It’s back-to-school time in South Florida. The first day of school for Miami-Dade County Public Schools is Wednesday, August 17th. In Broward, it’s Tuesday, August 16th and in Palm Beach County, it’s Wednesday, August 10th. School supply shopping is in full swing. Parents and kids are preparing for the return to the school year routine. Volkswagen South Florida put together some tips for parents to navigate the coming school year, from preparing for an open house to where to buy school supplies!
Ask questions at your child’s open house! When meeting with your child’s teacher, it’s a good idea to find out how your child will be assessed throughout the school year and if there are programs in place to respond to your child's specific needs. Are there standardized tests, in-class projects and discussion? How much homework will there be and how is homework scored? Is it simply a complete grade or will points be deducted for incorrect answers? What about bad handwriting? Or poor spelling? What are grades primarily based on? When it comes to the school’s culture, is there an anti-bullying policy? What is it? Are the arts part of the regular curriculum (art, music, dance, drama)? Is there a program for gifted students or special needs children? Is there support for children who require it? These are just some of the questions to help get conversations started with the faculty during an open house.
Start routines early. Instead of waiting until the day before school starts, consider getting into a normal “school” routine at least a week or so before the big day, especially the sleep routine. Get your child to start their nighttime routine earlier; read a book, get teeth brushed and get to bed earlier to prepare for those early mornings that are coming soon. You can even start creating a dedicated homework time - before or after dinner where you set up a quiet project to work on or simply read a book or color for a little while. Make sure the homework ‘environment’ is ready - clean, organized and quiet.
Preparation is key. Whether is preparing lunches in advance or scheduling after school activities, now is the time! Set up after care, hire a tutor now (if necessary), set up transportation and arrange play dates. It’s a good idea to do all your shopping (food, school, clothes) and set up your calendar early. Once school starts, you don’t want to stress or struggle with organizing your (or your child’s) time.
What about supplies? Most schools provide supply lists per grade (and sometimes even per classroom). Don’t wait ‘til the last minute to buy school supplies and try to take advantage of tax-free time in South Florida. This year, the Tax Holiday runs from July 25, 2022 through August 7, 2022. Some schools provide pre-packaged school supplies through their PTO or school store, but shopping with your child might be a better choice. This gives your child time to adjust to the idea of returning to school and picking out their own supplies gives them some control. Additionally, splurging on a cool notebook or specialty pen makes the idea of returning to school seem a little more fun and exciting.
Finally, you should realize that your attitude is contagious. If you’re stressed about back-to-school, your child will be too. But if you’re organized and excited, that’s infectious too. Try not to be cranky when you have to wake up early - and make sure to send them off with a smile! Remember to keep your communication lines open - to your child, their teachers and your neighbors. It’s a simple way to stay involved and informed. No matter how that first week goes, keep an open mind. Maybe it’ll be perfect and smooth - but more likely, you’ll probably have to solve some problems or alleviate some anxiety. Keep an open mind, strategize creatively and accept that not everything goes to plan. That’s okay, too. It’s all part of the experience and you, and your child, will be fine.
And if you’re looking for the perfect vehicle for the carpool lane, consider a Volkswagen. Our vehicles are comfortable, roomy and safe - and filled with advanced technology to make your trips easy and enjoyable. New 2022 Volkswagen models are in stock now - find a location near you.