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Back to School—It's Not Just for Kids!

By Barbara HagenJuly 26, 2022

Heat waves hitting across the country, kids' summer camps in full swing, the sun rising early and setting late. Ah, it's Summertime!

But don't let it fool you. The calendar may say July but all around us it is about Back to School. We tend to think of "BTS" (meaning back to school, not the band) as a time when kids, young and old, gear up and get ready for the new school year with new backpacks and sneakers, and with likely the highest level of excitement about going back to school as they will have all year. That is what we think of and yes, that is a big part of it, but I like to look at Back to School as something more than that. Back to School is, at its core, a transition period and it's not just for kids.

As children of all ages are prepping for their new school year, adults can use this time to prepare as well. Prepare to support the children in our lives with their learning journeys ahead and we can also prepare for our own journeys, personal or professional. For many, we may be transitioning into new life stages from a young one's first day at school to a teen's first day at college. Luckily, there are books to enhance the journey every step of the way.

The Magical First Years of School

There is no denying the excitement and nervousness that occurs in the weeks leading up to those early school years. From Pre-K to kindergarten to first grade, these are important milestones in the moment. One of my most favorite things to do with my kids when they were in this stage was to read to them books that showcased those beginning days of school. For kindergarten and first grade, I recommend The Night Before Kindergarten and The Night Before First Grade. For the even younger first entering preschool, you can build their excitement with Preschool, Here I Come! Reading these school-themed books with my kids provided a sense of comfort and relatability for them and some priceless bonding time for me.

Late Elementary & Middle School

I have to admit, this I my most favorite age group for books and making the transition Back to School! Not only are book choices for this age group plentiful but many are part of a series, so it keeps the young ones coming back for more. There are the popular series like Dog Man, Wings of Fire, The Baby-Sitters Club, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and my son's current favorite series, Tristan Strong.

The Classics

Back to School would not be complete without the beloved classics that hopefully most high schoolers are still reading. The Outsiders. Romeo & Juliet. 1984. To Kill a Mockingbird. These are great books for adults to re-read along with their teens and use this as another opportunity to connect with those elusive teens through books. Be sure to check out our ThriftBooks Deals section which has many of these classic books at amazing, discounted prices.

College Textbooks

Finding a college textbook for cheap is a must-have to keep one's sanity given the crazy prices of new textbooks. But how can you help when you don't know which textbooks your university student will need? The best solution is a ThriftBooks e-Gift Card. This way, your college student can search and purchase the exact textbook edition needed once their classes begin.

ThriftBooks 4 Teachers™

Back to School is not just about students. Teachers are, of course, instrumental during this time of year. Our ThriftBooks 4 Teachers™ program provides an everyday free book benefit to verified educators where every fifth book is free (up to $7) and they earn Literati status in our ReadingRewards program. Additionally, our Educator Resources page has a variety of resource books for all types of educators

Continuous Growth and Learning

You don't have to be attending school to embark on a learning journey. The Back-to-School transition period is a great time to take on some continuous learning opportunities. For career focused learning, titles like What Color is Your Parachute? and Strengths Finder 2.0 are known to help guide you professionally.

For personal growth, self-help books can help you learn about yourself. And of course, you can focus on family literacy with books like that help you help your children and family become lifelong readers. A Family of Readers is a favorite that has specific reading recommendations.

These remaining few weeks of summer overlap with the beginning weeks of Back to School. An annual transition period that is easy to take for granted or assume it's just for the kids. This year, look closer and embrace a role you want to take on during this time. After all, Back to School is not just for kids.

Read more by Barbara Hagen

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