10 Tips for the new school year

A new school year is around the corner.  I've been doing the First day of school for over 10 years.  I thought I'd pass on some tips.

School is around the corner, do you have your supplies.
  1. Go to the open houses so you can put faces to names when the kids talk about their teachers.
  2. The Vice Principal in elementary school is usually more useful than the principal (and we've been to three different elementary schools).
  3. If you want to know what's going on in the classroom, ask the teacher if you can sit in on the class.  If you ask nice enough, most teachers welcome it.
  4. The difficult teachers are more likely to listen when I get my husband involved.  This one still makes me roll my eyes, but there it is.  Of course, be sure your husband is on your side.  I had a friend who husband would flip-flop and it backfired.  I suppose that's why teachers want Dads involved.  Lucky for me, my husband and I always agreed.
  5. No matter what the school says, you are the biggest advocate for your child, you have seen them grow and know their history.  Teachers only get them for 9 months.
  6. Kids do behave differently in school.
  7. Guidance counselors are best at guiding when you have a goal in mind and you express it to them.
  8. Have kids use planners starting in first grade.  It teaches them time management early.
  9. You know what they are eating/drinking (and not eating/drinking) when you make them their lunch.  My daughter was getting headaches at the end of the day, turns out she wasn't drinking anything at lunch.
  10. No matter how much supplies you try to save from one year to the next, I always spend ~$100 a year for new supplies.

    Bonus
  11. Don't let them know that you are following them to school. :)
Would love to hear the wisdom of my readers.



Comments

  1. Love the list! I too have kids in elementary schools and it is so important that we are involved. The best advice is that we, parents, are our kids best and biggest advocate. We need to get involve and not be afraid or believe that teachers know more than us parents. Together, educators and parents, can make a difference in the life's of our children. Thanks Broadcasting Sunny!

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  2. I can't tell you how many times a teacher felt I did not know my own kid. It dawned on me one time that this teacher who was dismissing me, that she did not go through what I went through, has not seen what I seen.

    But I agree, when you get a teacher that works with you then some great things happen.

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  3. My son def acts different in school. He listens so much better to the teachers than he does at home. I guess it's an authority figure thing.

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    1. Yeah and I'm sure peer pressure is working in a good way there. Plus, a teacher has a schedule. When you are at home there is no schedule or something to keep them busy.

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  4. Great list of what to do for the new school year. Hope your kids don't know you are folloring them:-)

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    1. LOL - I swear when my eldest went to high school on her first day, I sooooo wanted to follow her. I resisted the urge.

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  5. Here's another one: Take the kids along when shopping for school supplies. Let them choose what they like (patterns, colors, sizes) whenever possible, so they will be working with items that inspire them.

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    1. Agreed! Getting supplies is an event in this house. Actually I give them their lists so I can browse at the gadgets.

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  6. What a great list for back to school parents. This time of year can be so hectic and having a some tips to overcome these challenges is vital. :-)

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    1. Thanks, I was just looking over the 11 years my kids have been going to school and thought - I had to have learned something in that time that I could pass on to others :)

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  7. Love no. 3 Joanne. I can see a congregation of parents at the back of the class. Perhaps that could be a good thing - remind them of a thing or two. Great advice.

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    1. LOL - I put that one there because twice my daughter complained incessantly about a class. She made it sound like the teacher was abusive. When I ask if I could sit in, the teacher was fine with it. I got an idea of what was going on and in general understood why she was upset. The one class just had way to many students in it. I also think I made the class less scary for my daughter. I think the teacher became more human to her when she saw I was talking with and participating in the classroom (I also think the class was tough, hence the struggle with it)

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  8. Gosh I need to pass this on to my son. It's been so long since I have had children in school! I'm curious, how serious is this issue of teachers listening more when you bring your husband with you? That IS disturbing. It's almost like the phenomena of car salesman selling to women - unless of course the salesperson is a woman too.

    over from LinkedIn group BHB

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    1. Ugh, it is so frustrating. I don't totally understand why. All I can say, whenever I got my husband involved they always dropped everything and mountains moved. And no he's not a lawyer.

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  9. Wow. This is a great list. I will pass this on to my friends with school age children.

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  10. My son's been in school since 7/31. So far he's doing better in middle school than he was in elementary (i.e. actually doing most of his homework). My ex-husband, husband, and I all went to the back to school night and it was chaotic! All his teachers but social studies and gym are women. Most of them seemed boring to me not difficult.

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    1. Wow, when do they get out of school? No, they're not difficult until you have a problem.

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  11. Excellent advice. I particularly like the bit about the vice-principle, I always thought it was just me who thought that.:) The other benefit of knowing the names of the teachers is that when you have to pick up your child early you don't end up doing that awkward "sounds like" game infront of the school secretary as she patiently waits for you to figure out who your child's teacher is. :)

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    1. Oh that's a good one. I agree, I've had some names where I had to practice it a few times before I got it.

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  12. Although I am in the high school phase there are many of these tips that still apply, particularly, 1, 5, & 8. 1 & 5 go hand in hand. I make my appearance at B2S Night and inform the teachers of the type of parenting and co-managing relationship they can expect from me so that they are aware of my involvement with my children and the fact that I am fully aware, not a helicopter mom, but active in the life of my children. I have found that this can be more instrumental as a parent of color because many teachers may have a perception/perspective based on past experiences or assumptions, even in our diverse, middle class community. I am blessed with children that are smart and academically confident but it never hurts to be engaged from the outset.

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    1. Oh, I haven't thought of that. It's true that when you are involved in your kids lives they call it a helicopter parent. I might try that this year at the open house. Of course, this area the parents are crazy involved that it probably is not necessary but I think I may actually go up to the teacher shake hands and introduce myself. Usually I slip in and slip out quietly. I'm a bit of an introvert but become very loud if I think there is an injustice.

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  13. Parents need to get involved. The school my daughter went to wanted to put her back a grade. I wasn't going to let that happen. Through a lot of meetings and discussions I won. They offered extra help. My daughter graduated with no problems from College and landed a job at ABC in New York. My concern was the problem she would have with her peers. I am so glad I did what I did and I have never looked back.

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    1. You go girl! And this is what I mean by #5, sometimes the school doesn't get it because they don't get the child like you do. They keep telling us they are different in school and I agree but they are different as home too, not to mention, I think as parents we know what our kids can handle. And lastly, when kid is held back, I think that can mess them up psychologically and put them on the wrong path. Good job, Arleen.

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  14. In six years of teaching high school English, I never once had a parent call to ask if they could sit in on my case. More often than not, parents show little interest in their child's classes by the time they get to secondary school. I know that can vary from school to school. I think it would be great if all parents would sit in on at least one of their children's classes. It would probably do wonder to open communications lines between everyone involved.

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    1. Oh my goodness Jeri, it is cut throat here. I kid you not. My daughter is in High School and her friend cannot come over in the summer because she spends it with her homework group. No, she is not in summer school (although kids here will go to summer school so they can advance in their classes - I'm not kidding, she is crazy smart. But she is not the only one.

      Btw I sat in on class during elementary school. I think by High School the kids can vocalize their issues with the teacher rather and would be horrified if you sat in on a class LOL.

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  15. Oh my goodness!!!! As a mom of three school age children, I know how crazy going back to school is. This is a great list for us parents. :-)

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    1. Thanks - yeah just finished our first week of school. We're all settling in but my calendar is filling up.

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  16. This will be me very soon. Thank you for sharing your tips, I am sure they will come in handy when the time comes.

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    1. Oh so you have a little one. Yeah, this was written for the parents just starting out, like you. I find the schools are frustrating to new parents.

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