Does it make you want to roll your eyes when some parents say, “I can’t believe it’s time to send them back to school”, or wasn’t it just yesterday they were singing “school’s out for summer”? As a single parent, we understand how long the summer months can feel. Juggling your regular work flow, camps, child care and various activities and vacations can be a huge challenge. It’s likely that sending the kids back to school is a weight off your shoulders as routines start back up and normalcy returns. We get it! That is why we have put together some of our favourite tips for making the transition as easy as possible.
Create Your Own Success Story
Fail to plan and plan to fail. There has never been a truer saying – especially when it comes to kids! It’s recommended that you start adapting to your back to school schedule two weeks before the kids actually head back. This means bed times should start getting earlier, meal times should fall at the same time each day and screen time should start decreasing. These little changes will make a big difference when the real deal comes. We also encourage parents to involve their kids in age-appropriate tasks when it comes to getting ready for school each day. For example: packing lunches, picking out outfits, packing backpacks, writing their after-school activities on a communal calendar – all these things help lighten your load and teach them responsibility.
Communication Is Key
With school comes after-school activities which can have each member of the family running off in different direction each night. While texting, social media and apps like Find My Friends make it much easier to stay connected throughout the day, technology isn’t always perfect. In our families, we use a large wall calendar (colour coded for each family member) to write their weekly tasks and activities. This makes it easy to track where everyone is and arrange transportation and other logistics. As well, we highly encourage those who co-parent to use an app such as Our Family Wizard. Our Family Wizard helps schedule parenting time, share S.7 expenses, store vital information such as health records and organize communication one easy to use app. If you’re interested in learning more about Our Family Wizard visit their website or connect with us.
What to Do If You’ve Moved to A New School District
Often, divorce can mean moving from the family home as both parties begin to start their lives as independent people. Starting a new school can be extremely overwhelming for a child, especially children of divorce who have already been through so much change. If your child is starting school in a new town, or even new district in the same town, it’s important to help them adjust as much as possible. Before school starts, take them on a tour of the school grounds to help them get familiar with their environment. If they will be taking the bus, show them the bus route as well as the stops they will be making. Do as much as possible prior to the first day to ensure your kids feel comfortable and at ease. We recommend accompanying them to school the first few days for moral support – no matter how much they may ask you to drop them off around the block.
Finally, the start of school is usually mixed with many emotions of excitement and nerves. Try your best to have dinner together to share stories about each others day. The more invested you are in your kid’s education, the more invested they will be too.