Back-to-School Shopping for Kids {Fall 2012 Picks}

Let's do a quick Metropolitan Mama poll. Select as many answers as apply.

We enrolled our 6-year-old daughter in a Homeschool Partnership Program with the local school district this year. They provided the curriculum free-of-charge and we go at our own pace. Our daughter also takes a weekly art class at one of the elementary campuses - and she may begin piano soon too!

Because we school at home (or on the road) most of the time, we don't do traditional "back-to-school" shopping.

But I have some great picks for those of you who do!

Acadia Backpack by Overland Equipment 

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The Acadia Backpack ($100) in Peacock is a lovely shade of turquoise - the perfect color to hold on to the fun of summer, while embracing the trends of fall. The pack has a water bottle holder to ensure that your student stays hydrated, a snug and soft place to hold a laptop, and padded sleeves for comfort. There are also plenty of mesh pockets for pens, mints, and cell phones. Ideal for teens and college students.

Paradox Ecotread Little Kids Shoes by Chaco

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Closed-toe sandals are a great pick for holding on to the lingering days of summer. Your child's feet will be covered and safe, while still having room to breathe. Best of all, these durable shoes are made to be thrown in the washer to ensure longer life. Note that the outsole contains up to 25% recycled material. Paradox Ecotread shoes are also available for boys - in Chocolate Brown and Chive.

Gently Used Clothing by thredUP

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Get all the best brands - for 70% off. I recently made an order (with my hard-earned money) at thredUP for our girls! I price-checked at Target and Old Navy, but thredUP won out. We selected 3 dresses, 2 skirts, 2 shirts, and 2 pairs of shorts for a total of $41. The clothing was in excellent condition and absolutely adorable. If you use the link above, you'll get a $10 discount on your first clothing purchase, which is pretty awesome considering that many of the t-shirts run right around $3 and dresses can be as little as $5.49.

2 pairs of eyeglasses for $99.99 at Sears Optical

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If anyone in your family is in need of new glasses, consider Sears. Right now, adults can get 2 complete pairs of eyeglasses with scratch-resistant plastic lenses for $99.99 and kids can get 2 pairs of eyeglasses with polycarbonate lenses for $99.99. Sears Optical offers a variety of colors and frames at an affordable pricepoint. If you are looking for designer brands like Coach or Burberry, you'll have to look elsewhere. Featured brands at Sears include: IZOD, Kardashian, Structure, and Canyon River Blues. My new specs (pictured above) are by Apostrophe.


* Thanks to Overland Equipment, Chaco, and Sears for providing products for review purposes.

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10 comments on “Back-to-School Shopping for Kids {Fall 2012 Picks}”

  1. My oldest goes to a charter school, my 4 year old stays at home or with a babysitter but lately we have been looking at local preschools because she has been asking about school for so long, I think seeing big brother go to school and wanting to be like him is the main reason.

    Love your new look really good!

  2. I was always in public schools growing up but my significant other grew up in private school. We happen to live in a town with an incredible school system so our daughter goes to the public school down the street.

    After your first thredup post a few weeks ago I checked it out and bought some stuff! We should be receiving it this coming Monday and I'm very excited! The $10 credit was definite incentive to check it out plus there was an August special going on for 20% off so we got an awesome Rothschild jacket and a few dresses!

    1. Let me know what you think. I've become a big fan of thredUP ever since my initial review. Top brands at exceptional prices!

  3. While I generally appreciate your reviews on products, I just can't help but feel that you would never actually spend $100 on a child's backpack. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    1. Since we homeschool, our little ones don't even use backpacks. ;)

      I would say that the Acadia is probably a solid pick for a high school or college student - or perhaps an entreprenuer or business traveler. The price is higher than I would pay for a bag for a young child, but perhaps others have different budgets.

  4. We are doing homeschool too but are using A Beka Academy. That's the program where you are basically doing private school at home. The kids watch pre-recorded classes and do the desk work, etc... along with the rest of the virtual class. I wanted our 5 year old to start piano lessons this year but we've got a lot of life things going on so my husband felt that we should wait and I think he was right! I don't know where we'd fit that in right now too :)

    I really wanted to simply do our own thing - write the lessons, teach the kids, become fully immersed in educating, but I know my own strength's and weaknesses and this is what works best for us. In the summer we do more of what I wish I could do all year long. So my kids are getting an awesome education, at home and at the same time we're intentionally doing all sorts of other educational and fun things too.

    1. Sounds like you have a great system in place!

      I was homeschooled through 8th grade and I know we used A Beka books for at least a few of those years.

  5. I only have a 2 year old so we're "life" schooling just following our normal household rhythm with trips to the grocery store, library and park thrown in with laundry, baking, book reading and train playing.

    I'm really drawn to homeschooling. Being able to focus everything on his interests and needs at the time appeals to me. But part of it too is that I'm not comfortable sending him off to a stranger for almost the entire day. (He's never been "babysat." either.) I'm not sure how much of that is because he's only 2 and my only or if I'll still feel that when it's time for kindergarten. But it's still several years away so I don't think about it too much.

  6. I'm very curious to learn more about the homeschooling partnership you've got going on in Vail! We're doing PM kindergarten this year for our oldest (and so far, loving it). Being the wife, daughter, & friend of many a public school teacher, I joined the PTO and the possibility of doing something like this was one of the things brought up at the first meeting. I know of many families in our district that homeschool, but would like to take advantage of some of the stuff available at the local schools, so I began looking into districts in the state with programs like that.

    1. This is the inaugural year for the program so everyone involved is bringing their unique ideas, hopes, and experiences to the table. There are currently a total of about 15 students enrolled, but I know that the district plans to expand in the coming years.

      Let me know if you have specific questions and I'll happily answer them.

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