Nothing gets your kids groaning out loud faster than your suggestion to go “back to school shopping!” How dare you point out that school may be just a few weeks away? Yet it pays to be organized and shop the sales early. I can remember how disappointed I was when the particular type of cool notebook I wanted was out of stock at our local office store when I was in school! Online shopping can make you a more successful shopper but you still need to plan ahead.
Before you go online or head out to the store, make sure you know if your child’s school or teacher has a shopping list. For my kids, each year there are particular brands of calculators or ISBN numbers of books to get. It can be confusing, irritating and less cost effective but you don’t want to provide your kids with the wrong supplies. Make sure you clean out old backpacks and desk drawers and find all school materials still in usable shape. You can set up an inventory station in your home for shared supplies like #2 pencils, college-ruled notebook papers, rulers and the like. It amazes me how often we purchase duplicates of items the older kids no longer need just because we weren’t sufficiently organized.
When it comes to technology supplies, you’ll also want to know the specifications set by your child’s school. What will they provide to each student and what are you expected to purchase? Which operating system is the standard at the school for student use? Are there purchasing programs or discounts available? You’ll want to know this especially for any school you are newly enrolled at where you may not be as familiar with the rules.
If your child is in the market for a new laptop, take some time to consider the security and back-up needs for the new system. Often, new computers come with pre-installed trial versions of software so you’ll want to know how long it will work for and if it’s a leading brand and a full-featured version. That is never more important for your security software than for any other kind. Kids can easily visit a dodgy website or click a link they shouldn’t have, so make sure the computer is fully protected with an internet security suite like Norton Internet Security. Using Norton products for all your family’s technology means you can easily check subscription dates on your Norton account. Kids don’t always recognize the risk if they allow a subscription to run out; but you do!
Now let’s talk about backup. What’s your usual strategy? Do you just backup files to a cloud-based service or are you using an external hard-drive to backup your entire computer? I just purchased a new 1TB external hard-drive for less than a new pair of shoes! It also came in snazzy bright colors, (not that it mattered) and I didn’t mind picking something in bright metallic blue. If you’re not in the habit of backing up, please visit Norton’s Online Backup site to see how easy cloud-based backup can be. Make sure you show your child your favorite method and set it to run automatically. It only takes one computer disaster to take backing up your tech seriously, but it’s much better if you and your family never know that particular pain!
Ready to shop? Norton has some amazing Back to School deals for you to check out. 50% off of select core Norton products, from August 1 – September 4!!