It’s that time of year again already. Sometime this month or next the kids will head back to school. Are you ready?

For many parents this is both a sad and happy time. It is often hard to let the youngest kids head off to school, but it generally gets easier through the years.

Back to school also means more quiet time at home. If you work at home, this means more time to get work done. If you’re a stay at home parent without a work at home job or home business it means you have more time to keep the house clean, work on your hobbies and so forth.

I’ve only dealt a little bit with all this. My daughter goes back to preschool soon. She only goes 3 days a week, 3 hours a day this year, so she won’t be gone all day. I have to help out in her class three times each month too.

Back to school also means lots of shopping for many families. It’s time to figure out which clothes the kids have outgrown over the summer and see if the backpack and school supplies need replacement. Your school may require uniforms, which means you have to shop to match the uniform, but can save you money too, as you’ll generally need fewer uniforms than you would outfits of regular clothes.

Schools may expect you to provide certain supplies. This may be as simple as the needs of your own child to a long list that will be used by the entire class. Needs vary by school district, and you probably know now or will find out soon what the expectations are.

It’s also time to talk to your kids about the new school year. Are they changing schools? What expectations do you have for them? Talk about scheduling and how the day will go.

You’ll want to prepare yourself mentally for when the kids are in school too. You can be the best motivation for your child to excel. Remind yourself to talk about what your child is learning. Grades are important too, but the emphasis should be on what your child has learned.

School is a great time for children to learn to be organized. Figure out a way for them to keep homework assignments and books neatly so that you can easily find out what they need to get done, and when they’re old enough, they can keep track on their own.

Be prepared to help your children with their homework. You want to help them to learn the assignment, not do the work for them. Kids can be stubborn about this one; when my daughter doesn’t want to do something, she’ll insist that she can’t, whether or not it’s something she is perfectly capable of.

Enjoy watching your child develop through the school year. It’s wonderful to see how they cope with the new challenges, find new talents and learn new things. It’s an exciting time for children and you can help to keep it that way.

[tags]back to school, school year, school supplies[/tags]