Getting Ready for the school year
YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids
By Nicole Pratt (Association Child Care Director)
With school beginning right after Labor Day in most Grand Rapids Districts, the end of August is the perfect time to set a routine for your child. Here are a few ways to prepare your child for a healthy, productive school year.
- Prepare for the school day schedule: Prior to school starting, plan morning activities to prepare your child to wake up early on a regular basis and stay physically active. When the first school day arrives, readying your child will be less painful if you have broken summer habits, such as sleeping in.
- Get organized: Talk ahead of time about organizing school materials, written down assignments and bringing homework. Help your child prepare by having lunch made and getting their backpack ready the night before.
- Prepare healthy meals: Establishing fruits and vegetables as options will give your child energy throughout the day and will help them stay focused during class. You can find easy, cheap and healthy snack and meal ideas on various websites and in local groceries.
- Plan for homework time: Prevent daily battles by making homework part of your child’s daily routine. Establish a time and place for studying at home. Take time to discuss your child’s day with them to ensure you know what they are working on and what is due the next day.
- After School: School gets out before most working parents get home, so its important to have a plan for after-school. You might find an after – school program through their school or one at the local YMCAs. At the Y, children have access to academic support, health and fitness activities and opportunities for social engagement with peers.
- Make a sick-day game plan: When your child is sick, the last thing you want is for them to stress about where they will go. If you can arrange childcare options, you can avoid scrambling for options last minute. Before school begins, also make sure you know the school’s policy about who has permission to pick up your child.
- Meet the school faculty: Schools typically hold informational sessions before the start of each year. These are great opportunities for you to meet the teachers, principal and secretarial staff. Meeting faculty will keep you informed about your child’s school schedule and their progress in classes.