My last post was about how to make sure your kids are academically prepared for school. I think it is just as important to talk about your kids’ social preparedness for school.
Has your child participated in any summer activities like camp or lessons? Has your child attended pre-school or has he or she spent these first five years home with you? Is your child prepared to sit in a classroom for 2.5 or 6.5 hours next week?
One way to prepare your child socially for school is to make sure he or she knows how to speak and act respectfully towards adults and other children. Make sure your child has some basic manners and knows when to use them. Please, thank you, you’re welcome and I’m sorry go a long way when needed. Does your child know how to speak up and ask for something if they need to, like going to the bathroom or asking for help with school work?
Another way you can prepare your child for school is to establish routines at home. Make sure dinner and bedtime happen at around the same time every night. Children need lots of sleep, even if they say or think they don’t. Children need healthy meals and snacks, and need to take baths or showers regularly, and also have good oral hygeine. That means establishing normal expected times to shower or bath and brush teeth and floss. Getting up in the morning can be a struggle, but if you start a routine at least a week before school starts, with younger and older children, it will be that much easier when you really need to get up and out of the house.
Finally, many children need and want new supplies for school, including clothes. This is a great time to help your child go through their clothes and toys to sort them for donations. Maybe they have outgrown their favorite sweatshirt, but it still looks like new. Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Rhode Island will come to your door to collect your donations. They take toys, clothing and furniture, and you can write it off as a donation come tax time! After you’ve cleaned their bureaus and closets, determine the basics they need for school and keep in mind the holidays and changing weather are right around the corner.
Be sure to send your child to school with some new school supplies like pens, pencils, folders and notebooks on the first day. Teachers will often send home a note explaining exactly what will be needed for the year. Be sure to communicate often with your child’s teacher to keep them informed about any medical issues or social changes your family or child is experiencing. Teachers want what you want – your child to succeed. Good luck and enjoy the last week of summer!
As always, contact me anytime with your questions about hosting an au pair or helping your child survive school, at 401.309.1925 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I am your Local Area Rep for Go Au Pair in the Providence area, as well as a special educator and mom.
Summer B. also has a great blog for host families with au pairs. See how other cultures are different from ours!