Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Three Words Parents Love: “Back to School”

By Beth Critoph, WNED Manager of Learning & Technology

familyThree words that most parents love: BACK TO SCHOOL. It’s true; kids need structure and routine to feel most secure. That goes for parents as well. Not only can we stop being entertainment directors, but we also feel better knowing where our children are at all times. But along with the secure feeling comes anxiety, too. Sometimes I think I am more nervous on the first day of school than my children. After that first day, though, things usually fall into place.  We all know that PBS provides wonderful, educational programming for our kids, but there are many more resources that a lot of parents might not know about. Here are a few tips for back to school, along with some PBS resources, that might help make the transition smoother. 

Get back on schedule!bedtime
Let’s start with that routine. Over the summer, I think families tend to take on a lax sort of schedule. But when school time comes, there’s quite a different approach. There are a couple of things that can make all the difference in helping your kids feel at ease with the return to school (and new teachers, students and experiences) and those are family dinners and bedtime routines. When a family sits down to eat together, it shows your children that they are important to you. You can exchange stories from the day about school, work and friends. This gives you the opportunity to keep up-to-date with all of your child’s “doings” but also shows them that you care. Bedtime is just plain simple: children need sleep. They will perform much better at school with an adequate night’s sleep. I highly recommend you start “school” bedtime well in advance of the start of school – no drastic transitions!  teacher  

Meet the teacher
I know I feel better meeting my children’s teachers. It is important that a teacher really understand a child in order to properly meet their needs. You can provide personal insight about your child that they certainly won’t! It’s also important to show the teacher that you are available as a partner in your child’s education. Regular discussions with your child’s teacher show your child that you value their education and are there to support them.   

Eating healthy
Enough of the hot dogs and ice lunchcream! Summer is ending so now is a good time to focus on making the menu more health-conscious. Dinners at home are easily controlled by you. You can watch what and how much your child is eating. When they are at school, however, you lose that healthy influence. Try packing a lunch for your child to get back a bit of that control. Here are some different ideas for school lunches that your child might like. 

What do you do to ease the back to school transition? Let us know! You can do more research for helpful tips at PBS Parents.

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