POSTS WITH TAG: back to school

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    Back to school season is stressful enough. But when your kid is ready to start middle school, you can take that stress and dial it up to 11. But while it's true that the social and academic challenges -- often stemming from that awkward transition to adolescence -- that arise in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade can be doozies for kids and parents alike, it doesn't have to be something to bite our nails over!

    "Most moms will say they're dreading middle school for their kid," notes Michelle Icard, author of Middle School Makeover: Improving the Way You and Your Child Experience the Middle School Years. "But that nervousness and the language that parents are using around their kids about middle school creates a self-fulfilling prophecy."

    Don't get caught up in the vicious cycle -- here's what you need to do now to be ready to tackle some of the biggest bumps in the road your child may face in the hallways over the next few years:

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    Sigh. When it comes to going to school, it's pretty safe to say that things are quite different for our children than when we were kids. From peanut-free tables in the lunch room to cupcake-free birthday celebrations, kids today definitely have a much more sensitive classroom environment, though some schools take things to the extreme a bit more than others.

    And while banning foods due to the high number of children with food allergies makes total sense, sometimes it seems like we're getting a little too carried away with what is and is not allowed.

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    Have you noticed that the back to school supplies have already started showing up in various stores? There's something about seeing all those adorable pencil cases and stylish lunchboxes that makes me feel squirmy, maybe even a little guilty. See, I feel like I SHOULD be the sort of mom who shops early so as to ensure my kids have the best deals and most comprehensive selection of backpacks that hopefully won't detonate three months into the school year, but if history's any indicator, I'll be doing my shopping a week or so before school starts, and I'll probably forget something mission-critical, like those 30 containers of hand sanitizer every classroom requires these days.

    As if getting the right supplies isn't hard enough, parents are now expected to make their kids' first day of school into an artsy-crafty, design-magazine-worthy occasion. Not sure what I mean? Behold the Pinterest mom's approach to back to school ... vs the, ah, slightly less organized mom. (Hi!)

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    Many families are already gearing up to begin the school year. For moms with kids who have food allergies, intense preparation is in full swing. After all, ensuring that your child, their school, and you as the parent are all on the same page can certainly be a process. But take heart: Given that one in 13 children in the U.S. has a food allergy, it's a process most schools are becoming more adept with helping parents through.

    "We always encourage parents to have meetings with the school early, so they can determine what the policies are and the forms they need to complete," recommends Hemant Sharma, M.D., Chief of Allergy and Immunology at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C. But opening lines of communication is just the start.

    Here, 7 to-dos experts recommend parents of kids with food allergies try to tackle before the year's first bell.

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    Every year it happens. The school supply list comes in. I take one look, and I groan. Is it any wonder parents end up spending some $72.5 billion (yes, BILLION) on back to school shopping every year? Recycling your school supplies is darn near impossible.

    It's not that we don't have anything worth recycling. In the last few days of school, my 9-year-old daughter came home every day with a backpack full of the detritus that had accumulated in her desk and locker over the year.

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    While most of our kids roll their eyes at the thought of going back to school, let's be honest -- it's pretty much one big party for most moms!

    Sure, summer is great and all, but you know what's even better? Getting back into a daily routine where things are predictable and organized. Oh -- and having a little more free time to do things for ourselves that prove to be a bit tough during the summer months isn't half bad either!

    Here's a fun little rundown of just how much going to back to school differs from a kid's perspective versus a mom's.

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    With the beginning of the next school year swiftly approaching, moms are gearing up for all of the changes -- and in turn, potential challenges -- their child will likely encounter in their new classroom. And as tightly as you may cross your fingers that it won't happen, it's always possible your kid may end up with a "bad" teacher, otherwise known as an educator who doesn't resonate with your child.

    "Having a 'bad' teacher or, as I’d rather call it, a 'bad fit,' can be very detrimental to a child’s social, emotional, and academic growth," explains Kimberly Kulp, director of marketing and product development at Bridgeway Academy. No wonder moms dread it! Thankfully, there are red flags to look for that can help you confirm your suspicions or your child's accusations, so you can preempt problems down the road. Here, 6 signs your child's teacher really isn't up to par.

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    After a summer full of sun, games, and sleeping, the last phrase the kids want to hear is "back to school." But fear not, parents, because with a few tricks and some homemade fun, you can make the first day of school a party.

    So fire up the DIY skills and have the kids look forward to returning to class (yes, it's possible). Whether it's a night-before activity or a little thoughtful gesture you can do on the day of, your kids will be pumped to get back on that school bus. Below, we've included a list of 25 ways parents can give their kids the absolute best first day of school, so go ahead and start planning for that fateful day. 

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    Can you believe it's almost time for the kids to go back to school? Summer has really flown by, so it's time to say goodbye to our lazy, no-routine-necessary days and get back into an organized groove.

    Of course, old habits die hard when it comes to kicking the nonchalant summer attitude to the curb. We can use all the help we can get when it comes to running a tight ship during the school year. Check out these 11 smart, simple tips for managing the clutter and staying organized right from the very first day the kiddos set foot on the school bus. 

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    Back in elementary school, my Garfield lunch box was my pride and joy. Today, if I spot one in a little kid's grip, I get almost teary eyed with memories. And with the retro lunch box craze booming, your own kids might want one, too -- which is why we decided to highlight 10 of the best old school lunch tins we've seen and have you guess what era they're from.

    Check these out to test your pop culture savvy combined with a good ol' kick of school days nostalgia.

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