Top Ten (or Seven) Things to Do Before School Starts..(there HAS to be a better title…)
I would first like to apologize to all the parents out there if you are offended in any way by this post. I don’t want to insult any parents out there by insinuating that you are not preparing your children for school. I am sure that many of you already do SOME of these things, and some of you are doing ALL of these things…but, just in case people need a refresher, or want some unsolicited advice from teachers who like to GIVE advice, here goes. These are our Top Ten (okay, seven) Practical Pointers for Preparing your child for school!
- Read, read, read. (Is that a surprise?) If course, this doesn’t mean that your child needs to read the great American novel or all of the Harry Potter books. It can be the sports page, the front page, the local page, Sports Illustrated or the People magazine you only purchased for the pool. Just as long as they are reading something, they are in great shape!
- Play, play, play. (Can you believe it?) They need to be children as long as possible. This down time in the summer is vital for their mental well being, and their physical well being. More importantly, they should be outside playing. Not only is it healthy, and will most likely help them be physically active, it will keep you from going absolutely INSANE during those long summer days.
- Play board games with them.( Okay, so this is a suggestion that actually has school stuff related to it.) It provides them with some practice of some important and handy habits. Yes, it’s important to take turns. Let me just say that again-it’s good to take turns. And, you might not always go first! Yes, they will do some mental math and they won’t even know it! And hopefully, they will learn to lose and lose graciously. Unless, of course, you are one of those Marie Barone types that plays a “win at all costs” type of game, then perhaps you may want them to play with someone else. (Just a thought.)
- Have them do chores. Yep, that’s right, I said chores. Now, I don’t mean do your laundry or your ironing, but chores that are more personal to them. Have them make their own bed, or pick up their own clothes, or put their own dishes in the sink. This will instill a sense of responsibility for themselves. They are responsible for their own personal space, personal area, personal things.
- Help them be independent. This means that they need to do things for themselves. They should, for example, pick out their own clothes (It’s okay if they don’t match, right?), put their own shoes on, find their own jacket, socks, sneakers, baseball mitt, goggles or sunscreen. If they put their shoes somewhere where they can’t be found, it is their job to find them.
- Responsibility. Okay, yes, I know I mentioned this already, but it’s kind of important. They should be responsible. If they break something, they need to own up. If they started a fight, they need to own up. If they said something hurtful, they need to own up to it. If they made a mistake, they need to own up to it. Mistakes are made, accidents happen, people get mad. It happens, and most things can be fixed by taking responsibility, owning up to your actions and the doing what needs to be done to fix it.
- Show respect. Okay, so this really is the MOST important, and should probably not be last, but here it is. What does respect look like? It means you look at someone who is talking. It means you listen until they are finished. It means you follow the rules, you do what people ask, and you treat them the way you want to be treated. (Oh, if I could play Aretha Franklin right now, I would!)
These are very important things that you can do to ensure that your kiddo is prepared for school this fall. These items are vital to success in school, success with their friends, and success in life. (Oh, yeah, and don’t forget to practice their math facts!)