In my last post I talked about 5 back to school tips for making the transition easier. Here are 5 more tips to help you take advantage of the last month or so of summer to get ready for a great new school year!
- Figure out a homework station. It is important that kids develop good homework and study habits. One way is by having them do their homework in a specific place that is set up especially FOR homework and is free of distractions. The end of summer is a good time to organize the place you have been planning to use or to find/make a homework station if you haven’t already considered it. It doesn’t need to be elaborate, just a quiet place for work to get done. It can be the kitchen table, a den or a desk in your child’s bedroom. It is also time to set ground rules. For example, whether the radio can be on or not during homework time.
- Communicate with your Au Pair. Your Au Pair should be aware of any new ground rules that you develop.
- Start getting back to a fall sleep schedule. One of the hardest adjustments to a new school year is waking up early. It can take a while for a sleep schedule to adjust back to early-to-bed-early-to-rise if the summer schedule has been relaxed. Now is a great time to start gradually getting your child re-accustomed to those earlier wake up times. Tip: move bedtime and wake up time back in 20-minute increments every few nights so it is less of a shock to the system.
- Share these tips with your Au Pair, who will play a crucial role in getting your children adjusted to an earlier schedule before school begins.
- Talk to your child about bullying. Bullying is a huge issue in schools and many schools periodically talk to the kids about prevention and how to handle it if they feel bullied themselves. However, you also need to talk to your child at home about bullying. It is important that you let your child know that no one deserves to be bullied, that they should not BE a bully and they should let adults know if they are being bullied. There is a lot of information about bullying on the internet that can help you talk to your kids about this important issue.
- Your Au Pair is someone who would likely be able to notice if there are any bullying issues going on in the lives of your children. Be sure your Au Pair understands that bullying is a serious issue for school-age children.
- Discuss Internet Safety. Along with bullying, internet safety is also an important topic. Most kids (thankfully) don’t understand the danger that can be on the internet, but they may have more access (and therefore are more accessible) than you think through devices at school and through their friends. Parents should talk to their kids about internet safety and expectations. This topic is good for any time of year but bring it up is a great way to start the school year off on the right foot...or tablet.
- Bring this issue up with your Au Pair. Remind him or her of any rules your family has regarding the internet and encourage him or her to be on the lookout throughout the year for any worrisome activity.
- Plan one last fun summer activity. Summer goes way too quickly sometimes, and you and your family will want to make the most of it. If you are anything like me you had a lot of fun things you wanted to do this summer and you still haven’t done most of them. Now is a perfect time to squeeze one last fun family activity in before school starts.
- Bring your Au Pair along! Having an extra adult around cuts down on stress for everyone – your Au Pair can help keep the kids entertained on long car trips, for example.
Sometimes the long days of summer feel like they will go one forever, especially if you have kids at home. However, before you know it summer is over and it is time to get back to the daily grind of school! These tips can help you make the most of the remaining weeks of summer while still being fully prepared for the school year!