It's hard to believe, but it's time to start thinking about your host family's back to school schedule! Here are some tips from the InterExchange Au Pair USA team on helping the kids adjust to time back in the classroom!
From Late Nights to Early Mornings
For those of us that who like to sleep in, the mere thought of getting up at 6:00 to get ready for that 7:05 bus can make us want to crawl under the covers and fall back to sleep. For kids to be at their best – both mentally and emotionally – during the school day, they needs lots of sleep. Children need 10-11 hours of sleep, so it's a good idea to practice earlier bedtimes and an early AM routine a few days before the first day of school.
A good way to help kids wake up early in the day would be to open windows as soon as the children wake up – exposure to natural light will help them to feel awake and energized for the day!
Back to School Jitters
The back-to-school routine can be stressful! Classes may be difficult, they may be navigating a new school or dealing with stressful teachers, while others may be focused on friends and social issues.
These stages are a normal part of growing up. When things get tough at school, it is important for kids to have a supportive person to listen to them and to reassure them – that's where the au pair comes in!
Talk to kids about these things. How can they get along with teachers? How could they improve study habits? What kind of behavior should they not stand for?
Even though they may not admit it, kids look up to au pairs – if you give them advice or if you reassure them that they are smart, that they are worthy of respect and that they can succeed, they will feel more confident!
School Supplies and Summer Homework
Kids will need the proper gear to get ready for the big first day, like notebooks and pens, an outfit they feel good about, and any completed summer assignments.
It's never too soon to get started on this task – especially school assignments, as it may take some time to complete. It may be a good idea to plan an hour of "quiet" time per day to work on assignments – you could always read your own book while making yourself available to the children if they have questions. And don't forget to check out our blog on fun ways to keep brains active over the summer months!
For a more fun activity, ask your host parents if you can take the kids back-to-school shopping! Be sure to ask about each student's school supply and clothing needs, as well as a budget, coupons or deals that you should be looking out for.
Staying Healthy, Staying Happy
A healthy lifestyle is a great way to boost kids' moods. If kids are eating right, they're more likely to be in a good mood. This is to everyone's benefit!
Planning out healthy meals and snacks, then picking up and preparing the foods over the weekend, will help you be prepared.
Some of the kids may be participating in organized sport, such as soccer or volleyball, but exercise will improve everyone's mood. If the kids aren't headed to practice, organize a bike ride or game of soccer!
Here at InterExchange, we wish everyone the best of luck during the back to school transition! Do you have any back-to-school tips that have worked with your kids? Share your comments on our blog now!