Back to School: Parent Edition

Are you excitedly awaiting for back to school? Your kids have eaten you out of house and home? A couple of them you’re not sure what to do? I get it! Rejoice! It’s back to school time! So I’ve written a blog for how you can your kids ready for back to school. It was filled with all great and helpful suggestions. I am quite proud of that piece, but now it’s time to shift gears for the parents. Yes the parents.

I told you how you can get the kids successful but it’s the parents turn! You are the one in charge of you and helping you get ready for back to school first helps the kids get aligned!

Plan Early

Listen I’ve had some years where I’ve gotten supplies last-minute. It happens for various reasons but plan and do as much as you can early enough to cut down on anxiety. I for one will bargain hunt for supplies. So for me aligning sales is important to me. It’s important to know that I’m saving money. Let’s keep it real, having 3 kids means that back to school expenses expensive. I’ve never understood my parent’s life until recent years. I as a child just thought parents just went to the store, paid and rolled. I had no clue until I had my own that there is work to be able to do it all!! Shout out to parents who are trying to do their best.

Make a list and come up with a plan to attack school uniforms, supplies, tuition and back packs. It’s imperative to figure out as early as possible your game plan of attack!

Look over previous report cards

Although it would seem that this is exclusively for your child to do, learning to see trends will assist you as the parent to outsource help. It’s not ashamed to not know something it’s a shame to not do all you can to identify ways to make your child as successful as they can be. This may mean helping to fine tune their skill sets. We noticed a few lacks in concentration and so we started taking it back with practice work to help our children get better in that area. There are several sites that offer free printouts. Also you should have been tuning in often times the previous teacher is a great place to start. We had the kids start their Summer assignments early. We also increased reading and I looked online for other books to add to the reading list.

Get the Kids on their early back to school 3 weeks or more

We used to wait until the week before school and then send them to bed early and wake them up like a test run. This year outside of a few movie nights we have kept them on the same schedule. We didn’t even implement our normal Summer schedules. They are in camp all day and it’s easier for them and in reality for us. So far with us doing that and making them keep after camp studying at least 2 days a week it’s been helpful. My son is zooming through his sight words and our daughter is arising to the occasion in her work. It sounds harsh but some kids can’t really break too much and for the parents the house can have that well deserved rest time!!

Reorganize

It’s important for you to either place a station or two aside for the kids ahead of time for paperwork. One of the worst things is getting a slew of papers and have no clear direction of where it is. Our kids school don’t play and will give you an eye roll if you request another copy. I used to get so mad if they gave me an attitude. I soon stepped back and realized the lesson is helping the kids understand that you don’t always get the chance to fix things. I also started making copies or scanning forms. This way I didn’t have to bother with things. We never let on to our kids that we had the back up. We would depending on what it was give a consequence like delayed electronic use for having us assist in obtaining or using the back up.

Attitude Check

We all know back to school is coming. There is zero no reason to be upset, frustrated and upset that money is going to have to be spent. Even if your child is public school there will be money to be spent. You can attend a free back to school event in your town if you need it. However adjusting your attitude will help your child to adjust as well. They are relying on you to show them the ropes. Having a good attitude in general is helpful! Trust me going from this:

Versus this:

You decide!! So may your wallet be blessed, your nerves settled as we all push onward and upward towards our children education. Also may your wine glasses be bountiful as the time draws near!!

Educators

This last week or so have been a whirlwind.  I have been at both of my children’s school as well as making sure that both of my older children have what they need.  Since the death of their grandma my husband and I know that they have been affected.  The day of the funeral my son went into a behavioral spin and has been spinning since then.  Now let me make a quick disclaimer, I am not one of those parents who think their kids are angels. Trust me they are not.  However as hands on as my husband and I are I know for a fact that I can separate the things about my children from a spike or a low.

