Our efforts around our house are focusing on getting back into our school year routine. Our children do go to school outside of our home, but the structure around our home must change. August is my back to school challenge month. Join me in the challenge???
There are five areas that I am planning on addressing this month in the life of our family.
Ready for School Challenge
1) Command Central
2) Children’s Bedrooms
4) Home Management
5) School Memories
I won’t necessarily address each of these areas in order, but would like to share my ideas with you. Hopefully you will also share your ideas as I would love to get things even more organized around here.
· Sell Items
· End of Summer Outing
· Shopping Day for Each Child
We are doing our shopping a bit different this year. We want shopping to be fun for the boys. This year each boy has a weekend that is their shopping weekend. Last weekend we took Tommy shopping. He goes to a private Christian school so he really doesn’t need much for school clothes. The night before shopping I went through his uniforms and made a list of what he needed.
Tommy needed: A keyboard for piano lessons, 5 pairs uniform pants, socks, two pairs of shoes for school and his school supplies.
Erik Needs: Shoes, 3 pants, 3 school shirts, 1 sweatshirt, underwear, and shorts to sleep in.
I make sure ahead of time that I have ordered gift cards from Shop with Scrips for all my shopping. I decided that between Walmart and Kohls we should get what we need.
First stop was the shoe store. I want to talk a bit about shoes for your children. With raising Tommy and Eirk I have learned one thing. They both have flat feet and shoes are VERY important. With Josh I could buy shoes from Target and not worry. With the other boys, we have to search for good quality shoes with arches. Erik’s feet actually turn in where his knees are touching. Since I saw that with Erik I am very careful with Tommy’s feet. We have found the best shoes for Tommy at Stride Rite. We buy two pairs of shoes a year. One for school and one for gym class. We have been buying Merrill as they have a very good arch in them. I hope we are being proactive with Tommy’s feet and they won’t be like Erik’s when he is a teen. If only I had know about this when Erik was little.
Once the shoes get a bit worn and the feet start to turn in again, we have to replace them. For Erik this has been two to three times a year. So my advice to you, if you have children with flat feet do not skimp on their shoes. They will thank you when they are older. Erik is starting to have some pain in his back at times and I have to wonder if it is related to his flat feet and how he walks.
SOCKS – now that I chatted about shoes, I have to weigh in on socks. If you want your life to be easier, try this tip. When buying socks buy the same kind of sock for your child each year. Erik always gets socks from Sam’s Club, Josh gets Addias Socks, Hubby the ones with the yellow toes and finally Tommy has the ones with the dark blue bottom. This makes folding and sorting so easy!! I try never to deviate from this. As the boys are getting older their socks are the same size.
SUPPLIES – I just head to Walmart for supplies. I tell Tommy what the list says and Tommy finds it. He enjoys picking out his own items. I do not buy a new backpack each year unless it is needed. Both Tommy and Erik will be using their bags from last year again. Follow the supply list. I have invested in a brother’s labeler so I quickly label supplies. I even label each caryon! I got a bit obsessive! LOL!!!
SELL ITEMS: I keep a bag of uniforms throughout the year and when the annual sale comes I sell Tommy’s outgrown items. This year I should make about 50.00 if I sell them all. I will use that money towards his new shirts for this year. His short sleeves fit him from last year so we only will by 5 long sleeve shirts. I buy all his uniform pants on ebay and this year we found uniform pants at Walmart that we will try.
SHOPPING DAY – Each child seems to enjoy having their own shopping day. All the shopping is about them. We also allow them to pick where to eat out after shopping. Tommy picked Red Lobster, my little shrimp boy! Erik wants to eat at Old Counry Buffet after his shopping day! It keeps them on task and more cooperative to know they will get to pick a place to eat out. We rarely eat out so we reserve it for special occassions such as this.
END OF SUMMER PARTY: We try to have a celebration to mark the beginning of the school year. This year is different as Erik is with his mom that weekend. So we are taking Tommy to a surprise concert. Erik will have earned an outing at the Park at the MOA. His PCA does some tutoring with him each day for a bout 1 hour. If he cooperates through August he will earn a day at the MOA.
In the past we have stayed at hotels with water parks, etc. We play games and enjoy some time together. The younger two boys love to swim.
So how do you make the end of summer and shopping special in your home???