A new school year in San Antonio means more than stocking up on supplies and setting the alarm clock. Attending school is essentially a child's job, so invest the time and planning to create an atmosphere that will help your kids succeed and reduce stress on all of you.
Here's a checklist of ideas to keep the school year running so smoothly for you and your kids that summer will be back before you know it!
1. Set a Schedule
After months of spontaneous activities and later bedtimes, this should be your number one priority. Setting time for homework, time for play and time for bed helps kids turn their focus to studies and other responsibilities. While you're at it, why not schedule dinner times so that everyone can be at the table and share stories about their day?
2. Plan Nutritious Breakfasts, Lunches and Snacks
You probably don't need to be told that doughnuts and potato chips aren't the best nutritional choices. The Internet is full of recipes for easy-to-fix meals that can be made ahead of time for convenience. You might even want to take some time on the weekend to prepare meals for the upcoming week. Don't forget about after-school snack time!
3. Create a "School Zone"
Avoid last-minute scrambles for missing textbooks or papers by setting aside an area for all school-related materials. Add a dry erase board where everyone can post notes about schedules or important reminders.
4. Talk About Likes, Dislikes and Challenges
Don't restrict your discussions about school to whether or not homework has been finished. Take time to sit down with your child periodically and ask about classes, teachers and extracurricular activities, both good and bad. Showing genuine interest helps kids understand the importance of education and lets them know you are there for support.
5. Get Involved
Education is not the sole responsibility of teachers. Make it a point to attend parent-teacher conferences, open houses and other events where you can get a first-hand sense of the school's direction and values and how they relate to your child.
6. Don't Make It All Work and No Play
Fun doesn't have to end with summer. San Antonio has plenty of opportunities for family entertainment where you can even sneak in some culture.
The San Antonio Museum of Art offers free admission each Tuesday from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. and each Sunday from 10 a.m. until noon.
Cibolo Nature Center & Farm in Boerne has outdoor concerts at 7 p.m. on August 20 and September 17. Tickets are only $10 for adults with free admission for kids under 12.
Slab Cinema shows free movies on their giant outdoor screens. Upcoming films include Alvin and the Chipmunks and Goosebumps.
Do you have a favorite tip for making school time less stressful? Tell us about it in the comments!