I know it probably feels like summer just started, but it is already time to start thinking about the kids going back to school! Here are 5 tips to help make the transition back to school easier for everyone during this busy time of year. Remember, Au Pairs can be especially helpful at this time of year. Au Pair Foundation has incorporated some tips on how to work with your Au Pair to make this time of year as stress free as possible.
- Shop for school supplies early. Many stores are already having school supply sales where you can get some items for as cheap as one cent or BOGO (buy one get one). It can make things much easier and less hectic if you start shopping for school supplies now instead of waiting until a day or two before school starts, when stores become mobbed and specific items can be hard to find. If your child did not bring a list of school supplies for the upcoming year home with them at the end of last school year (or like me they did and you lost it), you can check the school’s website and the list may be there.
- Get your family calendar up to date. Fall is a great time to implement any new schedule changes, plan for known extracurricular activities and get organized. Since the school calendar rules our lives, preparing for school means making sure our family calendar is updated with all the information about half days and vacations for the upcoming school year. Getting this seemingly minor task out of the way early means that we don’t have to worry about missing any important events such as orientations and back to school night.
- Make sure that your calendar, the school calendar, and your Au Pair’s calendar are in sync to avoid stressful scheduling situations once school starts up and to be sure that you and your Au Pair are working efficiently together.
- Make sure immunizations are current. Another important thing to get done before school starts is to ensure that your child has all the necessary immunizations and any required back-to-school physical examinations. If vaccines or exams are required, it should be posted on the school or district's website or at the nurse’s office. It is not too early to check into this so you have time to get your child into the pediatrician to get what they need before the first day of classes.
- Figure out lunches. Families have different ways that they plan for school lunch. Some kids buy lunch while others bring their lunch from home. Now is a great time to decide what you are going to do and how you are going to do it. For example, if your child brings their lunch and they are going to start making it themselves, now is a great time to start practicing. You can make it fun by letting them choose their new lunchbox! (Tip: lunch boxes get lost or left at school often. Have a back-up or two. Get them while they are on sale).
- Your Au Pair can help prepare lunch for your children or assist older children who make their lunch themselves. If your children buy lunch at school, your Au Pair can remind your children to bring their lunch money.
- Clean out clothes and toys. I am a big fan of helping my kids clean out their clothes and toys every season and as summer winds down it is the perfect time. First of all, it is a great rainy day activity. Second, you have plenty of time to get it done since the kids are home all day. Finally, if your family has a lot to get rid of you may still have time to have a yard sale. In my experience my kids are more likely to get rid of things if they may be able to make money from them.
- Your Au Pair can make the chore of cleaning out clothes a fun game for your children. Suggest that your Au Pair have a “fashion show” where your children try on their clothes for him/her. Anything that doesn’t fit gets put in a pile to be donated or sold. If you do decide that you have enough old clothes and toys to get rid of, your Au Pair can be on hand to help at a family yard sale and will likely enjoy the chance to participate in this American activity.
School will be here before we know it! It’s a great time to get organized and prepare.