Monday, July 26, 2010

Back to the Closet Before Heading Back to School!

Like most of you..... I have had a very busy summer. I can't believe that in just a few weeks we will be sending our kiddos back to school. My blog this month, is a pretty simple "savings" blog. It is a tradition that I have done with my children each year. Maybe it can help you through the "back to school" shopping time, or cause you to get creative and come up with your own version.

In my family, when I say that it is time to clean out the clothes, I don' t always get a positive response. Soooooo.... my husband and I came up with some creative "back to school basics" and memory makers in our home. Hope they encourage you!

Rob, each year, lets the children pick an activity. Any one that they want (within the budget,) and he takes them out for at least half the day one at a time. They get to enjoy the date/activity with dad, breakfast or lunch and he talks to them about a memory verse for the year. They talk about that "character building" verse the entire school year. It is pretty neat to listen in on them during the year, as it is being reinforced and encouraged. And the activities that they have chosen over the years have been pretty fun with dad. They have done, fishing, bowling, golf, frisbee golf, Six Flags, ball games, etc. (Always using coupons of course. :-))

The Bible topics and verses that Rob uses change, depending on the grade. Examples: Always tell the truth!, Don't try to be right, but be the "right" person, Jesus grew in wisdom, and so will you, etc. My sixteen year old, probably can't tell you every activity that he has done with dad, but can probably tell you every topic/verse that he has learned with dad.

Now.... my money saving, closet cleaning, clothes organizing, back to school shopping part! I get to take each child "back to school" shopping before school. One-on-one!

BUT, before they can go, they have to help me clean out their clothes. They try on every item of clothing. Not a lot of fun, unless they have grown over the summer. Then the laughter comes into the conversation. Once we have gone through the clothes and shoes, we can truly see what the needs are for the school year. We make our shopping list from there. That way we are not guessing and buying a lot of stuff that we don't need. (We also get the opportunity to give bags of clothes to other families just in time for school.) If we have everything we need for school, they still shop, but it is for a "first day" outfit, and the special school supplies and binders needed.

They always get to pick a restaurant to "eat out" with mom! Yeah for me! We talk about what they are looking forward to for the year, nervous about, excited about, and I just get to encourage them and tell them how lucky I am to have them in my life, and how I know they are going to do GREAT!

I hope this will encourage you as you do the dreadful "back to school" shopping. My children don't usually care about how much I get them, as much as the time and effort I give them. I can talk to them when we are making our lists about the difference between "needs and wants" and they get to help me decide what they NEED!

Hopefully this will help them make wise choices as they grow and have to shop for themselves!
Enjoy the rest of summer!

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