Image result for angry teacher gif

So of course for the sake of my children’s privacy I am not about to blog about anything in particular dealing with their issues but I want to highlight a few things for educators. Educators have a hard job.  They are underpaid and have to contend with the best and the worst of children.  However let me give you a few lessons and nuggets from a hands on parent:

  1. Communication.  Its one of the things that educators complain that they don’t get enough of from parents.  FYI if you have parents who are on top than its up to you to hold your end of the bargain.  My kids are the type that will tell me the real.  They have told me what a teacher says in my presence doesn’t align with what they actually do.  I am not talking in the form that benefits my kids either.  I am talking about straight, no filter of what took place.  To test that theory I will mention something and check the response and find that my kids were on point.  It’s important to be clear with rewards as well as be consistent in discipline.
  2. Watch your words.  I was in the bathroom at one of my children’s school and overheard a completely negative comment. The not so funny thing is that my child was in ear space of the comment as well.  Words have life.  You make enough comments about how bad or how horrible a child is when I had been watching that child and could physically see that the child was just standing there is one reason for me as a parent to not trust you.  Even if the statement was a blanket statement my question is, do you have no filter?  Let’s say the child in the class is practically Freddie incarnate, what benefit will you get by saying to a child, you are the worst child I have ever seen? Some of these teachers can say the meanest thing and then want a positive response.  I haven’t yet dealt with the teacher in question but I definitely plan on it.  We are teaching our children to be respectful and as a child they can’t always properly put into words what was said but they do know how it made them feel.  As a parent, from one adult to another, it’s a problem and I want an explanation.  You can be human all day but understand that human or not as an adult the expectation is much higher on your side than a child.  Don’t like it get a new field.
  3. Seek an answer.  Just because a child is doing anything, never assume.  Ask.  Do you know how many kids are being emotionally abused at home?  I hear it all the time, parents swearing at their kids, talking down to them, embarrassing them and then they come to school and you do the same thing but you choose the tone of your voice to be different to sound better than the parent and you’re no better.  Everything isn’t black or white.  Investigate the grey area.
  4. Have empathy.  Did you know that child only eats at school so in the am before food is being given out they may be grumpy?  Did you know the child that is being molested before school?  Some of your worst students can’t all be turned around but you can at least make a positive impact for the few hours they are in your care.  Being a teacher is no different from being a social worker. Some of the same skill sets need to be evoked.
  5. Have fun. No one wants to come to a class with someone with the most sour face in the world.  Why should they want to enjoy your class?  Make it fun to learn.  It doesn’t matter what grade a student is in even in college classes, be fun.  Be stern and don’t slack on the rules.  If the rules take away from pure enjoyment than you need to find a new subject to teach.

Educators aren’t babysitters not even daycare workers. Educators especially in the early education component have a unique opportunity to shape our next leaders.  It is imperative that you either be about the children you manage or bow out.  There’s no room for you to simply do the basics to just get a check.

Image result for angry teacher gif

Let me give you an example.  When I was in high school I had a 4.0.  I was one of the top of my class. I had a guidance counselor that made the comment that I wouldn’t need to know about scholarships because I wouldn’t need it.  Que?  Why would a straight A student not need to know about scholarships when at the time I had been accepted into every school I had applied?  When I went home and told my parents what was said, my mom immediately called a meeting.  When we got to the meeting the first time he was too busy talking and hanging out with students to meet.  My mom had to reschedule.  The second meeting he had his legs folded on his desk trying to talk to her.  She walked out of that meeting immediately. She called another meeting with the principle and from that day I never had that guidance counselor again.  My mom’s concerns were that no one sits their feet up on a desk for a meeting with a parent like they were on familiar terms.  The second was that she demanded his respect in regards to me and clearly since he disregarded her she could see why I felt the way that I did.  Shout out to my next guidance counselor, she got it right and assisted me in everything I needed.

