It’s back to school time


Try these tips to help ease chil­dren, par­ents back into the rou­tine

It’s hard to be­lieve how quickly the sum­mer has flown by and now it’s time to get ready to head back to school. Here are a few tips to think about to make it a bit eas­ier, re­gard­less of how old your chil­dren are.

Sort out back-to-school clothes early

Ni­cole Veinotte, Port Wil­liams, says dur­ing the last two weeks of sum­mer, she gets her chil­dren to start try­ing on clothes that they haven’t worn since school. She then gets rid of what­ever they won’t wear or doesn’t fit, be­fore school starts, thus giv­ing her an ac­cu­rate pic­ture of what they have be­fore she takes them out shop­ping.

“It is easy to get caught up in the back to school sales but when you al­ready have items that still work at home, it is a waste of money,” she says.

Cathy Dren­nan, of Cam­bridge, says you can start even ear­lier get­ting clothes ready and sav­ing more money.

She ad­vises peo­ple to get their gas at Fast Fuel in Cold­brook, where you save your 3.5 cen­tre per litre cash­back re­ceipts. Then, bring them into Sobeys and buy gift cards for any store you wish.

“I have $125 in Win­ners gift cards since Jan. 1 that I will use for back-to-school clothes and maybe even Christ­mas presents too,” says Dren­nan.

Prac­tice rou­tines

If it is your child’s first time to go to school, you might want to prac­tice. A few days be­fore the first day of school, get up early and go to the bus stop with your child wear­ing a back­pack. This will help you know how long it will take to get ready and out the door.

Even if it’s not your child’s first time go­ing to school, Bre­anna Mac­In­tosh, of Port Wil­liams, says to start the back-to-school bed­time and wake up rou­tine weeks be­fore school starts.

“Get­ting back into school morn­ing rou­tine is hard enough,” says Veinotte. “If they are over­tired and cranky it is worse.”

Veinotte also plays happy mu­sic in the morn­ing to start the day off on the right foot. No­body has to talk right away, she says, but they may swing their arms or start mov­ing to the mu­sic a lit­tle and that all helps

La­bel your chil­dren’s items

Many fam­i­lies use Ma­bel La­bels to put stick­ers on ev­ery­thing the child owns. This makes dig­ging through the lost and found piles at school so much eas­ier and in­creases the like­li­hood of the item be­ing re­turned home.

Shop Early for Sup­plies

Erika Sheen, of Kentville, says although she doesn’t al­ways fol­low her own ad­vice, she sug­gests not leav­ing school sup­ply shop­ping un­til the last minute.

“Be­cause if you do” she says, “when you go to get ev­ery­thing on their list, it’s ei­ther all picked over and not a lot of se­lec­tion left or some­times the item is com­pletely sold out.”

Plan School Lunches

Veinotte says to ask the kids to come up with healthy snacks and lunch items they would like to have in their lunches and sug­gests maybe even gro­cery shop­ping to­gether with a list made by them. This may in­crease the chances of them ac­tu­ally eat­ing it.

Each Septem­ber, Dren­nan gath­ers with friends for a backto-school cookie ex­change. In­stead of ex­chang­ing cook­ies at Christ­mas, they all make items for school lunches.

All you have to do, she says, is make one kind of sweet like cook­ies, squares, muffins, etc., and you get back same amount you made but in all dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties from all the cookie ex­change guests.

“So, if you bring six dozen muffins, you would bring back six dozen of sweets but all dif­fer­ent kinds. This saves you from bak­ing a zil­lion dif­fer­ent things,” says Dren­nan.

Cel­e­brate with other par­ents.

Every year on the first day of school, many par­ents gather with friends to cel­e­brate the first day of school, or “the yel­low bus of joy” as one mother calls the school bus.

Cel­e­brate sur­viv­ing another sum­mer, or as Gil­lian Yorke, of Kentville, whose son Max will be start­ing school for the first time this Septem­ber says, “cel­e­brate new mile­stones.”

How­ever you cel­e­brate, take lots of pic­tures. These school days will be over in a blink of an eye.


Max Yorke is ex­cited to be start­ing “big school” this Septem­ber at KCA in Kentville.

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