Soon your kids will meet old friends; make new ones; get to know a new teacher; learn, discover and expand their minds with challenging new projects. Preparing them for these exciting experiences begins before the bell rings on the first day of school. So get the whole family involved to ease your kids (and you!) into the new school year and set them up for academic success.
Create a Back-to-School TraditionWhether your child is anxious or excited about going back to school you can help keep the big day happy and positive by being encouraging. After you’ve bought school supplies and a new outfit or two, create a Night Before School Family Tradition. Have your kids place their favorite clothes on their beds and have them mix and match to make up their first day of school outfit. Creating a fun game can also ease the tension. Perhaps, hand out envelopes with pieces of paper inside to your kids. The child whose envelope contains a paper with a happy face on it chooses what the family has for dinner on the night before the first day of school! Or, instill a ritual that’s rich in your cultural roots.
Adjust to School Time
Gone are the days of sleeping in and doing…whatever! School means back to a regular schedule. So get everyone into the Back-to-School spirit by practicing! A week or so before school starts, reintroduce the school routine. Early to bed; early to rise! Schedule meals and snacks at the same times your kids would eat at school.
Make Snack Time, Family Time
After a full day of studies and other school projects, your kids will probably want an after-school snack to get them through to dinner. Use the time to bond with your children. Chat about their day, their lessons and their friends. Ask them what they learned and share your school stories, too. There’s no better way to bond than to get them involved. Let your kids help make mini-pizzas or pop tasty Hot Pockets® brand sandwiches into the microwave. For a nutritious snack, packed with sweet fruit, stir up a batch of our Berry Delicious Juice Snacks. Kids love the fun shapes!
Soccer practice. Band rehearsal. PTA meeting. Once the school year is in full swing, it may be hard to keep up with who needs to be where and when! So hang a family calendar and once a month let everybody fill in their appointments. Don’t forget to schedule some family time to make a meal together, hang out, share stories or even watch a movie together. With new school activities and homework assignments, some nights can get pretty busy. When cooking from scratch will not fit into your schedule, create easy, tasty and nutritious meals serving Stouffer’s® Lasagna or a DiGiorno® pizza with a fresh green salad.
Once School Starts, Get Involved
You play a major role in your child’s education simply by being a good role model. You may feel apprehensive about getting involved due to time constraints or language difficulties, but it’s important to stay connected and know what’s happening at school. There’s also someone else your child will turn to—his or her teacher. You want your child to excel, so don’t be afraid to ask questions about classroom policies or homework assignments. Ask how you can support classroom lessons at home or if they offer parent materials in Spanish if needed.
Are you a good cook? Are you artistic? Good with numbers? Know how to tell a good story? Whatever your talent, you can contribute to your community and your child’s education by volunteering at his or her school. When parents take an active interest in their kids’ schooling, the kids tend to get better grades and show higher self-esteem. Plus you get to meet other parents, observe the teacher and gain a better understanding of the lessons your child must learn.
Make Lunch Healthy and Fun
Trading lunches is a long-standing rite, but with a few fun surprises from you, your child will hang on to that lunch box! Hide secret notes or silly cartoons with the meal. Decorate the lunch bag or box with stickers. Create nutritious meals that are fun to eat, or that explore various cultural traditions within your family’s heritage or of different countries. Try some of these Fun Filled Lunchbox Ideas.