Let’s go Back to School Prepared!
By Diane Landsberg
Check out these helpful hints to avoid a last-minute crunch and rush:
Research the school website for calendar, holidays, after-school activities, and clubs.
If possible, visit the school, to become familiar with driving directions and school layout.
Request class list if available, to possibly organize a carpool.
Sign up to be a class volunteer and PTA membership.
Purchase uniforms before the last-minute rush.
Make appointments for Dentists and Doctors.
Hair appointment (allow time to grow out if your kid hates the cut).
Adjust bedtime to school hours.
Complete summer reading assignments.
Purchase school supplies and the special backpack.
I would sit down with your children to ask what they liked best about school last year. Discuss possible solutions to problems they experienced (too much homework doesn’t count!). Ask what they liked best (recess or lunch doesn’t count). It is important to have clear guidelines and rules about computer use and internet access. I caught my grandson doing homework with Alexa providing all the math answers!
Children are being given a cell phone at younger and younger ages. It is convenient to communicate with them. Everyone needs to know the school rules about usage during the day to avoid it being confiscated. Upload the tracking app and notify them that you will be checking it. It is important to stress that you love them very much and wish them to be safe. They are an expert at using cell phones, laptops, tablets & computers. (I frequently have to ask one of my grandchildren for assistance with all my devices), but they do not have the maturity to have total access to the world wide web. It is suggested to routinely do a search to see history, downloaded photos and videos, etc. Have firm consequences for disobeying the rules that you have put into place. Check out the Bark.com application for a good way to monitor your children's devices.
Understand and remember that the first days of a new school year can be scary. Having a new teacher, new classmates, and new routines place much pressure on young children. Without doing an inquisition, gently ask how things are going. You might give an example, “Sometimes a bully picks on someone, and others laugh. Have you seen that?” Listen carefully to what they say and don’t say, stressing that you are always available to talk about anything. Tell them that a new school year is a new adventure, and you are confident they will do great.