All around the country students are heading back to school – parents get a break! HURRAY!!! Actually, for anyone with small children, we know that the first days back to school are filled with chaos, no matter how prepared you are, if you have more than a single child, your evenings will be filled with stacks of papers, missing supplies, and new class lists. You are not alone; we all feel your pain. New parents, it does not end after the first few weeks, most schools no longer send home “homework” for the children – your evenings will be filled with signing notebooks, helping with confusing assignments, and running to the store weekly to buy new supplies so that your kitchen table can become glue and paint stained. Middle school is freedom, but still work. If ever you doubted the sanity of having only one child, this will be the refresher course.
There is good news, you can copy emergency contact lists – stick them in a scanner after you fill out the contact information, doctor, dentist, and sign it – copy and then add each child’s name. Also, do not forget to take a few minutes to add parental controls to the children’s cell phones – this will prevent that first week call of “Mommy, you have to come to the school and pick up my phone, because Joe texted me and I forgot to turn the ringer off.” Guaranteed, if you have more than one child you will go to the school more than once. The plus side, after a year of two, most children do not have a problem keeping their phone out of sight of the teachers. Of course, that means they are still texting if you did not put on the parental blocks. Parental controls are well worth the few dollars a month, and available through most major providers.
Side notes – if your school requires uniforms, make sure you are donating last year’s uniforms. You can do this by contacting your school, even by sending the bag of clothes with your children to be dropped off in the office. Most schools accept donations, on the off chance that your school does not, contact your PTA or PTO to find out how to donate the uniforms. Remember, the PTA and PTO are a little time consuming, and we are all busy, but even in the Middle School the students need the support of the parent groups to make things happen. The PTA and PTO are designed to add value to your school; they provide the students with extra perks that would not otherwise be available.
Finally, remember that all good things come to an end, and one day, you will look back at this moment and miss it. Take tons of pictures, especially of the cute little ones waving and yelling good-bye (by high school they won’t even tell you they are leaving).