Wednesday, July 25, 2018

10 Back To School Tips

For most parents you may not need this information for another month or so but in our area, school starts in a couple of weeks (no idea why it starts so early here).

  1. Review the school district website.  It is usually full of information on everything from bus routes to their active shooter plan to lunch plans to how to sign into the parent portal.
  2. Set up an emergency communication plan with your child (include several ways they can contact you or another responsible adult, make sure the little ones at least know their address and parent's names/numbers by memory, etc).
  3. Make sure your kid's backpack has everything they need it in and nothing they don't.  Include some emergency cash in a ziploc bag duct taped to the bottom of the bag (with a warning not to use it unless it is a true emergency), a couple spare granola bars, school supplies, etc.  Make sure they don't take anything to school that will get them suspended (drugs of any sort, weapons of any sort, etc).
  4. Play the "what if" game and work out solutions for potential problems.  What if they get home and no one is there to meet them, what if there is an active shooter, what if they are being bullied or see someone else getting bullied, what if a stranger approaches them when they are walking to school, etc.
  5. Make sure their immunizations are up to date, they are registered as early as possible for school, their sports physicals are completed on time, and any other forms or paperwork are submitted as soon as possible.
  6. Set the rules and stick to them.  Bedtime rules, homework rules, social media rules...being consistent yet fair ensures everyone is on the same page.
  7. Sign your kids up for after school activities like sports, clubs, or community programs (a busy kid is a kid who doesn't have time to get into trouble).
  8. Keep in contact with your kid's teachers to make sure they are on track and there aren't problems developing that need to be addressed.
  9. Plan non-school activities that keep them entertained while they also learn things (camping trips, fishing trips, Scouts, hobbies such as woodworking, etc).
  10. Ensure that your kids have the tools they need to be successful: enough sleep, help with homework, good nutrition, parents who listen to them, appropriate school supplies, a consistent home life, etc.

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