Back to School Parenting Tips

Okay, so last week Munch returned to school and I have to tell you that I was exhausted. I was so out of sorts it hurt. I couldn’t seem to catch a break or cook dinner. Thankfully, there was no homework, but it was rough. I wanted to sleep so much.

But, I realized some things that I should have done that would have eased my transition back into school. So I put together some tips to help you not fall victim to some of the traps I allowed in my house. I want you to make sure that you have a successful school year and get your routine going quickly.

Here are my back to school parenting tips:

  1. Get them to bed early. I know it’s hard especially if you’ve been lax for the summer, but trust me it’s better to get them to bed early than fighting with them in the morning.
  2. Cook a few meals the weekend before school starts. Freeze them if you have to. I was so thrown off by school starting and adjusting to the bus schedule and all the first week jitters that I didn’t cook not one meal. We ate out every night. Munch loved it, but my wallet didn’t. Cooking in advance would have helped solve that issue.
  3. Buy school supplies from Five Below. Did you know that Five Below sells school supplies? Nope. Me neither until his dad sent me a link about a 25% off discount on 2 inch binders from the store. Staples had the binders for $8.99 each and he needed 3. I was already up to $35.00 and I wasn’t paying that price. I went to Five Below and was blown away at the selection and price. He has everything he needs for school.
  4. Lunch prep and clothes prep the night before. Yes, I know you’re probably exhausted from rushing home from work and fixing dinner, giving them a bath and story time and then trying to get some housework done but you definitely should try to lay out and iron all clothes the night before and prep school lunches too.
  5. Let them fly. This was hard for me, but when you think about it don’t we give our kids their wings and we want them to fly? We have to give them space to soar and navigate school on their own. Stay in the background and encourage them but don’t do it for them. Let them fly.

I promise you that these tips will make it somewhat easier. If you’re a working parent and running back and forth to school you have to find ways to value time. Our most precious commodity is time so you have to give yourself more time to be present and in the moment with parenting. By doing things like meal prepping, laying out clothes in advance and giving the kids plenty of time to rest and get back into their routine you will definitely see more time in your day.



Education Chronicles: First Day of School

It’s that time again and munch is headed to first grade. I’m not as weepy and depressed as I was last year. (I cried for almost a month). I have assimilated into being one of those annoying parents who can’t wait for school to start because I’ve run out of ideas, activities or money for the rest of the summer. I loved his teacher last year and I’m hoping that I will love his new teacher. By all accounts, the parents that have had her said she is compassionate, a great teacher, but really serious and never laughs. Ahem, I will make sure not to break out my comedy routine during our parent/teacher conferences. LOL.

So, I decided to share some “Lessons Learned” for parents who are releasing their children into kindergarten for the first time ever or for those who are enrolling their children in an immersion program.

▪ It’s okay to cry the first day of school AFTER you drop the child off and they can’t see you. Be strong and know that they will be fine. Your reaction is what they will emulate. Play it cool and fist bump them out the door when you drop them at their classroom.

▪ Read all paperwork daily and sign the daily or weekly progress card from the teacher. Teachers don’t just fill out paperwork for their health. They truly want you to know what’s going on with your child and in the classroom. They are only one leg of the education stool.

▪ Buy school supplies. I am adamant about being able to purchase the things that my son needs for school. I hate when teachers have to spend their own money for school supplies or beg the parents to please purchase paper, crayons or pencils. Go to the dollar store. It’s not the cost of the item, just the fact that children should have them. If you can’t afford them, please look in your local newspaper to find out about organizations that do Back-to-School drives. A lot of the bags include school supplies.

▪ Talk to the teacher and get their contact information. Find out what their philosophy is on education and what they expect from both the students and parents.

▪ Attend back to school night and all parent/teacher conferences. Make time to show up and be present in your child’s educational activities.

▪ If they are in an immersion program and you don’t speak the language…Relax! Understand that it is a process and your child will get it. One thing I realized is that the school is teaching munch to read in French and I needed to teach him how to read in English, so this summer we spent time reading books. He’s not completely reading on his own, but he can read a lot of words and sounds out those he doesn’t know. He also asks questions for difficult words.

▪ Reinforce what is learned in class. Math skills, reading, science or PE. Spend time reinforcing the lessons learned.

I think that’s it, but if you think of some other things, please feel free to add them to the comments. Also, check out some of these great first grade photos of my love.