Summer’s almost over and school is about to be in session for many of us working parents. While summer allows you the ability to spend more time with your family, the school year signals shorter days and not as much time. The kiddos will be at school during the day and you will be at work. When the day is over, you may feel overextended and overworked.
The school year can bring its own set of challenges, but you can transition with ease. I’ve compiled A Working Parent Guide for Back to School to assist in helping you be the best parent you can while you are working your 9 to5.
Sit down with your children and discuss your expectations for one another. This is a family activity that will allow everyone to share their thoughts and feelings. Your child can share their Back to School Goals using this printable, and you can chime in with goals that you have for the school year as well. Things like: I will be more active during the school year by attending more meetings, events, and such.
Showing that you are being proactive and as present as you can be will help your kiddos.
School Calendar Sync
Before the school year begins, consult the district calendar and record any important dates that you need to be aware of. Use Google Calendar to create a shared school calendar that the whole family can use. Record important dates like PTA meetings, Parent Teacher Conference, Bake Sale, and more. Sync this calendar to your smartphone so you always have it with you.
Do Not Miss
Make a note of any must attend events that you cannot miss and schedule that time off from work now. My must attend events are my daughter’s orchestra winter and spring concerts, parent teacher conferences, and any other special events or recitals.
Stay organized this year by not letting things fall through the wayside. Have an In and Out Box for important papers that need to be signed and handed in. You can also use a Command Center to have a place in your home where things like backpacks and important paperwork are housed.
Do as much as you can at night to avoid hectic mornings. Prepare lunches, check homework, and plan outfits the night before.
You won’t be able to do it all. But you can do more by instilling some help. Make sure that your spouse or mate can help you. Split up during Open House night to meet all of the teachers, then compare notes afterwards. If you have to miss an event, make sure one of you are there. Enlist the help of your family and friends to make sure that you have support if needed.
Email Your Child’s Teachers
Send your child’s teachers a quick note introducing yourself. Let them know where and how your preferred to be contacted, and encourage them to reach out when needed.
Email them throughout the year to check in on your student. Give them your full support.
Emails should not replace meeting the teachers in person, but can be used in addition to help strengthen your involvement.
Lunch ‘N Learn
Try to pop up for lunch with your kid once a month in order to get some bonding time in while they are in school. Most school allow parents to visit during lunchtime, but make sure to check with your child’s school first.
Have a designated time each school day that you and your kiddos talk about your day—without smartphones, tablets, or tech. This can help you all communicate effectively while learning about each other’s day. A good time to do this is during dinner or before bedtime.
Give Yourself Grace
You aren’t going to be able to do it all. For you to be an effective working parent, it is going to be about quality, not quantity. Show up when it counts, stay tuned in to your children, and be as active and involved as you can be in their schooling and activities. Don’t be too hard on yourself, and say no to Working Parent Guilt.
Here’s to an awesome school year ahead! What working parent back to school advice do you have to share?
P.S. To help you stay further organized, download my Working Parent Back to School Checklist.