Posts Tagged ‘organizing back to school’

Helping Your New Middle Schooler Make The Transition

Moving from elementary school to middle school is hard for anyone. Your middle schooler may feel overwhelmed, anxious and even scared to walk the halls of middle school. Depending on the setting, they could be in a new building. They could be with other kids they have not met yet. And, they could be the youngest around after being the oldest in their former school. When it comes time to make the move, be sure you are doing all you can to help them adjust.

No Mom!

The most common words you will hear from your middle schooler will start with the word “no.” This is normal and to be expected. The fact is, middle school is also a time when you start to explore yourself, forging your own way and getting to do things on your own, without mom and dad to help you through. When you ask your child if they would like your help, and they tell you no, realize this is a good sign. They are trying to work through their problems on their own, which should be a sign of good intentions.

On the other hand, you may hear a change in the discipline of your child during the middle school years. They may be more willing to talk back and may question your authority. Realize that this too is a sign of being independent and do not take it to heart. Most parents will still want to enforce the rules, as a family you should not feel that changes are necessary for your middle school kid.

It Isn’t Just The Building

There are many other changes happening for your middle school kid, too that have nothing to do with the school itself. Suddenly, boys are cute and girls look pretty. And, of course, puberty is in full swing, which means lots of raging hormones and misunderstood topics. You can help your child through these situations by simply being informative but not pushy. Ensure they have had the opportunity talk with you about puberty and that you have answered their questions. Give them guidance when you can without being too over the top about it. The fact is, your child will feel embarrassed and if you push them too far, you could push them away.

For many boys, puberty brings on more aggression and anger. This often happens at school. If you find your child is acting out more, realize that it may be normal, but that does not mean it is allowable. Talk with your school about potential problems and get them under control. Middle schoolers do need guidance and often need more reassurance of the rules than kids younger than them.

Handling School

School itself will change for your middle school child, too. A variety of school issues change too. Here are some things to prepare your child for leading up to middle school.

• Let them know that the demand for work will be higher during their middle school years than during their elementary years. This is also a time to talk with them about grades and the importance of them.

• Talk with your child about the increased amount of social activities and after school activities, they will have more exposure. Set limits on what they can do including what affect it can have on their grades.

• Let them know that they are going to have more responsibilities in school. For example, your child will be more responsible for finding their way from classroom to classroom. They will need to remember which books to bring home, as their teachers won’t be helping them.

Moving into middle school can be a lot of fun, too. Your children are going to meet new people and start growing into their own people. You may find this a good time for bounding, but more than likely your child will want more freedom to do the things that interest them. They may want to go to the mall with friends or meet their friends at the arcade. Realize that all of your hard work in talking to them and teaching them over the last few years is going to come into play now. In most cases, they will enjoy being a middle schooler, and you may enjoy them, too.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Preparing Your Child For Kindergarten

Preparing your child for kindergarten can be one of the most anxiety filled situations for you. For them, it is an opportunity to go to school, which most children see as a positive situation. Remember that your child’s first teacher is you, not their kindergarten teacher. This means that you have the ability to build their cognitive, emotional and social behaviors and abilities prior to the day they start school. Several small things you can do will have a big impact on your child during their first years of formal education.

Reading

Children in preschool are learning to read. Studies have shown that children are able to comprehend and take in much more information and skill training prior to turning six. This shows that children as young as four can start learning to read. You don’t necessarily have to teach your child to read prior to their start of school, though. Kindergarten students will learn those skills. Yet, by reading to them, you start to form the connection and importance of reading with them. Ultimately, this is what will lock in the willingness and interest in reading.

Plan to read to your child each day. A short story, bedroom story or anything else can help to encourage them to learn to read and to be willing to read. Research shows that parents who read to their children are likely to have kids that read and do well in school. A visit to the library is all it takes to get started.

Educate Your Child On Their Surroundings

Go for a walk with your child and listen to the questions they have. They will ask about the grass, the bugs and the clouds. These are all small parts of their environment that they need to become familiar with. Talking to your child about these aspects will allow them to develop good language skills, interpretative skills and can lead to a child that is more inquisitive.

Encourage Language Development

Using the correct terminology for everything they deal with on a daily basis is also important. Children will often confuse pronouns, “this” and “that” and other small things in their language. Correct them and allow them to develop these skills over time. It will help them to communicate better in Kindergarten.

Develop Motor Skills

Fine motor skills like cutting and coloring in the lines are skills that are developed from the first times your child picks up a pair of scissors or a coloring book. These skills also lead to their ability to write well. To prepare your child for kindergarten, focus on giving your child tasks and games to play where they are encouraged to cut, smash play dough and play with finger-paint. Developing find motor skills is an essential part of being ready for school.

Larger motor skills are just as important. Riding a bike, playing sports and balancing on a balance beam are all helping to develop your child’s coordination. These too will lead to better Kindergarten skills.

Know What’s Expected

In order to be ready for kindergarten, you will need to work with your child and the child’s school. Find out what your school requires of children entering into kindergarten. This may include the ability to do several things:

• Communicate to a level where others understand them
• Knows how to wash his hands, takes off his coat, and ties his shoes
• Can handle going to the bathroom on his own
• Plays well with other children
• Picks up after themselves and shares their toys with others
• Follows directions when given by a teacher
• Expresses ideas
• Knows their colors, ABC’s and basic shapes, can count to ten
• Listens when others are speaking to him and does not interrupt
• Recognizes his name (can write his first name)
• Can concentrate on a task for at least ten minutes

Some schools have a more restrictive curriculum requirement for students entering into kindergarten. Meet with the school at least a year in advance to insure your child is prepared. In addition, work with preschool teachers to find out if there is anything, your child needs help on that they may now the child needs for kindergarten readiness.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Eco Cool School Supplies: Green School Supplies

Eco friendly or green school supplies are one of the most looked for school supplies this year. Students are well aware of their ecological footprint and find it very cool to have the products and supplies that fit within their green lifestyle. Many parents are happy to encourage their child to choose school supplies that are healthier for the environment. The school supply manufacturers have listened to these needs and have put together some very eco cool supplies.

