Practical Advice for Parents Sending Kids Back to School
By: Katherine Adamchick
Teacher and lifestyle blogger Katie Adamchick gives parents practical advice on sending children back to school.
As a teacher I see students coming back to school that are still in “summer mode”. It can take weeks for students to get back into the swing of things. Unfortunately, the normal school schedule doesn’t allow for a several week gradual progression. We jump right back into things!
The following is some advice for parents to ensure success on sending their kids back to school.
-Bedtime/curfew: Summer months are coming to a close, but it will still be a few weeks before the sun catches up. Even though the sun is still out for a bit longer in the evenings, kids (and parents) need to be going to bed at reasonable hours to ensure they are fresh and rested in the mornings. That goes for young ones AND older ones. Make sure your kids are getting enough sleep.
– Limit electronics: The summer months often bring an overindulgence of electronic devices and these habits can be hard to break. If you haven’t already it is time to set some hard and fast rules on electronics. That goes for television too.
-Make sure you know what’s going on with your teacher. During the first weeks give them a call, or email and introduce yourself. Let them know you want to know what your child is going to be doing and working on. Is there anything you should know right off the bat? Often teachers will provide this information to students, either verbally, or in handout form, but this information seems to have a tendency to get lost in transit somehow. You don’t want to be scratching your head wondering what your child is doing in school, weeks into the school year.
-Get the basic school supplies, but wait on the majority. Many teachers will give out lists of school supplies within the first few days. Don’t waste money and guess or assume what your child needs, just wait and see. Obviously get some notebooks, binders and pencils for day 1 though.
-Set expectations right away. Let your child know what you expect them to achieve and follow up on it. Don’t just say it and walk away. I can’t tell you how many parent-teacher interviews I have where parents have either no idea how their kids are doing, or they are disappointed in them, but want them to change habits half way through the year. Children need to know this is important to you and FOR them, right from the start.
-Perfect those time management skills. This is SO important once school starts. School starting often means starting up again with lessons, teams, clubs, etc. Make sure that your child has time for the things that are important to them AND their school work, while also…
-Include time for activity as well. By that I mean active living. Make sure your child AND you are getting out and being active on a daily basis. Go for a walk or bike ride after dinner. Go to the park for an hour. Build a snowman during the winter. This burns energy (which helps children concentrate better when they have to sit down and do some homework), gets them active AND allows you to spend some time together and chat about their day.
-Finally, be a good role model. If you tell your kid not to watch TV for more than an hour a day, don’t sit there and watch TV for four hours! I know it is exhausting to come home after a long day, but your children are watching you and soaking it all up like sponges. It is hard to have credibility if you aren’t showing them the ropes. Instead of staring at a screen the whole evening, pick up a book, or engage in a hobby. Make sure that you are available in case your children have any homework questions and let them see that having a full life includes a variety of things.