Getting your child ready for school

Getting kids ready for school can be an especially challenging task if you are a noncustodial parent or one who lives any distance from your child.

by Dannette Hunnel — 

It is already back-to-school time. This means kids are going to need the proper supplies to get off to a good start. We all know what the basics are — pencils, erasers, backpacks, folders, paper, pencils, calculators, etc. But, depending on the child’s age and grade, the list of supplies can vary, from the proper line width on writing paper to the type/size/color of pens, pencils and erasers.

Getting kids ready for school can be an especially challenging task if you are a noncustodial parent or one who lives any distance from your child. It can also be difficult during these economic times to afford all the necessary supplies. The best place to start the planning process is to ask your child for the assigned teachers’ names and check the school website to see what supplies are required and the rules set forth for the school year.

If you cannot be there to take your child shopping, use a creative alternative. Order the supplies online and send them directly, or purchase a gift card from a national retailer for your child to use. If your funds are limited, contact the school and speak with their on-site social worker to find out how you can receive assistance in acquiring supplies.

Keep in mind that while nearly all cell phones now have calculators, most teachers do not allow cell phones in their classrooms. Also, if your child is taking a P.E. class or planning to participate in a sport, remember to get a good, sturdy pair of athletic shoes. And of course, most kids would love some new school clothes.

Contact the school with updated emergency information and student records. Be sure they have your email so that you can receive information pertaining to school happenings. This will increase your overall awareness, as well as interaction with your child. It will also keep you informed of the dates for school pictures, book fairs, school carnivals, performances and field trips.

Once you have your child ready for school, keep in mind the many children who do not have the luxury of participatory parents or who have parents that cannot afford school supplies. If it is within your means, contact the school to see what you can do to help another family in need. A donation for an underprivileged family or to a school supply program will go a long way to helping a needy child get a good start to the school year.

 

Dannette Hunnel is the author of Shorten the Distance, a book focusing on long-distance parenting. www.DannetteHunnel.com, dhunnel@yahoo.com or 602-418-0505.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 31, Number 4, August/September 2012.

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