Back To School

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Summer is almost over and it's time for the kiddos to get back to the grind. We talked to NeighborWorks Columbus and Muscogee Moms to get you the tips for a smooth transition! 

1. Shop Early

 Most schools offer a list of required school supplies and books your child will need. Contact your child’s school or visit the website to get the list and begin looking for sales and bargains before the summer ends. Source: NeighborWorks® Columbus

2. Buy Personalized Pencils

If your kids are fond of school supplies, buy them a set of personalized pencils. This will motivate them to start off the year with a fresh batch of pencils with their names on them. Source: Muscogee Moms

3. Take A Back To School Photo

Capturing photographs of all the special moments from the first day of school is a must! Take a photograph of each child holding a chalkboard, with the grade they are entering written on it in chalk. These photos will become a time stamp for each grade. Source: Muscogee Moms

4. Transition Into A School Schedule

Establish a school-day schedule for homework, TV, baths and bedtime. Starting 7-10 days before the first day of school, ease your kids into your school schedule by backing up their bedtime 15 minutes each night and consistently waking them earlier. Also, establish a “get ready the night before” policy. Pick out clothes for the next day and set your coffee maker. Once the school year starts, add packing backpacks (and lunch boxes) every evening to your nightly routine. You’ll save precious time in the morning.  Source: Muscogee Moms

5. Gather Your Paperwork

Schools require lots of forms. Have the necessary immunization records available for easy reference. Be prepared to update school emergency contacts and health information for the upcoming year. Visit your school’s website to view registration information, school supply lists, and more. Source: Muscogee Moms  

College

1. Ask About Hidden Fees

In addition to tuition, there may be other charges. Ask about lab costs, books and resource charges, for example, get an accurate idea of the funds needed per year for your child. According to the College Board, the annual cost of books and other course materials for an in-state college could exceed $1,200 each year. Source: NeighborWorks® Columbus

2.Complete The FAFSA (free application for federal student aid) Early

This will help you determine the aid for which your child may qualify. Also check to see if your state offers any type of state grant or financial aid. Source: NeighborWorks® Columbus

3. Investigate Loan Types Before You Sign

Some states offer no-interest loans, which, if accepted by the school, can be a great alternative to a private loan. If taking out a parent-plus loan, be sure to borrow only the amount needed to cover the bill. Pay the interest accruing on all (private and federal) student loan accounts; this keeps debt from ballooning. Source: NeighborWorks® Columbus

For more information check out http://www.muscogeemoms.com/. 

Stephanie Woodham