Last year was my first time dealing with 3 children in 3 different schools. I had one in Pre K, elementary and middle school.
For me, that was 3 different:
- Start times
- End times
- Locations to drop off/pick up
- An abundance of rules to follow & remember
- A slew of teachers to befriend
In the morning, my children’s bus pick up/drop off time started between 7:30am – 8:20am, and ended at 2:30pm – 4:30pm. All of my children were home by 4:30pm. By the end of the 1st semester, I had our schedule down. Which means, going into the 2nd year of 3 different schools should be a breeze. It should be. But, please pray.
Going into this year, I feel confident and prepared. Today, I am sharing with you 5 tips that can help ease the multiple children/school transition if you start early and work your families plan. Although these tips are simple, it makes life easier – trust me.
1. Schedule doctor’s appointments early – Don’t wait until the week before school starts to make their back to school doctors appointments or to get their correct paperwork. My youngest is attending a new Pre-k, and needs new paperwork. Luckily, he doesn’t need a check-up right now and his paperwork is up to date.
However, because he is attending a new school I still need to visit his pediatrician. If I would have waited until school started to call his doctor’s office, it could have pushed his start date back. Doctor’s have different policies and wait times for getting paperwork. If you call early, you should be able to meet your deadlines.
2. Get started early on school supply list. My husband was adamant about beating the school shopping rush. Over the years, we’ve experienced the back to school rush in stores (Ex: Walmart) and everyone is pushing and pulling over pencils and hand sanitizer.
This year, we got their supply list as early as possible and started comparing sale prices. We actually saved a lot of money doing it this way. Well, my husband saved the money. He’s the bargain shopper/price research agent in this relationship.
3. Go school clothes shopping on an as needed basis. At the end of the school year, no one is thinking about school clothes. They are in vacation mode. You will probably get the best deals in May (clearance) for August (when school starts).
Also, do your children really grow that much in 2 months, that they need a whole new wardrobe for school? Ours don’t. We go through their clothes and see what still fits (they keep), what doesn’t (give away), and what they really need now (we buy).
With 3 children, we aren’t buying new clothes every Fall because you’re going to a new grade.
4. Develop a system for the school year & stick with it. In our home, our children do not watch TV or play electronic games (unless educational) during the week. It’s worked all these years and we will stick with it.
Don’t get me wrong, our children try to buck the system and beg us to lift this ban. However, they know the rules and follow them all year long. What works for your home? Is it TV time only 30 minutes a day? Is it homework as soon as you come home, then you play outside? Is it snack time when you walk in the door?
Whatever works for your family, make sure that the children understand the rules so your home can run like a well oiled machine as of the 1st day of school.
5. Become friends with your children’s teachers. The great thing about my younger two children is that they only have 1-2 teachers. It’s easy to get to know them and let them see that you are engaged in the success of your child’s education.
My oldest is in middle school and now has 8 different teachers. WOOOSAAA!! Last year, I emailed them when I had questions, made it to every conference and anything else my son was involved in. On one occasion after a parent-teacher conference, I had a teacher say to me, “You work with him at home don’t you? I can tell. He is always prepared and his work is always complete. You can tell when the parents take time with their children.”
Teachers already have a hard job, and when they see that parents have their back, in addition to working with their children at home, it makes their job easier.
Do you have children in different schools? What are your tips for parents? How do you make it work? What challenges did you initially have, but found a way over the hump?
I am happy that I am doing this Back to School Series with my four other Fab Five Bloggers today. Check our their post below:
Mimi | Unlikely Martha |5 Ways to Get Organized for Back to School
LaShawn | Everyday Eye candy | 5 Gluten Free After School Snacks
Kita | It’s Really Kita | 5 Tips for Middle School Newbies
MJ | Fab Haute Mama | 5 Affirmations for Kids