I’m relatively new to this whole concept of back to school, so-to-speak. Not that my kids haven’t been going to daycare and montessori over the years, but as a mom the entire hype that has surrounded this season has managed to escape me – up until now. Kid #1 is headed to junior kindergarten this year, and since I live in Ontario that means full day kindergarten.
Luckily I’ve been doing my research, talking to other moms to get their back to school tips and even using some of my own personal experiences from the days of montessori and day care to help me get ready for his first day of JK.
Take stock of what your child already has, especially clothes. By conducting an inventory of what you have you’ll probably realize you already have most of what you need. Kid #1 already has enough t-shirts with enough logos to make him cool enough with his new buddies so there’s no need to buy any new ones, but he could use a few extra pairs of pants to withstand the dust and mud of his new playground.
Shop around. Once you’ve figured out what you already need, shop around for the best deals. Back to school is a retailers dream and most stores will have plenty of deals to try and lure us parents. Whether it’s checking out flyers or online websites, there are lots of deals out there if you know where to find them. Get on the email list of your favourite kid stores, you can get as much as an additional 20-30% off already discounted prices. The emails may be a wee bit annoying but I’ve saved hundreds of dollars over the years doing this. Some of the best ones are Old Navy, Gap, The Children’s Place and Gymboree.
Technology is your friend. There are lots of apps out there for your mobile device to make shopping easier during back to school season. My personal favourite is flipp which let’s you explore the latest flyers and deals based on your postal code and even has a search function.
Plan out your food for the week. Especially the first few weeks when life will be at the most hectic. I know my husband and I are already looking forward to being ever so loving to one another during this week (insert sarcasm here). Look for simple recipes, before the routine starts to click. I love the Food Network for ideas, I also find pasta is a go to for our family, it can be eaten both warm and cold, (dinner and lunch) and is easy to make lots of and then frozen. Make the kids lunches the night before and even let your kids help. That way they can’t get mad at you for making a lunch they don’t like.
Now all that’s left is to enjoy the weekend and get through that first day of junior kindergarten, but I’ll have to save that experience for another post. I think I’ll call that one: Things I’ve learned about the first day of JK with Kid#1 to use for Kid #2.
Edyta McKay is a working mom with two amazing kids Jack who is 4.5, emphasis on half and Kaia who isn’t even two yet insists on doing everything her older brother does. She lives in the big city of Toronto, Ontario with her very energetic family spending her days working as the Corporate Communications Manager for CST and a full time blogger for Parentwise. She’s dished out parenting advice on CTV and Global News where Jack has made some appearances as her side-kick.