Now it's time to hunker down and get ready for the long haul of this school year. As a parent, I have a fair number of things I'm responsible for. Some of these I've done every year since I've been a parent of a kid in school (or pre-school for that matter), and some are new goals based on new situations or past problem areas.
- Become a member, pay dues and make a donation to all of the schools' parent organization groups.
- Go to all the back to school nights and make sure all teachers involved with my kids understand there are involved parents that can help out. Usually there's no time for interaction at these things and generally they seem to just go over the class rules hand-outs that I've already seen, but all the same, one or both of us will be there.
- Find out policies on 504/IEPs at new schools and make sure communication is open and in a positive tone.
- Get a calendar with all school, extra-curricular, holiday, BSO tickets etc marked and keep it accurate through the year as activities get added.
- Make sure kids have phone numbers for classmates to get homework or arrange social activities.
- Establish some sort of order for at home school supplies. Throw out dried out markers and broken crayons. Make it so everybody involved knows where the hole-punch, stapler, scissors etc are located and keep them put away.
- Touch base every day with each child about how school is going. Find out favorite and least favorite teachers and why, who the kids they pal around with are, how they feel they are doing grade-wise, what interaction are they having with school administrators, what's the vibe like in the hallways...
- Have a folder for each kid to collect all the handouts, announcements, newsletters, printed out emails that are sent home. Make copies of major assignment and keep them here as well. We've had way to much stress finding papers in the morning before going to school.
- Do notebook checks, including looking at homework logs to make sure they're in order and getting filled out. I'll take a look every day, but I'm going to enforce cleaning out and ordering every week. This might be a stretch goal since I have trouble keeping my own files in order.
- Although not directly tied to school, get some sort of physical activities going regularly for me and the kids. Between the membership at the league, the trampoline and other stuff in the backyard, the park and the dog in need of walks and the new favorite - the wii fit - this shouldn't be that difficult. It's just a matter of making a commitment.
There's probably more, but that's what comes to mind at the moment.