The point was simple.  As a child even an almost adult child, listening is clear.  Finding a solution won’t happen when all you want to do is label a child.  If I was labeled being a straight A student who had never gotten into trouble at school at least, how much more any other child.  A child shouldn’t have to be perfect to receive respect.  Words matter. What you do to appear as an advocate of that child matters as well.

Back to School..

So I am really enjoying all of the awesome pictures of the kids going back to school.  I know some of the southern schools have started almost a week or more ago. Back to school can be hard when you have had nothing but fun all summer long. We covered the adult kids aka the college kids but we still have the rest of the kids that are articulating back now and in the upcoming weeks.

My oldest is going into the 2nd grade.  We have been having her read and get work done. She’s been doing work on a grade or 2 higher than where she should be.  It’s a great thing as her mind wants to learn.  The drawback to it is that she is a 2nd grader where her focus is all over the place.  We are constantly having to remind her of her tasks.  I’m glad that we are seeing this in her so we as parents know what to help her with outside of her teachers.  I am a full believer that the teachers are there to support the parents and parents support the teacher and student.  Now to my middle child.  He will be 5 this September however it is after the cutoff date of September 1st.  So that means he has to wait a year before he can attend kindergarten.  I don’t think he’s put it together that he’s not going.  I think a lot of that comes from us having him in a great preschool program and we have treated him just the same as our oldest in regards to the back to school shuffle.  If you are a parent of children and you have one go to school you know how you have to make the others feel important when they are not quite ready to take the educational leap.

We have always gotten him a new book bag.  I have always had an at home curriculum and we give him homework on top of what he was given from his teachers.  So he doesn’t see the difference.  This year his school has implemented school uniforms so it will be even better for him.  I have had many friends tell us to get him into school anyway.  There are a few things right and wrong. Do I think that academically my son is ready? Absolutely.  He is a scholar is his own right.  However maturity wise I say no.  Since the daycare he was at screwed us up, we have noticed that the daycare which was good had a few hindrances in his socialization.  One he had one on one attention and was favored.  This seemed great at the time until we had to move him and now he’s in a more diverse environment.  We attempted to understand the transition but then there were some major red flags.  He wanted to be in the teacher’s face and wasn’t able to understand that there were others who needed her too.  So as much as I have had the push to put him in kindergarten I am grateful for this extra time to get him nice and adjusted to this new environment.  We worked with the program he’s in now and supported him at home more to aid in his adjustment and its working well.

I skipped a grade in high school I have no doubt that later down the line my son if he wants to and there’s a need to can and will do the same.  This year will allow him to be able to focus on how to properly socialize with others and know what is acceptable for his interactions with his teacher.

Some tips for parents for the upcoming school year:

  1. Help your child be prepared.  Have them set their items that they need the night before.  Don’t you do it.  They get used to it and don’t take responsibility for their actions.  Plus you know how mornings go, one snooze button too many can mess up an entire morning. Be prepared!
  2. Know your child.  Stop giving the teachers a hard time when you know Johnny don’t listen.  Listen to your child and use discernment.  Don’t run to the school ready to fly off the handle and you know your child.
  3. Teach your child to be outstanding.  Set a standard.  If they can sit and play video games all day or catch a Pokemon than they can go to school and get good grades.
  4. Get help early.  You don’t have to know how to do that math that you haven’t used in ages but get someone to help your child when you see them failing.  Catch them before the fall.  There are many equipped people in your community or even churches that can offer low or free tutoring to your child.  The best way to show them how to get the help they need is for you to do the same.
  5. Motivate your young person.  This will require you to talk outside of a text message. Get to know their dreams and then align them with someone who is succesful in that field. Sometimes someone outside of you can motivate them as well.

Have a great school year and remember to pray over your child before they leave your home.  I would love to say that this school year will be without violence but that’s not the world we live in. Cover your children when they aren’t around you.  Regardless of bad mornings make it a point to speak positively into them.  You never know when that will be your last interaction.

 

Good luck and support each other this year!!