It’s hard to believe that summer is already winding down. Hopefully you found many opportunities to spend time sharing fun summer activities with your grandkids! While you’re still busy enjoying these last days of summer, it’s also time to start thinking ahead to how you can help your grandkids get ready for back-to-school.
When kids are young, navigating the school year is often a group effort between parents and grandparents, juggling pick up and drop off, afterschool care, homework duty, and school events. With back-to-school sneaking up on us in a couple short weeks, here’s a back-to-school guide for grandparents to help you make the transition as smooth as possible for your grandkids (and their hardworking parents!).
School supply shopping
Working parents often find it difficult to find time to take their kids shopping for school supplies. Not only will taking your grandkids to buy everything on their school supply list make their parents’ lives easier, but it’s a fun outing for you to share with your grandkids. Spend some time after you get home from the store helping them organize everything so that it’s ready to go for the first day.
Walk the route
When kids are old enough to start taking the bus to school by themselves for the first time, it can be intimidating! Help your grandchild overcome first day jitters by walking the route to the school bus with them a couple times before the first day. You could even drive to the school and walk the route they will take throughout the day, from bus to locker to classrooms and lunch and back again. Familiarity will give your grandkids confidence on the big day.
Get a copy of the academic calendar
To stay involved throughout the school year, get a copy of your grandkids’ yearly events and academic calendar. Mark all important events like recitals, conferences, and “no school” days on your personal calendar so you can be sure to avoid scheduling a conflict. Don’t forget to mark Grandparents’ Day!
Create a reference of school info
If you’re going to be helping out with school logistics throughout the year, such as carpooling or after school babysitting, it’s a good idea to make sure you have all the relevant info in one easily accessible place. We recommend making a cheat sheet of all important school information.
- Teachers names
- School day start and end time
- Bus number and driver’s name
- Bus pick-up time
- Locker combo
- Lunch time
- Days of special subjects (P.E., art, music)
- Field trips
Even if you won’t be helping with driving, it’s good to know what your grandkids’ daily schedules will be.
Another way to stay involved with your grandchildren’s school lives is to volunteer in their classroom or around the school. Sign up for the volunteer roster at the start of the year to get your name on the list for openings. There are many different tasks that schools rely on for volunteers throughout the year, such as classroom aids, media center support, field trip chaperone, lunchroom supervision, and PTA. Don’t forget to remind your grandchild when you’ll be volunteering so that they know to keep an eye out for you!