The last week of August is typically a week of Back to School preparation (and pandemonium). Though the commercials have been on TV for what seems like an eternity, many of us still have much to do. For those who still have planning and shopping to do you are not alone! Here are some tips to get ready.
Buy only what you need . Take an inventory of the clothing and school supplies that your children have. Perhaps an entire new outfit for each day of the week is not needed and last year’s calculator is in perfect condition. Most kids by nature want a new one of everything, so as parents we need to remain practical and objective before blowing the entire budget. It is also a great idea to avoid the lists merchants provide and wait until the first day of school to find out what your children will actually need in their class.
The sleeping schedule can be a point of contention leading to the first day of school. Labour Day weekend is a time when kids want to stay up late and take advantage of the last few days of summer. This luxury makes it quite difficult to get our young pupils up on time and off to school. It is best to adjust the sleep schedule the week leading up to school in preparation. I heard of a residential summer camp that sets its clocks forward the last week to get the children’s natural body clock more prepared for school. Its a good idea to talk to your kids ahead of time and plan out the morning routine.
PARENTING YOUR STUDENT
Its always a great idea to meet the teacher early in the school year. Teachers will be more prone to contact you with updates if you encourage them to do so. Let the teacher know about any potential issues at home if necessary. Providing the teacher additional information and opening the channels of communication can be very helpful but don’t overdo it. Also remember that it is our child who is the student. Have YOU ever gotten a grade that YOU were not happy with on your child’s project? A hands off approach to your children’s school work is important. Its important to be there to help and answer questions but doing their work for them is a no-no. Monitoring things early is crucial to a successful school year. If you child falls behind there are many tutoring services available to help such as Tutor Bright and Sylvan Learning. Many tutoring services offer free assessments.
Packing lunches is not an easy task for parents. Many schools require a litter-less lunch thus its important to look into this when school starts. Lunch ideas need to be peanut-free, healthy, contain the four-food groups and be enticing for our children. That’s a lot to consider. Sandwiches can become boring so switching up sliced bread with rolls is a great idea or for younger children use a cookie cutter to change the shape of a sandwich. Skipping the sandwich and sending pasta salad or a thermos with a warm meal can be fantastic. , Always include fruits and/or vegetables. Most schools offer snack times and lunch so be prepared with fruit cups, peanut-free granola bars and other quick snacks. Don’t forget the plastic spoon when needed or send one every day to avoid forgetting. Read the nutritional information on products. Some products will surprise you! The Canada Food Guide is a great source of information.
Encourage your children to participate in extracurricular activities by joining clubs and sports teams at school. Not only will they become well rounded students but this will help them fit in. Some teams will have cuts and not all players will make the team. As a parent be supportive and positive but be prepared to soften the blow and be encouraging for the future. We need to let our children feel while showing them a bigger and better picture with other activities, chances to improve and try again in the future. Give them credit for their effort. Children also need to keep busy outside of school with a choice of activities like hobbies, dance, music, arts, martial arts, sports and any combination of these. For parents this means time commitment and rides but car pooling can become an option. During the week of August 19th, Mississauga Kids Back to School Guides went out in the mail jam packed with ideas for extracurricular activities. If you missed yours you can see Northwest Guide here and South Guide here. Parent can also visit YourFamilyDirectory.com for more ideas.