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Image description: How much will that little bundle of joy cost? According to USDA’s Cost of Raising a Child report, the answer for a child born in 2012 is $241,080 for food, shelter and other necessities over the next 17 years.
Use the interactive calculator to find out how much it will cost you to raise kids.
Infographic from the USDA.
Summer is a time when routines and schedules go out the window, days are usually carefree and bedtimes are pushed back. But those relaxing days can make transitioning back to school difficult for both parents and students.
With some advance planning, however, the switch from summer to fall doesn’t have to hurt quite as much. There are some good resources for going back to school and you can also follow these easy tips:
Set sleep habits: Ease the transition back to early mornings by implementing a bedtime. Getting enough sleep is important for school performance. If your child stays up late in the summer, start setting back the bedtime in small increments until it’s back where you want it. Setting it back slowly will make early school hours easier to handle.
Study space: Create a specific place in the house for students to do homework, whether it’s at the kitchen table or in a room, and make sure there’s plenty of light and that it’s free from distractions. Set a consistent time for them to work, before dinner or right after school, so it becomes part of their daily routine.
Stay healthy: Kids tend to be more active in the summer. You can keep those habits going during the school year by adding physical activity to family time. Instead of watching TV or playing video games after dinner, try a sunset stroll. Maybe even sign up and train for a charity walk. It’s also important to pack a healthy lunch filled with protein, fruits, vegetables and water.
Schedule help: Before the year begins, figure out who will drop-off and pick-up your child each day and keep a calendar to remind yourself of after-school activities and special events. If your child needs help with homework or school projects, set aside library time or sign up for after-school tutoring. And be sure to keep an open dialogue with your child’s teacher so there won’t be any surprises about work expectations.
Spend less: Buying new clothes and school supplies can be stressful on your budget. You can save money by recycling certain supplies. Hunt for deals online, where you can find discounted prices on everything from uniforms to lined paper.
School is usually the last thing students are concerned about during their breaks - it’s all sun, fun and friends. But breaks from school are times when completely cutting out learning can be detrimental to a student.
According to Serve.gov’s Strong Minds campaign, kids can lose months of progress in reading achievement over summer vacations. Use these tips to keep your kids learning and engaged:
And since everybody knows kids love fun and games after a long day of learning, have them explore the Kids.gov collection of reading games available online.
Now that it’s the heat of summer, it’s harder for kids to find fun activities on their days off. In June, Kids.gov hosted a Twitter chat where we brainstormed fun and educational activities for your kids this summer.
We were joined by numerous partners, including NASA, Fitness.gov, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Girlshealth.gov, My Plate and more, and an enormous amount of resources were shared to help spark new activity ideas for your kids. Take a look at some of the highlights from the chat:
What kinds of outdoor activities do you do with your kids in the summer?
Do you have a favorite park, pool or beach you take the kids to every summer?
Summer weather can be rough, but summer nights are beautiful. Are there any evening activities you love to do with your kids?
Summer is full of BBQs and vacations. Do you try and encourage healthy eating with your kids?
How do you keep your kids entertained on rainy days? There are some great educational games and videos now to help!
For more fun and educational activities from Kids.gov, follow us on Twitter: @kidsgov