpacks and lunchboxes and a “all family” fun night with pizza,smores,videos, and lots of fun before school starts next week.

  283. ktanjatk says

    I always remember shopping for back to school supplies, I loved that smell of fresh new books, notebooks and pencils :) I still do!
    Than the anticipation of seeing the old friends and meeting new ones, I have lots of fond memories from school days!

  284. checkers says

    Tradition I would say would just get to bed early and rise early, also wear your best new outfit that was bought for you on the first day of school.

  285. Mishia says

    We have a competition every year to see who could spend the least amount on school supplies. It is always fun.

  286. Jennifer Jozwiak says

    My little one is too small for back to school so I don’t know yet. I get to enjoy her a little while longer!

  287. Paula Harmon says

    I start waking the kids up earlier everyday, but as far as back to school shopping, (4 kids), I have to wait until after they start because hubby is laid off work and that is when everything goes on clearance.

  288. says

    This is my daughters first year of school, but so far we have started going to bed a little eariler each night. And we are going camping this weekend. I think we will go camping the weekend before she starts school from here on out! I think of it as one last Horah! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  289. Eric Breunig says

    For two weekends before it starts we shop for items as the second weekend something is always missed.

  290. Shane Davanzo says

    Checklists! They have plenty of back to school checklists online and the kids love using them!

  291. Dottie says

    We do the usual shopping for back to school and a few weeks ahead of time, we start the new bedtimes and arising times.

  292. amy delong says

    both m children have outgrown all their clothes sooooo this would be awesome!!I love buying new clothes for them!

    ahdrad2932(at)msn(dot)com

  293. Toni says

    We get ready by having one last hurrah – something fun at the end of summer. This year we will be going to HersheyPark for a few days. Can’t wait!!

  294. Veronica Garrett says

    I have fond memories of shopping for back to school clothes. My ideas and my Mom’s never agreed so I was trying to change her mind. We have a tradition where we have a pizza party to celebrate the end of summer and going back to school.

  295. Jane Hoh says

    We always schedule a family outing just before school…a ballgame, amusement park. This has not changed even as my kids got to college now.

  296. R Hicks says

    It certainly is a process. Basically, we set a specific bedtime about a week before school starts to get them into the routine. One treat that we always do is take them to an amusement park before school begins.

  297. Susan Smith says

    The kids enjoy picking out their own school supplies. The night before school I have them lay out their clothes and make sure their back packs are packed to save time in the morning.

  298. Felicia K says

    I had 3 sisters, and we all went school shopping together for as long as I can remember. We all used to pick out the same outfit for the first day of school.

  299. says

    The Geekazoid LOVES back to school shopping- everything from picking out the right supplies to the smell of the crayons and sharpies. I think she may become a teacher just so she doesn’t have to give it up. 😉

  300. Angela Fuller says

    We have a countdown calendar and add one new piece to their backpacks as the days wind down.

  301. Daniel says

    school shopping is a very hectic time of the year, but also can be very exciting. My kids and I always go together which means more Dad time. I always am working and this is one time of the year i know i get a full day with them. wouldn’t miss it for the world

  302. lilshuga2001 says

    This is the first year my brother will be able to wear whatever he wants to school.
    He had cancer for a yr and missed his whole 10th grade, this year i moved and he came along with me, so that he doesnt have to wear a uniform!
    We are starting to get back into the swing of things by not stayin up so late!

    Thanks for the chance!!!

  303. Sarah Denton says

    Getting fun pencils and erasers and folders thankfully I bought the school supply pack so don’t have to go round trying to figure out what a map pencil is!

  304. Heather C says

    The MOST fun we have is getting back to the proper sleep schedule. We start going to bed sooner and them tempting her awake earlier with awesome food that isn’t necessarily breakfast stuff. We even try to get her excited by allowing her to choose the funkiest backpack she can find. Good stuff!

