Preparing for the Back to School
*I’ll be updating as I learn more too!
As I get my 12 year old ready for her 7th grade year to start I realized there are so many things to do in order to “be prepared’. This blog post will be loaded like a baked potato with everything you need for your student (and yourself) to be fully prepared for a great year of learning, hard work, and partnership with your student’s teachers.
Thoughtful Ideas for Students
Consider these ideas to kick your kid’s day up a notch:
- Surprise them with lunch…and eat it with them! Some of Jaden’s favorite memories (and pleas!) was bringing lunch and eating it together in her elementary school cafeteria. Although I only went a couple of times each year (I wish now of course I had gone more regularly…) Jaden would love it when I surprised her with lunch (whether it was fast food or a sushi surprise.) They don’t really let you come come (teachers or your student) in middle school so take advantage while you can.
- Surprise them with a note. Whenever we had open house in elementary school I would bring along paper (or pre-printed notes) and hide them in Jaden’s desk, cubby, or other areas.
- Surprise them with a note in their lunch box. Whenever you pack a lunch surprise them with a note in their lunchbox. I can’t find any studies to actually cite but word of mouth told me that kids that receive love notes with their lunch each better. Don’t know if its actually true but who wouldn’t feel good with a little surprise? Don’t worry you don’t have to start from scratch if you’re exhausted and print out Pinterest Lunch Notes.
Helpful Tips from Real Teachers
I asked many teacher friends for what they wished parents knew and here are some great nuggets of information!
“Bringing supplies, actually meeting the teacher,offer to help!” – Becky S.
“Need school supplies, need a daily routine. Every morning bags are packed, every afternoon with homework and a set bedtime. Kids love schedules and routines.”
“Check up via email [or Parent Portals] to check on the progress of students after a few weeks. School supplies are important too.” – Cedrik S.
“Come to school the first few days and be on time. Every year, I have have so many parents extend their summer a few more days because “I’m sure you’re not starting instruction yet.” It is true, we spend the first few days on routines and procedures, but when you bring your kid in a few days late, they still need that information and it disrupts everyone else.” – Dawn C.
“For the little ones, label jackets, sweaters, and backpacks. Some kids don’t remember which was theirs. Ask as many questions, the teacher is there to work with you and the student. Express any questions or concerns.” – Valerie D.
Encourage Kids Equally
Jaden loves math and science because I didn’t give her any other option. She loves paper crafts, DIY, reading but she also understands the importance of math and science.
At the college level, men earn 82 percent of engineering degrees, 82 percent of computer science degrees and 81 percent of physics degrees.
Women make up 47 percent of the overall workforce and constitute only 27 percent of the science and engineering workforce.
Kids (not just boys, not just girls) need to have well rounded educations. Make sure you check out this blog post by my favorite cognitive scientist, Dr. Art Markman, “What you do affects what you learn“:
A traditional way to teach people about new objects (like the fish in the ocean) is to have them learn to classify different objects. I remember having to do a leaf collection in 7th grade, in order to learn to classify the various trees in my neighborhood. In classification, you see the various properties of objects (like sharks, fish, and plants) and you learn to identify the category that they come from.
Additional Resources and Reads
Here are some great articles that I have read in the past or recently and wanted to share:
- 33 Things Your Child’s Teacher Won’t Tell You
- Those Kids Said WHAT?! 28 Hilarious Real-Life Teacher Stories
- PBS’ 6 Secrets To Unlocking Your Child’s Talent
- Harvard psychologists have been studying what it takes to raise ‘good’ kids. Here are 6 tips.
- What Overparenting Looks Like From a Stanford Dean’s Perspective
- Why Kids Need to Move, Touch and Experience to Learn