The carefree, fun days of summer have come to an end and another school year has begun. Here are five suggestions to help get your family organized and back into a routine so you can gear up for success.
1. Update contact information. Make a list of all of the places, school(s), organizations and providers, etc., needing your and other caregivers’ contact information. Confirm that appropriate contacts (emergency and otherwise) are correct on school forms and anywhere else they’re needed such as the pediatrician’s office. Double check for accuracy, because errors such as inverted numbers could mean frustration and a delay in, say, a school official’s ability to contact you or other authorized contacts.
2. Take care of medical issues: Are all health exams, checkups and/or immunizations up to date? Check with your child’s school district(s) and perhaps their doctor to stay on top of any medical requirements. Does your child need glasses? Have any allergies? Keep or know how to quickly access documentation in case you’re asked to provide it.
3. Get homework under control. Strategize in advance about homework and/or tutoring, if needed. Consider making a schedule so kids know exactly when they’re expected to buckle down and when they can play. Each child could have a different approach to tackling assignments and projects and/or affinities for or difficulties with certain subjects, so find out what works best for each of your children.
4. Plan for before after school hours. Your child’s day doesn’t always begin with the first bell and end with the final one. Who’ll care for them, and where and when, if you or other caregivers are still at work or have other obligations? In addition to school pickups and drop-offs, specify locations and transportation for before and after school arrangements for each child each day of the week and add them to a calendar everyone involved can access easily to help avoid mix-ups.
5. Budget time and money for extracurriculars. Costs of activities from sports to dance can add up. Consider having a planning session for each semester to determine how your children’s wishes and yours in terms of budgeting and time. Questions to address include: How many places are you and/or other caregivers willing to drive to or arrange carpools? How much are you willing to spend? How many activities are too many, or not enough?