The following article comes to us from mom, educator, business woman, and regular abcblog contributor, Shara Lawrence-Weiss. Read below as she highlights effective tips to help parents prepare for the adjustment of back to school time.
As back to school season kicks into action, many parents will face the challenges of setting routines, packing snacks, running to and from after school activities, and more. Below are a few tips to help with the transition process.
Get to know the teacher and remain involved
Visit your child’s school and classroom. Introduce yourself to the teacher and be sure she/he has your email address and phone number for updates. Ask the teacher how you can help either at school or at home. Let your child(ren) know that you are involved. Research shows that parent involvement is a key factor in student success. (http://www.dreambox.com/blog/how-parental-involvement-affects-student-achievement)
Write down your schedule
It always helps to put something in writing. Sit down and think through your daily routine. Do you have one child or several children? Write down when each child will need to get up (including breakfast time and teeth brushing time) in order to be ready for school. Some kids need more time than others. Can your kids be dropped at school early for morning recess? When do the kids need to be picked up? Type up your schedule and place it on the fridge if you need a daily reminder.
If your child needs a daily snack, this can be a challenge for parents. Here are a few of the snacks my kids enjoy: pistachios, almonds, sunflower seeds, whole wheat crackers, cheese slices, small meat/cheese sandwiches, cucumber slices with sea salt sprinkled on top, organic fruit strips, fresh fruit, slices of turkey breast, almond butter sandwiches and Kettle Chips. I rotate between these choices.
Interesting note: Some experts believe that ADHD can be treated through food choices, also! (http://earlychildhoodnews.net/129-articles/health/788-adhd-diet-treating-adhd-through-proper-diet-choices)
Place clothing out the night before
This can really help if your child struggles to choose clothing. Pick the clothing the evening before and lay things out on the floor or hang the clothes up on the doorknob. Place everything out, including underpants, socks and shoes. This has been a huge time-saver in our home.
If possible, let the teacher know that you are open to a carpool connection. The teacher may be able to put you in touch with another parent from the school so you can share driving duties.
Positive after-school connections
Ava Parnass of Listen To Me Please (www.listentomeplease.com) suggests that parents say three nice things to their child after school. Refrain from negative talk and instead say, “How was your day? I missed you!” or “It’s so nice to see you. I hope you had a wonderful day. Tell me about it.” Positive affirmations assist with healthy brain development and emotional intelligence. In addition, consider these stress buster tips for kids (http://leanonus.co/blog/ideas/) who need some down-time after school.
It may feel overwhelming to purchase numerous school supplies at the start of each year. Teachers often ask for additional supplies because they need to stretch the supplies out year-round. Teachers usually run out of supplies part way through the year and many parents donate just once (at the start of the year). Some studies say that teachers spend about 15% of their own income on supplies for the students. In order to help the teachers out, consider donating additional supplies throughout the year. You can find great sales running after school begins, when stores are pushing their remaining products out the door. Buy extra crayons at 25 cents per box, pencils at 50 cents per pack and so on. The teacher will appreciate anything you can give.
Shara is the owner of Mommy Perks and the co-owner of Weiss Business Solutions. She works at home with her husband and has a background in early childhood, education and freelance. Shara and Rick have four children, one dog and one fish.