VACATION TIME IS NEARLY OVER AND THE KIDS WILL BE GOING BACK TO SCHOOL BEFORE YOU KNOW IT. ARE THEY PREPARED? ARE YOU READY? LIFESTYLE EXPERT KATLEAN DE MONCHY HAS SOME SOLID STRATEGIES ON HOW TO GIVE THEM A LEG UP ONCE THEY ENTER THE CLASSROOM.
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According to the National Retail Federation, four of five Americans say the economy is affecting back-to-school shopping. They say shoppers are buying what they really need by bucking the downward trend, spending on electronics and computers. That's projected to be up 11%. And I found out that there are lot of deep discounts out there that will keep you within your budget. Now, if you asked high-schoolers or teens to choose their own laptop, they would probably tell you, thin, lightweight, goes all day on a battery, great multimedia and youth say under a $1000 please, right? Well, guess what, there is good news. Many companies are making laptops like this one, using Intel Ultra Low Voltage processors. They go all day on a single battery but have serious multimedia and wireless computing power. And they run under a $500. You can easily find competitors in this range at many popular retailers, for example like TigerDirect and Amazon.com. Now we all want our kids to do really, really well in school academics, it's definitely on our minds. Now, if you really want your child to volt ahead, there is an option that's within reach of many families, and that's Kumon. A Kumon Neighborhood Center will determine exactly where your child needs the most help, then they will build a program your kid. You kid moves ahead at his or her own speed not the speed of the classroom and many kids make huge leaps in reading and math. To find out more, go to kumon.com. Now, a really astonishing find this year is how much cellphone you can get for the money? One example, the new NV3 from LG, in our view the best value phone for texting out there. It has a full QWETY keyboard, a 3 megapixel camera, music player, Bluetooth, voice commands, features we haven't seen in such a teen-friendly phone before. Now, the folks at LG tell me the emphasis is one pure speed and you have probably noticed nobody is faster with their thumbs than a teenager. It's a $129. Now, independent minded style makers like to express their own individual style, and that's why fashion is so important to kids. Here is actress Chelsea Marie wearing the latest washed denim skinny jeans with a super comfortable gray top and to complete the look a fabulous metal-rimmed Shield sunglasses with ivory colored temples from Diesel. For him, well we love the Clark Kent black plastic frame. Yes Geek chic is really in this year. They are from Diesel and they are available at Better Optical Stores. For the kindergarten and lower school set, well guess what, comfort is in ,so it's great for boys. We love athletic tees. Mommas of course want easy care. And here is Caitlin Carmichael. She was Jenny Carr's daughter in the movie Motherhood. She is so, so cute wearing a cute short with a light green studded tee and a hooded buttery cotton Lycra cardigan. It's not only cute it's fashionable and practical. And remember stores are really fighting for your dollar. So look out there, because there are some great deals. Some are offering a point system, so you can earn a discount. So everybody is recognizing that value is key. In New York Cathleen Demoshi(ph). Happy Shopping everyone!

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