Forty million Americans move every year, and whether it’s down the street, across town or all the way from Abilene to Zapata, the most popular time is definitively the summer months. Kids are out of school, parents generally have a bit of vacation time saved up, and the weather is mostly conducive to lugging your furniture, clothes, and family members from one house to the next (minus the occasional hurricane).
Once we’ve moved in, gotten the couch at the perfect angle in front of the TV, and ensured the heater works on the new thermostat for those three days next January we’ll actually need it, we have a tendency to kick back and relax.
But much to our children’s chagrin, no summer lasts forever, and with the 4th of July come and gone, the school year is rapidly approaching once again.
If you’ve moved homes this summer with a family, odds are you checked out the school the little ones would be zoned to well in advance. Either way, it’s time for a refresher course in what your kids need and want for the upcoming school year, starting with visiting the school’s website to check out its policies and procedures.
While they all sort of feel the same, schools vary widely in Texas in terms of their hours, their policies for school lunches, pick-up/drop-off lines, supply lists, and more. If your child is about to be the new kid at a school for the first time, do them a huge favor by making sure they’re 100% prepared for what their new class expects. Most schools hold some sort of orientation before the school year, which would be a great way to get your child familiar with his/her new classroom and campus.
Once you’ve got the school itself squared away, formulate how your child will get from home to school and back home again – will you drive them, will they carpool with neighbors, will they take a bus, ride bikes, or walk? If you’re driving them, map the route during a weekday at the precise time you’ll be taking the kids to school to get a feel for how much traffic there is then make sure to add another 15-30 minutes depending on the size of the city you live in. Summertime commutes are lighter because of all the people not taking their kids to school and the lack of school buses on the road and school zones in effect.
Finally, organize your home to make your child’s ability to do homework, eat well, and get enough sleep as conducive to success at possible. Once your child reaches the age where they are regularly doing homework, make sure there’s a space set up – be it a desk in their room, a planning station, or something else where they have a flat surface to right on, easy access to any necessary supplies, lots of good lighting, and most of all – quiet – no TV, video game systems, or computers in the area, please!
In addition, make sure your kitchen is stocked with healthy snacks – more fruit, fewer Oreos; and that you keep the noise level down when your kids are trying to get their sleep – they need a ton more than we do to be successful.