Ready, set, school!
By Zenaida Serrano
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Zenaida Serrano
Are your kids prepared to go back to school? The first day of school is just a week away for most students statewide though some year-round schools are already in session, and others will start on a staggered calendar.
We've got five quick tips, covering supplies, schedules, safety and more, to help the entire 'ohana get ready.
QUICK AND EASY ADVICE WILL ENSURE YOUR KIDS GET OFF TO A SMART START
By now, you should have all or most of your child's required school supplies. If not, get an official list, available at most stores that sell supplies. Then hit those sales. Don't forget to label items with your child's name before the first day.
A note on backpacks: Choose one with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends. The organization advises that you pack light, with heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 percent to 20 percent of the student's body weight. Always use both shoulder straps, and consider a rolling backpack.
GO OVER SCHEDULES
The entire family should discuss schedules school, extracurricular and work so parents and kids know when and where everyone will be throughout the day.
To keep things organized and running smoothly each month, scholastic.com suggests setting up an area with a large calendar so the whole family can see everyone else's schedules and plans for that month. Pen in after-school activities, lessons, play dates and family time.
Nearby, set up file baskets or bins marked "To be Signed," "From School" and "To School," so your child can deposit papers you need to see in a regular place right after school and pick up things to go "To School" each morning.
KNOW THE WAY
Make sure your children know their way to school and back, as well as their way around campus if it's the first day at a new school. This is also a good time to talk about pedestrian safety particularly minding traffic signals, and staying within crosswalks.
The first day of school is not the time to figure out how to get through a crazy morning. "Plan ahead to send your school children out the door in a happy mood," writes Cynthia Townley Ewer of organizedhome.com. She offers these tips:
Don't hesitate to establish a relationship now with your child's school and teachers, suggests Sue Wright-Maximo, 33, a mother of three children and president of the Parent Teacher Student Association of Holomua Elementary School in 'Ewa Beach.
She recommends you open a line of contact with the school, to learn about new school programs or changes to existing policies.
"Another thing that I still do for all my children (who are in elementary, middle and high schools) is keep in touch with their teachers, getting to know them and making sure that they know that I am here to help them in my children's education," Wright-Maximo said. Introduce yourself to your child's teacher, and be sure to stay in touch throughout the year to discuss everything from assignments to classroom concerns.
WE WANT YOUR TIPS
Figured out a way to avoid the morning meltdown, or cope with the back-to-school traffic jam? Got a great idea for getting a child excited about math? We want to hear from you! Were looking for your best Back to School tips to publish and post online. E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Zenaida Serrano at email@example.com.