Tag Archives: school


schoolSummer seems to have passed by quickly, and now it seems like parents and their children are already preparing for a new school year.

While the average parent will spend $673.57 per child for items needed, it doesn’t have to be so expensive. There are lots of ways to prepare for back to school on a budget.

Check Your Inventory

First things first, check your inventory. You may find supplies, clothes that your kids can fit into now, and more. As you are going through the supplies you have, keep a running checklist of things you may need or that come to mind. If you have a list of items needed from your child’s school, you can just add on to this list.

Checking your inventory helps you prepare for back to school on a budget by helping you avoid buying extra things you may not even need. Why buy an extra pack of crayons if you already have three?

Set Your Budget

Once you’ve gone through your inventory, the next step is to actually set a budget for your back to school shopping. Every family’s financial situation is different, but you should at least aim to only spend what you have in cash to spend.

If that means only $100 for each child, that’s OK. With these tips, you should be able to prepare for back to school on a budget, even if your budget is smaller.

Shop Sales and Clearance Racks

Now that you have your list and your budget set, you can get to shopping. The easiest way for preparing back to school on a budget is to buy what you can on sale or clearance. Many stores have back to school sales, so make sure you read their flyers or online options before shopping at one place.

If you find deals at multiple stores, don’t be afraid to make a few stops. You are trying to get the best price and stay within budget. If there are items on your list that you can’t find on sale or clearance, there are other options to consider as well, like thrift stores and shopping online. ...continue reading

Technology is an integral part of daily life. People use social media sites, online networking, and technology for everything from staying connected with family and friends to career advancement.

The benefits are extending to the classroom with innovative technology used in the classroom and for schools and teachers to connect with students, parents, and communities. Living Tree is an innovate private social network for schools that leverages technology to enhance communication, collaboration, and partnerships in the context of K-12 education.

Creating a private social network offers advantages for family communication with each other, teachers, schools, and community organizations. Teachers, schools, and school districts have implemented technology in various ways to increase family engagement in education technology for the benefit of students. Check livingtree.com to learn how easy it is to create your own private social network.

Backed by Research

Research has been conducted by the Harvard Family Research Project on how technology is being used to engage families in the education of their children. The research shows several positive results of implementing technology to engage families. The researchers found that using technology to engage families helps them become more involved in education, which offers advantages for student achievement, such as better grades in elementary and high school, higher graduation rates, better attendance, and a higher rate of students going on to higher education.

The United Way has implemented projects that are designed to support communities in improving education and reducing dropout rates using technology. Their projects utilize technologies that include text messaging and online data systems to facilitate communication between families, students, and schools.

Technology has been used in high school classrooms for several years with great success. In recent years, the use of technology has expanded, with teachers, schools, and entire school districts now using this idea to support academic performance and family involvement from Pre-Kindergarten through high school graduation.

How Technology is Used in Schools

Online data systems have been used for a number of years by school districts across the country. A username and password are supplied to parents to log in to the online data system. This enables parents to keep track of how their students are doing in school, check upcoming assignments and tests, attendance, and other details.

Parent groups, sports teams, and organizations have created their own pages and groups on social media sites for the purpose of communication and collaboration. However, privacy issues prevent many from making this leap. A private social network offers enhanced security that social media cannot guarantee. Private social networks are used by families to stay organized and communicate with teachers, schools, and sports teams. Schools and community organizations can use the network for event planning, volunteer signups, and communication. Teachers are able to engage more effectively with their students and families. 

Increasingly, people are using mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets to access the internet, send emails, and keep track of schedules and activities. A family engagement app allows parents to receive notifications and communicate with the network using a smartphone or tablet, so notifications are received and everyone gets where they need to be on time.


back to schoolSummer festivities are still in full swing, but back to school time is right around the corner.

When you go shopping this time of year, you'll likely notice a change in the atmosphere. Instead of bathing suits and red, white, and blue picnic plates, there are lists, glue, and paper. The stores are stocking up on all of the new pencils, notebook paper, planners, and backpacks. The smell of new pens waiting to be opened, pencils ready to be sharpened, and the feeling of a perfect folder, all shimmery in the plastic – it’s intoxicating.

Childless adults might lament on the passing of time and remember childhood, but luckily, you don’t have to have children to take advantage of all of the back to school sales and specials. Even if you don't have children, here are some ways you can take advantage of back to school sales.

Office Supplies

Now is the time to stock up on the basic must haves for your home office! Just because you don’t have children of your own, doesn’t mean you don’t need a fun folder or binder to spice up your office. Also, by taking advantage of these sales you can purchase school supplies and donate them to a local shelter or school program that gives away backpacks full of supplies to those children in need who can’t afford to get their back-to-school basics. This will make your donation dollars stretch further.

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