Back-to-School Bits

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Ready or not, the new school year has begun. Get crackin' with our back-to-school tips.

3 Great Apps to Keep You Organized

  1. TeamSnap: A sports management app that lets you track your children’s sports’ schedules, players’ contact information and team photos.
  2. ShopSavvy: Great for back-to-school shopping support, the app lets you scan barcodes and compare prices among different stores.
  3. Mental Case: It’s a flashcard app that your kids will like studying with.

Also: Use technology at home for after-school learning. Kids enjoy sites like funbrain.com, mathplayground.com and sheppardsoftware.com.

“Breakfast!!!”

Now here’s a novel idea: eating the FIRST meal of the day together. Since togetherness at dinner time is often usurped by after-school activities, consider connecting as a family during sit-down breakfasts. Yes, that means cooking, setting the table and hollering to everyone to come to the table. It may take some doing at first … but it just may be … that eventually … you all decide it’s one of the best parts of the day!

4 Ways to Help Your Child LOVE School

  1. Tell your child what you LOVED about school, not what you hated, in fact, spare him your unhappy memories.
  2. Be positive and tell him things you like about your child’s school and teachers.
  3. Participate in school events together. Make them important, fun, MUST DO events!
  4. Take a genuine interest in the things he is learning at school.
Source: Every Child Can Succeed by Cynthia Tobias (Focus on the Family; 1999)

What’s the Worst That Can Happen?

If your child is worried about someone being mean to him or being excluded at lunch or some other scenario that leaves him fretful, talk it out, says Michael Parker, author of Talk With Your Kids: Conversations About Ethics — Honesty, Friendship, Sensitivity, Fairness, Dedication, Individuality and 103 Other Things That Really Matter (Black Dog & Leventhal; 2013).  Parker says a great tool to use in a hard conversation with your child is to ask, “What’s the worst that can happen?” Let your child envision and talk about what the worst thing would be and then counter that by asking him what the best thing might be. Sometimes this kind of exercise can really help a kid (and you) in seeing how good things may actually outweigh the bad.

Homework Hotline Up & Running

You know, sometimes your child’s not going to get the work! When your child hits a snag, have him call Middle Tennessee’s Homework Hotline. In operation since 1990, Hotline volunteers help students by connecting them to the support they need and following through. Bilingual assistance is available in English, Arabic, Kurdish, Spanish and Turkmen. Whether your child (or you — they love parents to call) needs help with math, science, language arts or social studies, volunteers are standing by from 4 – 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The Hotline: 298-6636

Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.

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