HOW IS IT already mid-August?
It seems like we only recently stopped waiting for summer to arrive and embraced this season for what it is: a slightly warmer version of the same weather we’ve had all year, sprinkled with days of sheer magnificence. (Although, it seems the magnificence is sticking around this week!).
Newbies like us have finally figured out that in general, the high for the day doesn’t hit until dinner time and that outdoor plans are best made for the afternoon rather than the morning. We’re finally used to packing both our fleeces and our bathing suits and we’ve got our water shoes out and on active duty.
But now, as we try to squeeze ever last sunray out of our remaining weeks of summer, it’s time to look ahead and start preparing for next season: BACK TO SCHOOL!
Yep, pretty soon, it’s time to send the kiddos back (or for the first time) to school. And whether you relish the back-to-school excitement or dread the goodbyes, there are some things you may need to start thinking about.
Here is my back to school to-do list:
Update the school wardrobe – I started on this one a couple weeks ago with a quick trip to the Jack and Jill consignment sale held twice a year at the Lynwood Convention Center. There’s another one this weekend – the Bumps and Babies Fair – in north Seattle. These massive consignment sales are fantastic places to buy really nice clothes at a huge discount. While most of the stuff is used, you can find clothes, shoes, toys and other equipment in practically perfect condition for 25-50 percent of retail value.
Assemble the supplies – With little ones myself, I’m not quite up on what this entails these days. In my mind, school supplies mean new pens and pencils, smelly erasers, a five-subject notebook and a fresh Trapper Keeper. I’m guessing school-aged requirements in this digital age also include some new supplies; here are sample lists for each grade from . Regardless, it’s time to get the backpack and lunch bag ready and to buy or assemble the other supplies you need.
And, if you’re out back-to-school shopping, consider picking up an extra item or two to donate to kids whose families can’t afford new back to school supplies this year. is collecting supplies and filling backpacks for those students. Although they originally planned to end the school supply drive by Aug. 12, they’ve seen an increased demand this year and continue to seek supplies through the start of the new school year. Donations of new binders, loose leaf paper, pens, pencils, markers, glue, spiral notebooks, crayons, backpacks and more can be dropped off at any of their offices. For more information, call 425-869-6000 or go to www.hope-link.org.
Fill out the paperwork –If you’re starting a new school or your child will be participating in sports, chances are you’ve got some forms to fill out. And that may just include forms you need to have completed by your child’s doctor. With the high volume of requests doctor’s offices receive –especially at this time of year – it’s best to get the forms taken care of in advance. “It usually takes 24-48 hours after the forms are dropped off,” said an appointment desk representative at . “We can mail the form back, it can be faxed or we can mail it out. It depends on what the parent prefers.”
Sign up for Fall activities – The lazy days of summer are almost over and often that means extra-curricular activities. So, if you’ve got a dancer, swimmer, artist, gymnast, musician or budding athlete in your home, it’s time to sign up for classes. There are specialty schools and clubs all over the area, but so far, we’ve been happy to stick with Kirkland Recreation classes, which are now available for online registration. To view fall and winter classes and register, go to www.kirklandparks.net.
Play! – I have learned not to try to predict the weather here. Perhaps, as many people have suggested, September and October will be beautiful and we will be able to enjoy magnificent weather well into Fall. But good weather or not, once school starts again, it’s just not the same. So, while you’re still on summer time, make the most of the next three weeks. Go swimming at , enjoy outdoor concerts at or , do a tour of local beaches, shop at the , bask in the sun (even if you’re wearing a jacket), eat ice pops, build sand castles, dine al fresco… and play!
Enjoy the rest of your summer!