Costs of the Classroom- The Back 2 School Season

Posted: August 24, 2011 in Uncategorized
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With the summer vastly winding down to the final couple weeks, and September lurking behind the corner, it’s the time of year that kids often dread, and parents celebrate and revel in…back to school season!  Every end-of-June and begining-of-September brings a ‘Tale of Two Cities’ outlook from youth and parents…with most students counting down the weeks and days before July and summer vacations…and some parents counting down the days until school re-starts and the education system now has the task of occupying their kids for the day! 

In all honesty, I’ve absolutely loved having this summer off to spend this extra time with the family, although it’s been a challenge often to find things to do on hot, humid days, but amidst all the interviews, travelling and family time…I’m actually bummed that the kids are going back to class!  I know most youth/teens are clinging tight to those last 2 weeks of summer holidays, but are also looking forward to re-connecting with friends, social tribes, sports, clubs, etc…and parents likewise often look forward in anticipation to the fall season with all the ‘new-ness’ that each season brings.  One thing parents don’t look forward to about back 2 school, and of which we’re fearing, is the cost of back to school.  The supplies, school costs, field trips, clothes…and that’s just for a grade 1 and 2 student…let alone parents who have children in middle/high school, and the heightened costs associated with that demographic.

David R. Smith from Youth Culture Window wrote a worth-while article to take a peak at re: the costs, pressures, opportunities and challenges associated with the back-to-school season.  You can check out his perspective- Designer Duds and Digital Devices Own the ClassroomThings certainly have changed over the years with the back-to-school shopping and prep list, and David outlines some good insight into the digital age our kids are living within, as well as how we as parents can best engage this arena with our children…especially the part on placing our main value on learning, and not just on grades;

Whenever a focus is put on grades instead of learning, students are cheated and stress ensues. Don’t allow that to happen to those you love. ~David R. Smith~

Like it or not…fall is coming, so instead of dreading it, why not just accept it, and the opportunities it brings your way?  Here’s some things you can do to prepare for the back-to-school season;

take advantage of the time you have left in the summer…go for a hike, bike ride, ice cream cone, corn roast, beach day, camping, water park, catch-in-the-park, bonfire (not in BC though!)…whatever you decide with the family, just decide to do something TOGETHER!  Find out what your kids/family enjoys doing, and do together and have fun, take pics/vids, and build lasting memories together

  • If you’re like me, and you have trouble balancing your schedule to make plenty of room for quality and quantity family time, why not make the pledge now to address it?  Invite a friend or two to hold you accountable, and if you don’t already, start using a daily schedule to help manage your time, and see how you’re spending your current time commitments.
  • talk with your kids often about life…sometimes with the goal of spiritual conversation, and sometimes with the simple goal of just talking and digging in deeper to the interests, questions and values of your children…and giving them permission to dig into yours!
  • start with a simple and attainable goal of setting aside one night per month just for you and your spouse, and one night per month as a family date night, with the goal of having a family night every week by the 4th month.
  • make sure you end your summer by making it a priority to have a sit down meal with the family at least 4x/ month, with the goal of having meals together 5-6x/month after 4 months. 
  • Be intentional, and be relational in all these suggestions…and you’ll find when you put these into practice and routine within your own family, you’ll find it much more natural to be intentional and relational in other relationship pursuits (work, school, extended family, church, etc…).

If you start the above suggestions now, with some time left on the summer skedz, you’ll be better equipped to roll into the busy fall season with some momentum before things get too hectic.  You’re family will certainly appreciate the effort, and as Dr. David Currie says, “You’ll never regret putting your marriage and family first!”

Okay…back to the backyard game of ‘throw-the-football -over-the-roof-of-the-house-and-see-who-gets-it-first’…it’s a classic with our kids and cousins!!  Enjoy the rest of the summer, and remember to be relational and intentional every chance you get with your family!


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