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Back to school momentum

-Courtesy Photo

By Tami Stevenson

The start of a new school year ushers in a whirlwind of activity and marks the end of late bedtimes, random adventures and the relaxed atmosphere summer brings.

Students in Hamilton County get a few more days to celebrate summer for the 2017/18 school year as they do not begin school until August 28, while Suwannee, Madison, Dixie and Gilchrist Counties begin August 10, and Columbia and Alachua County students will begin school August 14.

The State of Florida’s tax free weekend coming up August 4-6, has more deductions this year as the computer and other “eligible technology” items are once again back on the menu. Shoppers can purchase a computer for up to $750 and save over $50 in sales tax, for example, which means substantial savings for Florida families. The tax free items also apply to clothing, footwear and certain accessories selling for $60 or less per item. It also pertains to certain school supplies selling for $15 or less per item. Visit for more details.

According to the Florida Retail Federation, this serves as the state’s second busiest shopping “holiday.” The weekend is expected to bring in near record-breaking sales, with Floridians able to stretch their hard earned dollars further.

As parents and students gear up for the new school year the excitement caused by the hustle and bustle helps build momentum. While even the best planning can save some time and stress, things can go wrong and many feel frazzled, struggling with all of the sudden changes in schedules and checking off the seemingly endless “to do” list that comes with the beginning of a new school year. The arduous task of acquiring the right supplies for each child, meeting their teachers, getting the right clothes and aligning new work and school schedules is very challenging and very rewarding all at the same time.

Just as this time of year can be stressful on parents, students face their own challenges as well. Bullying and peer pressure along with trying to meet up to standards, both academically and socially, is high on the list for many students. Not all students look toward a new school year with excitement and having the support of a caring parent, guardian or adult to listen and talk through anxieties with is a key factor in your child’s success. It may mean more to your child than you think, not only in academics, but also in a child’s or teenager’s quickly growing social world.

One suggestion to help ease the transition is to plan something fun like an end of summer celebration. Throw a special dinner or party to cut loose a little with family and friends to commemorate summer’s closing and kick off a new school year.

The end of summer and the beginning of a new school year can be both stressful and exciting for parents and students alike. Fortunately, children are extremely resilient and capable of coping with change. Parents can help in the process by fostering a setting that encourages them to make the most of their new school year.