Welcome back to another guide full of seasonal topics. Our 2020 Back to School Guide is here! This is all about school from getting your supplies ready, finding the best educational apps or books and more. If it fits the education topic, we will feature it.
Keep checking back throughout these school months and see what new topics and brands I have added! In August we will have a fun giveaway for visitors so stay tuned on the blog!
Make sure to also visit our Summer Guide and stay tuned for the Fall-ing for Baby Series and Love Your Pet Guide coming soon!
This summer I sat our youngest down as we do all our boys through the years and made a summer learning plan. On one hand I do not want to destroy their summer break, yet I know that the summer slide is real and it can take several weeks to get back into learning mode when it has disappeared so many months. In all of my research and own trials, just 20 minutes a day is enough. So, I try to find fun ways to incorporate some learning.
Anthony had asked for some animation tablet accessories for his birthday last spring and has been wanting to learn to use it. We discovered Outschool that has so many online courses for kids from subjects to how-to’s like how to make your own animation videos, how to code, etc. and STEM-inspired. They even have different ‘video game’ related learning. He found a course and we signed up: How To Make Awesome Animated Movies.
Here is a very brief overview of Anthony’s course below:
Anthony logged on every Thursday from 3-3:50 for 4 weeks. Each week they were given a lesson and then for the week had a (fun) assignment to share next class.
Once you register for a course at Outschool or even join their email list you get notified every time new classes start or are added. There are so many! And some classes are just a couple of dollars. You see who teaches the classes and can click on their profiles, options for class times and all you will need before day one such as programs to download or equipment you’ll need, etc. By the time the class starts everyone should be ready to roll so it is seamless.
Being as how my son took a class that mainly consisted of his age group (you can sort classes by age group so younger kids don’t end up in teens classes and vice versa) some kids were setting up solo and needed extra help, but the Teacher was good about allowing a few moments to walk these kids through it and move on for the rest of the class. You always have access to direct message your Teacher too if you have questions you need to ask without the entire class. It was a fun experience and a great way to add some extra learning at home.
Head over to the online courses at Outschool today and find something fun to learn about!
Comment: Samples were sent for feature. Opinions are my own
I graduated high school in 1995 and I remember the stigma around ‘Goodwill clothes’ as a teen. Back then it was not considered cool to thrift shop. You were singled out as ‘poor’ or teased for wearing worn clothing. You felt that not only was name brand what you needed, but it was also where you bought it. Had I known back then the tips to thrift shopping, no one would have ever known where I bought the name brands I was wearing. Today is different!
Today, thrift shopping is trendy. That is because the styles are lose, colorful and a step back to the ‘Stranger Things 80’s’. Recently, Anthony and I attended a media fashion event at our local Goodwill store. This invent included teen models and aspiring fashion students who were able to talk to Mom’s about the in’s and out’s of todays fashion and how Goodwill offers the choices needed to put together your child’s style. From ripped jeans to Converse, we saw it all there.
So, how do you thrift shop? We were not caught dead in a thrift store 25 years ago and now our kids style tells us to shop here. It can be overwhelming to step inside a thrift store to racks and racks of clothes. Where do you start? Anthony and his school friend paired up with a College student for the shopping experience at our local Goodwill. Here is what he (and I) learned.
You will find what you are looking for! Because donations come in daily, the clothing arrives on the racks daily. If you become a frequent Goodwill shopper you will find yourself coming back more than once a week at times because you realize how quickly new stuff arrives on the rack. If you have a list of wants and needs for your kids, you can get it all and keep checking back to fulfill their lists.
You save more than you think you would! We all know that thrift stores prices are low due to the clothing being pre-owned and sometimes never even pre-worn. We found a lot of items with new tags still attached on the racks. On top of the everyday thrift prices, they have tag sales. When we were there Goodwill had 2 different tag sales – a yellow .99Cent and a red 50% off. On top of lower thrift prices and tag sales, most Goodwill regions offer discount calendar days like Student Sundays, Senior Tuesdays, Military Wednesday and Fan Fridays for additional savings on most items. It doesn’t stop there! Our local (South West Washington) Goodwill stores have a Denim BOGO (buy one, get one) coupon runs Aug 19 – Sept 1 (and) a BOGO mug for college students that expires Aug 17 (Coupon).
