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Back to school in 2021

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Back to School

At the end of every year, we are given a list of stationery and textbooks that you will need for the next grade. As your child gets older and moves up to the next grade, you will notice the stationery requirements cost less, but the textbooks cost more! http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/its-back-to-school-time-are-you-ready/

It took me about 12 years to learn that I don’t have to buy new stationery every year and that there are going to be things that you need that aren’t on the list.

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Keep spare stationery tidy for homework

For the sake of convenience, private schools usually give you the option of buying your stationery and school textbooks through various suppliers. While this is very convenient, it isn’t the most cost-effective way of supplying your child for the coming year.

Government schools supply the textbooks, so only stationary is needed.


Sometimes the biggest expense for going back to school is the school uniforms, especially blazers.

If you can make use of the schools second hand shop, although a lot of them are closed as a Covid-19 precaution!

My girls are at a school that doesn’t have a uniform, this can be just as costly as they need ‘up to date’ cool clothes and enough so they don’t wear the same thing too often.

New or pre-loved?

Very young children love to have new stationery. Buy cheap and extra, children also tend to lose a lot of their supplies as the year progresses.

Keeping textbooks to pass down to younger children will also save you a fair amount of money.

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Buying textbooks second hand will save you a lot of money

When those books are no longer needed, sell them to another parent or put them on one of the Facebook community groups.

Back to school shopping is expensive, so having a plan and a list are vital to keeping those costs down.

Do you have enough?

As the year starts, we buy our supplies and send the children off to school with them then when it comes to homework time, the children don’t have the relevant stationery. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/the-back-to-school-rush/

A solution is to set up a small area where they will do their homework and keep some spares (or even last year’s leftovers if you bought them new) to use for homework in case of emergency.

Watch for sales of stationery throughout the year, also keeping in mind that not everything that costs a lot is good and not everything that is cheap is poor quality.

It is okay to buy in June for next year January!

Kokies/felt tips/ sharpies (whatever word you use), dry up very quickly, especially when a cap is lost which is needed to keep them fresh.

Exam pads, you can never have enough, especially for high school children, I usually buy about five extra.

At one time, I had four children in school, so to make life easier, I combined all the lists when I went shopping and then divided up the bounty according to the school list.

This year I only have one child going back to school, so my stationery list is much smaller. Thankfully,  between her older siblings, I have most of her books and only had to buy three textbooks, two of which I bought second hand.

By being a little more organised, going back to school should be less stressful.

Here is the Gauteng school calendar for 2021 https://citizen.co.za/news/south-africa/education/2365515/basic-education-department-releases-2021-school-calendar/#:~:text=Schools%20will%20have%20to%20carry,reopen%20on%2025%20January%202021.

Next week I discuss morning and evening routines, including a homework routine.

If you have any back to school organisational tips, please share them with us.

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