Click the link below to go to the weekly family rail, with tips on getting ready for school now, a review of the new "Spider-Man" movie and more. Or check out these other links.

Tip of the Week


Even though school doesn’t start for at least another month or two, it’s time to start thinking about getting ready to go back to school in the fall. Here are six things to do this summer to get yourself and your kids ready for school.


Stock up on necessities


There are some items that your kid will use every year, such as binders, notebooks, pens and pencils. Look for sales throughout the summer and stock up. These school supplies will get used and usually need to be replenished throughout the year.


Keep up with reading


While most high schools have been giving a summer reading list for years, elementary and middle schools are doing the same. If your child was given a summer reading list, make sure to stay on top of it. This will not only keep her brain smart, it will ensure she isn’t behind on the first day.


Visit museums


Throughout the summer, many museums offer discounted entry to students and their parents. Use the opportunity to continue educating your kids, and even yourself.


Summer programs


Take advantage of any summer programs offered locally, whether it’s through school, a non-profit organization, or a museum, park or library.


You can also look into the homeschooling communities nearby and see what they’re planning for the summer. Most groups will let you and your children tag along even if they aren’t homeschooled.


Shop online


Keep an eye on online sales for items you’ll need for the fall, including backpacks, lunchboxes and school wear.


If your kid has a uniform, shop around to find the best deal. Dress codes that require khakis and polo shirts are really easy to shop for because you can find these items at rock bottom prices throughout the year.


Remember the routine


Just because school is out for the summer doesn’t mean the school routine should completely fall away. Summer usually means later bedtimes and a much more relaxed schedule. Stay close to the school routine throughout the summer to make it easier to transition back after your summer break flies by.


- BillCutterz


Family Movie Night


“The Amazing Spider-Man”


Rated: PG-13


Length: 136 minutes


Synopsis: In this series reboot, Peter Parker finds a clue that might help him understand why his parents disappeared when he was young. His path puts him on a collision course with Dr. Curt Connors, his father's former partner.


Violence/scary rating: 4


Sexual-content rating: 2


Profanity rating: 2


Drugs/alcohol rating: 2


Family Time rating: 3. If your kids have watched other superhero movies, they’ll be fine watching this one.


(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)


Book Report


“Switched (Trylle Trilogy #1),” by Amanda Hocking


Ages: 12-18


Pages: 336


Synopsis: When Wendy Everly was 6 years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. Eleven years later, Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. She’s not the person she’s always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel — all because of Finn Holmes. Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her. Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken … though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she’d ever admit. But it isn’t long before he reveals the truth: Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth — and he’s come to take her home. Now Wendy’s about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that’s both beautiful and frightening. And where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she’s meant to become. - St. Martin's Press


Did You Know


According to the journal Pediatrics, babies who live in homes with dogs are less likely to have ear infections and respiratory ailments than kids who don’t live with a dog.


GateHouse News Service