School is starting back up everywhere, and even though I don't send my kids off to school, I have worked to apply the simple ways my mother made our school days great. Box Tops for Education are partnering with parents to help renew the spirit of education in Texas. With so many great opportunities for education in Texas, no teacher should be limited by the supplies they lack in the classroom. So while you're stockpiling your box tops, you can be spreading the love at home for a great start to the school year.

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1. Food Makes a Big Statement

We all know that kids need fuel to learn. My mom was so great about always making sure we had a great breakfast before school. She was also the queen of packed lunches. I loved seeing what she would put in there each day. One of my favorite lunch surprises were the sweet notes she would write. Typically she'd add some fun stickers. Those notes meant so much to me. Having great breakfast and lunch options are a great way to start the year off right.

box tops for education

2. Stock Up on School Supplies

When all the school supplies are filling the stores, it's a great time to stock up. Many items are only available at this time of year, and if you don't snatch them up now, you'll have to wait another year. It was wonderful to know that my mom was always prepared for whatever supply need arose. She was generous in having what we needed available so that we could focus on the work that needed to get done. There is nothing more frustrating than starting to work on a project and finding out that you don't have the needed materials.

3. Snack Time Conversations

My favorite part of the day was coming home to a snack and a conversation with my mother. She was notorious for having some type of baked good warm and ready for us when we walked in the door. However, the sweetest part of her afternoon preparations was making herself available to sit and talk with us. Those sweet chats laid the foundation for a lifelong friendship.

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Even though I don't send my kids off to school, I still try to ensure I'm having quality conversations with my kids every day. I want them to know that I really do want to know their thoughts and feelings. A snack is a great way to facilitate an opportunity for sweet conversation.

4. Make New Friends and Keep the Old

It didn't take long for my friends to learn that my mom was home and prepared with some tasty treat. Eventually, my mom was known as the neighborhood mom.  She loved on everyone like they were her own children. She was always prepared with supplies to treat unexpected guests. You can even find Box Tops for Education on certain brands of plastic cups.

It's great to provide an atmosphere where your kids can bring their friends. She taught me to welcome old friends without shutting down the opportunities to make new friends.

5. Share Box Tops for Education with Your Local School

It's so easy to clip and save box tops. Even though we didn't have box tops when I was in school, my mom has always kept a baggie of box tops in her drawer to give to a student to share with their school. Equipping schools with the resources they need is an important way to renew the spirit of education in Texas.

H-E-B Grocery stores are partnering with Box Tops for Education in Texas to bless 20 schools with 20,000 extra box tops. That's like giving them $2,000 to equip their classrooms with the necessary supplies. If parents simply register here, they can get an e-voucher for 10 box tops for their school. Throughout the year H-E-B will provide extra opportunities for getting bonus box tops.

HEB Grocery Store

I love that my mom is a part of our home school and can continue her legacy of love as she partners with me in providing a great environment for my kids' education. She's still making sweet treats and available for conversation.

What do you do to ensure a great start to your school year?

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