August 12, 2013

Back to school: tips for success (part 3)

2 minutes
Advice for host families

The countdown is on! Here are this week’s back to school tips to keep the momentum going one day at a time, and to help make sure you and your au pair (or other childcare provider) are preparing your kids for the new school year – while making back to school a fun, exciting and stress-free time for the whole family!
August 12: Review the school calendar with your au pair
Set aside time to review the academic calendar with your au pair or nanny, including all of your children’s afterschool activities Be sure to mark your calendars, and start to communicate the role your au pair will play in getting your kids to and from school, lessons, practices and games. Communication and setting expectations from the get-go will make for a smoother transition for everyone.
August 13: Make a card for the teacher
Year-to-year kids come to develop meaningful relationships with their teachers. Looking back, we still all have our favorites, rights? To help the kids get excited for new memories and lessons with a new teacher, encourage them to make a personalized card for their teacher. It will surely make the teacher’s day!
August 14: Hit the runway
Before you go shopping for back to school clothes, take the time to figure out what clothing the kids have outgrown, and determine what essential clothing items are needed for the start of the school year. (Be sure to also familiarize yourself with any school dress code guidelines.) Once you buy the items your children do need, invite them to show off their new back to school looks with a fashion show for the whole family.
August 15: Brighten the day with our downloadable lunch box notes
Sometimes we all wish we had an extra set of hands, or a few extra hours in the day. With the help of an au pair, you can have just that and more! Your au pair can with the morning and evening routines, including meal prep for the kids. But whether you’re making school lunches yourself, you have the help of an au pair, or your kids are at an age where they’re making their own – be sure to download our personalized lunch box notes to sneak into their lunch boxes and brighten their days.
August 16: Get organized and set up stations 
Identify the place where the kids keep their lunch boxes and back packs after a day at school, along with a specific time and area where the kids will do their homework each day. Remind the kids to get in the habit of emptying their lunchboxes and back packs every day. With this, make sure there is a place for them to leave any information and notices from school, or tests to be signed in a designated space so that you’re always sure to see it. Also, rather than allowing the kids to do their homework in front of the TV, be sure to set aside a particular space that is quiet and free of distractions. Older children may have a desk in their room to use, whereas younger children may need that extra assistance and supervision so the kitchen table may work best.
Getting organized and designating these spaces will help get the kids not only get into a daily routine, but into the practice of picking up after themselves – a win, win for everyone!
Stay tuned for next week’s tips, but if you can’t wait for more, visit us on Facebook or Twitter for a daily back to school tip each weekday.