Thrift shopping relieves daily pressures! If you have older kids you may realize that as they move through high school and into College their style changes. It almost relaxes. They hit years of harder homework, tighter deadlines and now jobs and having to spend their own money so suddenly cheap and comfy is in. It is in because it is easy. They stayed up all night getting that assignment done and nothing feels better than a favorite pair of sweats and hoodie in the morning to head out the door. Goodwill is a place to offer these options for your older teen. Comfy, big and worry-free from high prices.
Thrift shopping teaches a budgeting lesson! What is that lesson? There are options with your money. At age 15, all parents are ‘loaded’ and wanting the big brands at large department stores is no skin off their back because they have no clue. If you walk into a thrift store and hand them an envelope and challenge them to check everything off their list and stay within that budget it is fun to see what they can put together. If they really want ‘name brand’ head to the mall after the thrift store and hand them the same envelope (as a tool) and challenge them to spend the same $50 or $100 there). These are teens, they don’t get it until they see it actually drawn or played out. Reminding them they are getting 2 items at that department store versus 10 is the difference that opens their eyes. It did for Anthony.
The last reason for thrift shopping is that your clothes are already worn in! No multiple washing or the discomfort of new and stiff. Whether you find a great pair of jeans or new jacket, it has the break in already and nothing feels better than a great, relaxed pair of jeans ready to bring you comfort all day right from the start.
These local teens made thrift shopping fun and cool! One of these gals has even been noticed by the European fashion community for her tips and topics as she makes finding trends in Goodwill enticing. You now see celebrities and Instagramers thrifting and it is now OK to be seen in Goodwill, so take advantage of that. You’re wallet will thank you. Make sure you sign up for the deals and offer announcements.
One more way to save that I forgot to mention is to donate! Bring those old items in and grab your 30% off 1 item so that when you find that piece you like and it is not currently on sale you have a coupon.
Looking through displays like our Goodwill store has of outfits and styles is great inspiration like the ones in the above collage that our student models picked out around the store. They found styles from the Skater, to the Stranger Things 80’s, casual and the soft female. Don’t forget the backpack, dorm supplies and school supplies while there. They have it all and Goodwill has a Back to School DIY page for inspiration.
1 lucky Western Washington reader will win a $50 Goodwill Gift Card. (see this store locator to see if your area qualifies, note Seattle and North does not qualify). Giveaway ends on 8/27. Enter below and good luck!
It’s like clockwork each year- school ends, we plan a fun day for the 4th of July and just like that, the store shelves are stocking school supplies. After many years of shopping for the boys school supplies I think I sneak shopping in earlier and earlier each year. In fact, I already have the homework bin and my son’s back to school shoes bought due to sales I came upon. Last year I realized something that changed when I shop for school supplies.
Last summer my son was 10 and heading into 5th grade. I got his class list close to school starting and went to fulfill the last I needed for that list. I came home and dropped the markers and colored pencils on the counter as my son came downstairs from his video games he’s addicted to. I have art supplies around (somewhere) that hardly get used, but he saw the Crayola Take Note! gel pens and asked if he can open them. I wasn’t going to say no to drawing. That night he was deep into a sketch pad drawing. I should have brought home drawing supplies sooner in the summer if it pulled him from video games.
Thanks to Crayola and the Take Note! supplies I am stocked and ready for another year! My Mom is a second grade Teacher so I even have dry erase markers and permanent markers from the Take Note! sets that are priced very well to donate to her for the year. The Crayola Take Note! line makes thin and thick dry erase pens which are great Teacher and classroom gifts!
Look at this! Just this morning, my son grabbed a few packages of our pens and highlighters and started some more drawing. No Fortnite, no Discord with buddies but freestyle drawing. He loves Stranger Things and that has been his art of choice lately of drawing Season 3 scenes. He saw the red and tore the package apart to finish the logo on his drawing. Once again, you set out new pens and supplies and they gravitate to them before school begins.