While the main things on most of our minds are Fourth of July plans, trips to the beach, barbeques, and the best way to enjoy summer with our family and friends, the last thing on our minds is going back to school. And why should we be thinking about school? It’s barely a week into July. However, it’s never too early to start thinking about getting organized for the upcoming school year. By taking small steps to get organized throughout the summer, the transition from summer to school mode can be a lot smoother.

For families like mine, who have one child that attends a modified year round school and another that is on a traditional school year it can be tricky.  We struggle to balance having one child in school while another is still enjoying their summer vacation. Not only is this difficult for the child who has to wake up early for school while their sibling is in the middle of their summer, but it can be stressful for parents as well. Parents can ease this stress by doing small things before it’s too late. For example, contact your school to see if the school supply lists have been released. This allows you to avoid the chaos that stores become the week before school starts when everyone who has waited until the last minute to buy their supplies frantically rush to buy supplies. Additionally, you avoid the risk of getting to a store to find out there are no more #2 pencils! Rainy days are another perfect opportunity to get things done; take an hour out of the day and sort through the previous years supplies to see if they can be re-used or sort through old papers and school-projects-keeping only the best of the best.

            There are also ways to be kind to the environment while getting organized for school. In addition to traditional recycling methods, there are some alternative steps you can take to re-use school supplies from the previous year. Although kids love to have brand new folders and binders, often times we throw away perfectly good school supplies for the tradition of fresh purchases. If you have folders or binders that are still in good condition think about taking these steps to remain environmentally friendly while making your kids happy about new school supplies:

  • Have a “school supply trade”: Get together with kids in the neighborhood, friends, or other classmates and have the kids swap their old folders for fun new ones
  • For plain folders, purchase decorating supplies and have an arts and crafts day where your kids can decorate their old folders and binders. 


By no means am I implying that the beginning of July means it is time to trade the pool floaties for backpacks and go into all-out school mode. There is still plenty of time to enjoy backyard barbeques, sleeping in late and lounging by the pool all day. However, keep in mind that the school year is approaching and planning ahead is the best way to avoid the stress that accompanies going back to school.