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Back-to-School Tips from Babysitter Ranjani N.

September 16, 2011

Back-to-school tips for managing the post-summer grind!

It’s might be summer until September 23rd, but once the barbecue cools down after the holiday weekend, it’s a brand new season. Before we know it, those final, slow, lazy August days morph into jam packed calendars with homework, activities, and play dates to juggle. It’s a drastic change that impacts children and parents alike, and SmartSitting wants you to be prepared.

Ranjani N. s a Teach for America alumnus and recent addition to the SmartSitting network. Having taught middle school special education in Phoenix, Arizona, and New York City, she understands the struggles children have when starting a new school year. Ranjani recommends keeping the following SmartTips in mind when managing the back-to-school grind:

1. Transitions are always tricky to manage, and perhaps one of the trickiest transitions students will make is easing back to school off of summer vacation. During the first few weeks of school, set a routine with your kids so they have adequate time to fulfill after-school obligations, homework, down-time and most importantly, bed-time.

2. Children often lose steam as the school day drags on. Make sure your kids eat a healthy breakfast that will keep them energized through the morning. If you pack a lunch for your child, try to include healthy options such as fruits and granola bars. Include your children in the lunch packing process by packing lunch the night before.

3. As adults, our lives are often hectic and busy, but if you haven’t heard from your child’s teacher within the first few weeks of school, introduce yourself. Check over homework assignments to make sure they are completed, and keep an eye on when major assignments or tests are happening. If your schedule will allow it, participate in a school event (I always loved when parents came in to read with students in my classes – it’s not intrusive, it’s powerful!). The bottom line is, the more aware you are of what is happening at school, the easier it becomes to avoid problematic situations (such as doing projects at the last minute).

4. Try to minimize the amount of time spent on television/video games/the computer during the school week. Incorporate other stimulating activities instead such as reading, working on brain teasers, or arts and crafts.

-Ranjani N., SmartSitter

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