Atl & Co

Here are the 7 Back to School Tips that Christine Pullara & I tried to cover today on Atl & Co, but ran short of time.

BACK TO SCHOOL TIPS for Parents & Kids

  • Get Excited & Prepare
    • Talk it up with positive words
    • Pick out new clothes
      • De-clutter rooms by going through old clothes & donate that which doesn’t fit or won’t or can’t be worn any more (helps to know school dress code rules before doing this- often found on school websites)
    • Pick out new school supplies
      • Go through last year’s supplies, but always get something new
      • Don’t forget the use of different colors for supplies (folders, pens, hi-lighters, etc.) as it can help organization
    • Discuss snack & food desires – buying vs. packing lunch
      • Let them pack their lunch
        • Teach healthy choice lunches & snacks
        • Organize frig & panty into self-serve zones so children can choose
      • Allow school friends to get together the 2 weeks before to ease anxieties – or at least call and let the excitement start
      • Prepare for 1st day questions like “What did you do this summer?” “Are you buying or packing your lunch” “What bus do you ride?”
        • This will reduce stress for students
      • Start getting up earlier via alarm
      • Establish the school year bedtime & routine now
      • Attend School Open House Week Before
        • Crucial when starting a new school
        • Meet teacher, find rooms/locker/desk/bathrooms etc. (HS kids need to find best walking path to get from class to class)
        • Review rules of school & classroom together
  • Have Balanced Involvement
    • Parents
      • It’s easier to trust the trained school professionals if you know them and helps avoid helicoptering parent syndrome
      • Offer your assistance (send classroom supplies requested, volunte
      • er to be room mom/dad, join PTA, be a bank booster, etc.)
    • Students
      • Get involved with a limited number of activities
      • Having no extracurricular activity should not be allowed
  • Set Expectations
    • Discuss extracurricular activity level, classroom behavior & grade expectations before school starts
      • Remember straight A’s isn’t a realistic goal for every kid—let them have input on what is attainable and what is unacceptable
    • Teach kids that they must adapt to school life … school is their “job”
      • May not always be easy or go their way, but is preparation for life
  • Discuss Time Management
    • Have a Routine
      • Start with breakfast!
    • Have & Post a Schedule
      • Family & indiv calendar
        • Electronic, paper, dry erase board or combination
      • Set best time(s) for homework/studying & WHERE that will happen
        • Know that the best time to do homework can differ with each child (see Study Habits chapter in I.F.E. – Challenge Your Teen’s Basic Knowledge for more information on this subject)
        • Create a “Command Center” for homework
          • Fill it with supplies needed
        • Keep all school related papers & gear in a specific place
          • Consider cubbies, crates, bins, trays & folders to help organize
          • Designate a specific place for papers that parents need to see/sign
          • Remove distractions (i.e., electronics, pets & people)
        • Teach how to Prioritize
          • Allow for school work, activities, family, friends, play, TV, etc.
  • Prep Night Before
    • Get clothes ready
    • Make lunches
    • Set backpacks, books, homework, etc. in agreed upon place the night before to eliminate a fire drill in the morning
      • Allow a small amount of emergency money to be carried, at all times ($5.00 max)
  • Surround Your Kids with Positives
    • People, quotes, pictures, things, etc.
    • Put them in your home everywhere (study area, bedroom, kitchen, on notebooks, etc. … even bathroom mirror)
    • Place little encouraging notes in lunches and books
  • Celebrate Successes
    • Celebrate the big & the small throughout the year … can be anything from ice cream at the local ice cream store to going bowling after a good report card (I caution paying for grades however—focus on celebrating instead)


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