“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” You may have seen this television commercial advertised throughout the summer – the one where Dad is hastily making his way up and down the aisles of the store, two small children in tow, frantically tossing binders and pencils and backpacks into the shopping cart. When the commercial is aired early in the summer, most viewers (especially students) tune out, unprepared to even consider the fact that school will once again take over their lives. However, in the last weeks of August – those dwindling days of summer – the commercial holds a different resonance. The impending school year is more of a palpable reality; now the shopping must get done! Being prepared and organized for the school year is essential to getting your child started off on the right foot. Students should stock up on pencils, pens, binders, dividers, highlighters, lined paper, pencil cases, rulers, and any other item deemed to be necessary for the coming year. Gathering these supplies and having them ready to go for September is a great way to get students excited about school again; it’s as though they have new ‘toys’ they can’t wait to test out. To help get your child ready for the upcoming school year, invite them to take part in the back-to-school shopping experience! A new backpack and a set of coloured pens can go a long way toward easing the transition back to school. If you want to save yourself a step, the following website has printable shopping lists for elementary and secondary students: http://bit.ly/aiswhq. Happy summer – enjoy it while it lasts!