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1. Practice buttoning pants, tying shoes, and re-inserting hair clips/bows the first week of school. Also practice zipping up and down shirts, sweaters, and other pieces of clothing so that your child is not stuck in the middle of the hall during a fire drill without being able to move! Yikes!
2. Start planning healthy, easy snacks and lunches for the week with your child. They will let you know which snacks they like the best and will tell you what you should and should not include in their lunch box. Be sure to pack napkins and utensils so that teachers do not have to find a spoon for every child's pudding and yogurt!
3. Be sure to keep a non-perishable snack in your child's backpack or sports bag to be safe. These are some good examples: Fruit snacks, pretzels, granola bars, and gold fish.
4. Have a safe bin or file cabinet for all handouts that teachers give you. Start staying organized now! Before emailing the teacher with questions right and left, most of the answers you are searching for can be found on a paper in your own home!
5. Buy bins, desk organizers, shoe holders, and shelves for you and your child. You do not want their shoes all around the house during a busy night of sports and homework!
6. What does your stationary look like? Make sure that your letters and notes sent to teachers are easy for them to tell whom you are. Use the teacher's title at first unless and until she or he specifically says to use the first names. For example, end the note to the teacher with, "Susie Large's mom." Teachers want to know right away whom they are hearing from.
7. You and your children should have their own calendar so that they can write fun events on it and also school days and plans for outfits. Also, on your own calendar, keep the weather written down so that you know if your kids need to wear a jacket or not! It's going to get chilly sooner than you know it!
8. Days of the week outfit organizers are good for kids to help them see their clothes for the week…especially if you are out of town and grandma has to get the kiddos ready for school! An extra pair of sneakers left at school for PE days can be handy, especially during boot season.
9. If you can, put the computer in a central household location so you know whether your kid is doing homework or sneaking in a show. So your kids won't feel totally cut off, use a digital video recorder to record their favorite programs on TV. Finally, offer alternatives created especially for kids, like PBS Kids Video.
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