  305. Karen A. says

    The days of my kids back to school shopping has long been over. I’m now starting on the grandkids. I let it up to their parents to buy their clothing, but I buy them some supplies.

  306. says

    My kids are older so there’s not a big production like there used to be but I do still try to get them to pick out their own supplies so that they’re completely functional for their needs.

  307. kathy pease says

    i start shopping right after school ends for any sales and clearances so by the time school rolls around im all set

  308. christopher h says

    we shop with each of the kids seperately, so they each get a day with mom and dad too

  309. says

    We take a photo of them on the first day of school in front of our house. It’s fun to see how much older they look each year.

  310. joanna smith says

    When I was growing up my mother always purchased me a new “outfit” to wear to school for each day of the week for the first week of school, that was 5 new outfits! I used to get so excited about all my new clothes that I actually couldn’t wait for each and everyday to start because I wanted to wear my new clothes to school and show my friends and feel special (confident). I am continuing this tradition with my own children today and I find that if I allow them to choose clothes that they think are “cool” and they pass with my approval, then my kids are going to be much more motivated and excited about getting up in the morning and going to school than if I didn’t give them some incentive at the start of the new school season to get going. I also make sure that they always are equipped with their favorite snacks when they go to school to keep them energized, happy and healthy. These may sound like little “things” but it works for us! Thanks so much for the chance to enter.

  311. Dorothy says

    I remember as a kid my Mom taking all of us out to buy new school clothes. We each had a specific limit to what we could buy. Of course whatever we bought was for fall temperatures and without fail the first day of school was always very warm. But that never stopped me from wearing the new clothes. My son is in a year round preschool so September doesn’t have the same feeling for us yet.

  312. Brian E. says

    Thanks for the giveaway… We mark the beginning of the new school year by having a family meeting where educational goals (and expectations) are laid out, TV & Internet usage rules are hashed out, and free time / school extracurricular activities are determined.

  313. DanV says

    We try to ease into back to school by getting our supplies together and preparing for the new school year together

  314. Errica says

    very glad my school system went to uniforms its saves me a little bit of cash but school supplies are so expensive…

  315. George says

    We are trying ot spend more time together and also doing the stock-up on school supplies.

  316. katiea says

    :) Trying to spend as much time with friends that don’t go to the same school as possible… only 1 week left…

  317. Betty C says

    We love shopping for just the right outfit for the first day of school. No matter how many other things we need to get that special outfit is always the most important.

  318. Claudia M says

    the weekend before school starts my Daughter and i go shopping for a great outfit for the first day and afterwards we always stop in braums or Baskin Robbins for some Ice cream :) we been doing this since she was 6 years old — now she is 12 .awesome giveaway,thanks :)!

  319. Meredith says

    Bed time gets early a little bit at a time and then we wake up a little earlier each day.

  320. Randy Bailey says

    It is not easy getting my 4 kids ready 2 go back 2 school. They stayed up later, and slept in later on their summer vacation. The hardest is getting them back on a schedule. They have been in school here for a week now, they R starting 2 get back into their routine now, so it is getting easier

  321. kristie belding says

    A week before school begins we stop running lazy summer hours and practice getting back in sync with earlier schedules. The first few days we get up early and meet at the breakfast table to go over the day’s errand/chore list (restock closets/start a donation pile, pack away summer goodies and dig out/inventory reusable school items, so we DO NOT over buy, shots, and hair cuts).

    This gets the kids ready for active mornings and nails down all the last minute needs so everyone is on the same page. It has saved many a early morning battle royal when school breaks make us lax.

    The last few days are sprinkled with fun activities close to home, so everyone has a chance to relax and unwind before schedules start filling up.

  322. Connie says

    My family has made a tradition out of choosing the perfect lunch box. The school that they attend has a pretty strict policy about the notebooks and folders that they can have so the lunchbox is the one chance they get to really show some personality. Choosing it every year is a big deal for us! We really have fun finding the right one.

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