Last November, inspired by a school activity, I asked blogging friends to offer advice to parents of elementary school children. Here are some tips from them (and me!)
- Every year is a year of tremendous growth for our children. They’re also years with a lot of academic changes and challenges. Ease your child into each change and be prepared for tough times–celebrate the happy ones.
- Hug your child. Laugh with your child. Listen to your child.
- Remember that the stories your child brings home are only 1/2 of the real story. There’s always another side. Keep your mind open until you hear both sides. (-our school principal)
- You are your child’s best (and sometimes only) advocate. Reach out for your child.
- If you can get a class list and make a few playdates with future classmates – it will likely help make the transition easier. -Tania, Pure Natural Diva
- Help your child make new friends by asking the teacher or guidance counselor for advice.
- It will take your kid a bit of time to adjust to Grade 1, especially if it’s their first experience with all-day school. -Cait, Mabels Labels
- If your child is now and your school will allow it, visit the school for a casual tour with an older student. Ask for tips on ordering lunch getting to the bathroom and special areas.
- Create a First Day/Last Day photo book of your children. It’s a keepsake and tradition you’ll treasure.
- If you have a question for the teacher, don’t hesitate to ask. She can’t read your mind.
- Ask the teacher what the kids are working on that day or that week; it can help jump-start conversations better than “SO? What did you do today?” -Jessica, It’s Jessica’s Life.
- Ask a teacher if daily homework assignments or grades will be online, so you can keep up from home. -Andrea
- Encourage your teacher to communicate.
- Get in touch with the teacher via email/phone or in-person early in the school year. Let her/him know you are an advocate for your child, and anything you can do to help, please let you know. – Kelly, The Centsible Life
- Keeping the teacher in the loop about important things going on outside of school is imperative. If your child is seeing a therapist of any kind or is having difficulty concentrating at home, anything at all that you think the teacher would not know if you didn’t tell them. This only helps the teacher know your child’s needs and helps them to better work with your child in a way they need. -Candice, Fashionably Organized
- Respect your administration’s chain of demand. Before contacting your principal, make sure you’ve contacted the other school employees involved.
- Never be afraid to ask questions. If something concerns you about your child, it is your responsibility to speak up on their behalf. -Shana, Shanamama
- The principal can be as intimidating to you now as yours was when you were a child. Keep in mind that they’re often parents, too.
- Have a binder with dividers to have each of your child’s teacher info and other important projects they need to have done. –Gena, The Morris Bunch
- Set up a homework station like Angela did at Untrained Housewife.
- If you make lunch for school, get into the routine of making it the afternoon before, as you unpack when the kids come home.
- While moms focus on the kids in the back-to-school time, it’s important to take care of yourself and do something for yourself, too; it allows you to be a better mom. In the school of life, this is a big step for you too, and a lot of learning is ahead – make sure to listen to yourself, so you don’t miss a great class. -Katja, who wrote 20 Tips for Moms: How to Survive Life when Your Kids are in School at Skimbaco Lifestyle
- Be nice to the other parents you see in the pick-up lines, in the special events, PTO meetings, on the field, etc. Little ones are watching, and we’re all in similar boats. A kind smile, introduction, a quick question goes a long way. -Rajean, Rajean Blomquist: Bcause I Said So
- Need any ideas of things for you to do? Read Jessica’s post what parents do on the first day of school.
- Take care of you. Don’t forget to breath, make your own lunch, and exercise!