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5 Ways to beat the back to school rush

Abbi Perets lives in Houston, TX, with her husband and five children.






Preparing for school

We're heading into the last few weeks of summer. The start of the school year looms just ahead. But before you send the kinds on the bus, take the time to wrap up summer properly. Check out our "must-do" list to be sure your student is ready!

Boy getting haircut

The week before school starts finds many parents a frantic mess of errands, obligations, and general craziness. Don't be that parent. Start now, get things handled, and sail back to school with a breezy attitude. Well before the weather changes, you can get started -- and finish -- everything you need to do. These five items are an important addition to your to-do list.

1Head out for haircuts


Don't leave the back-to-school haircuts for the day before school starts. First, you'll wait in line with the rest of the free world. Worse, if your child's cut somehow goes awry -- perhaps because the salon is full of cranky children and harried stylists -- she'll start school the next day with her confidence slashed. Get the cut ahead of time when the atmosphere is calm and mistakes are less likely. And on the off chance something goes wrong, there's time to find a solution (or for the hair to grow!).

2Snag your supplies

The best time to buy school supplies is right now. Buy more than you think you'll need, and when the teacher sends home a note in January asking for extra folders, filler paper, pencils, or crayons, you'll be set. Spiral-bound notebooks have no expiration date, so even if you don't need them this year, they'll be patiently waiting for you next year.

3Preserve your memories

If you spent all summer snapping pictures of the fun you had, now's the time to do something with those snapshots. Check out the new Easel Art and Wall Art offerings from CVSPhoto.com for a unique way to display your favorite photos. Both are scratch-resistant and protected with a UV coating for long-lasting wear, and the new décor will brighten your house.

4Set your schedule

Now is the time to figure out carpools, after school activities, and other calendar management events. Let your kids know what they can and can't do -- for example, either a sport or two clubs, nothing on Thursdays when you volunteer at the hospital, and so on. If you know now that every Wednesday you'll be shuttling kids all afternoon, you can better plan your week -- and your meals -- around that. A little time spent on the schedule now will save you plenty later on.

5Get your kids in gear

Don't wait until the week school starts to try to get your kids to go to bed and wake up at a decent hour. Start easing back into routines now. Sure, summer is about relaxing and fewer rules, but establish a firm bedtime by the beginning of August to be sure your kids are getting enough sleep. A week later, add in a standard wake up time.

If your kids have been spending all day on the computer and television, start scaling back on screen time and work in reading. Make one change at a time every few days to help your kids adjust.

Say so long to summer

The change of seasons is always a little bit melancholy. But if you start easing into the switch now, you can make sure your transition is stress-free -- and that's a reason to smile.

    More back-to-school articles

    Re-set your child's internal clock before school starts

    Prepare for the first school bus ride

    Tips for a stress-free school season


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