What You’ll Find

There are many products to look for in the eco friendly environment. Here’s a rundown of the options you may want to consider providing for your child at the start of the school year.

Pens and Pencils: A variety of new pens and pencils are on the market that are green school supplies. For example, you may want to try cedar pencils or those that are made of up to 50 percent post consumer recycled tired ballpoint pens. You may also want to consider pencils that are refillable and made from non-harmful toxins.

Supplies: Eco friendly or green school supplies range widely. For example, you may be able to choose an eco friendly, acid free, washable and less toxic OIC glue stick for your child. If they need tape, choose a cellulose-based product that is good for the environment. Virtually all of their small supplies are biodegradable or available as such.

Books And Folders: Perhaps the easiest of all forms of green school supplies to find are the books, folders and notebooks made from recycled paper products. You will also find binders made from up to 38 percent recycled PCW cardboard or report covers that are 100 percent recycled. Of course, most students know that by recycling these products themselves when done using them also helps to contribute to the care of the environment.

School Bags: It is now eco cool to have a good looking, stylish school bag that is environmentally friendly. This type of green school supply is available in the feedbag style, for example, made of environmentally friendly products like wool, recycled plastic bottles, jute or even organic cotton. For those looking for an even better choice, consider hemp backpacks.

Electronics Go Green

Even in the world of electronics, green school supplies are relatively easy to find. For example, most students are well aware of just how much energy their technology uses and are happy to choose electronics that reduce their dependency on energy in any form. You will find a range of desktop computers, monitors and laptops that are available with low energy requirements including some that are available as recycled products. You may want to check the Energy Star rating on these items before you purchase them. At the same time, if you are replacing any of these electronics in your home, be sure to recycle the older products properly.

Dressing With Green In Mind

Students are relying on not just green school supplies. Many are interested in finding a way to choose clothing that is more environmentally friendly to produce and use. A variety of options are available, with the most common being organic cotton. Many of the clothing items teens want are available in organic cotton. Another option is to choose hemp. Hemp clothing has become very stylish to wear and it is available in most malls and department stores.

School uniforms and clothing for younger children is also available in more environmentally friendly fashions.

Going Green Or Not?

For individuals who are looking for the best way to balance a budget for school supply shopping and to help with the environment, there will be choices to make. Some environmentally friendly products are a bit more expensive than other products, but the costs can offset by benefits, in some cases. Even just switching a few of the items you typically buy to more environmentally friendly can make a significant difference in the environment.

If you are unsure about where to find these great items, most are available through online outlets and green shopping sites. Eco friendly or not, green school supplies are the wave of the future for many students from elementary school through college.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Six Back-to-School Lunchbox Ideas

It’s time for your child to head back to school. You roll your eyes, because that means coming up with a new lunch five times a week, for the rest of the school year. What’s a parent to do? Here are some ideas for creative and healthy lunchbox ideas that you can send to school with your child.

  1. Bento Boxes

Bento boxes are originally from Japan, and they are a very creative way to serve your child food. There are containers especially made for this purpose, or else you can simply use a variety of boxes in an assortment of sizes that you already have.

Bento box food is generally shaped to look like flowers, animals or cartoon characters. The sky is the limit as far as creativity. There are plenty of websites dedicated solely to this artistic endeavor. Check them out and make your child’s lunch fun each and every day.

  1. Pasta

Pasta is an easy and quick lunchbox idea. Make a batch early in the week and then load it up with various vegetables and sauces to make many different options. You can pair spaghetti noodles with green peas and Parmesan, or add broccoli and a simple yet delicious tomato sauce to pasta shells.

  1. Sandwiches

Sandwiches have been an old lunch standby for as long as most of us can remember, but they are not to be scoffed at. There is almost nothing you cannot add between two pieces of bread that does not automatically become delicious. From peanut butter to BLTs, sandwiches filled the lunch boxes of our own childhood and continue to do so for our children.

Keep them fresh by storing any vegetables or other moist food in a separate container, so your child can put it all together directly before consuming it. Add new tastes to expand your child’s palate and prevent boredom, such as wasabi or sriracha mayo.

  1. Veggie Burritos

Why not turn an old favorite into a new lunch idea for your school-age child? Veggie burritos are easy to make and easy to store. What’s not to love about that? Simply choose a type each of beans, veggies, cheese and sauce, and then wrap it up. Your child will never get tired of all the options and combinations available.

  1. Soup

Soup is another great lunchbox standby. With all the thermoses and container options out there, it is easy to find something to keep it in, even keeping it warm until being eaten. A broth filled with numerous kinds of vegetables such as cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, zucchini and onions is healthy and lasts well in a lunchbox. Simply add a piece of bread and a few cheese sticks for a healthy, well-rounded meal.

  1. Salads

Salad is a great lunch option, and it does not have to be boring. Load it up with chickpeas, nuts, seeds, and top it off with a healthy dressing for a lunch your child will thank you for. There are now salad storage containers sold even at the big box stores that have special compartments to fit all the components of the salad – even tiny squeeze bottles for the dressing.

With all the options available, there is no reason for your child to get bored with their school lunches. Thanks to a variety of storage options, your child’s lunch can safely wait for lunch break and not even go bad. Fill up your child’s lunchbox with healthy meals to keep your child fueled all day long.

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years.   TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Back to School Favorites

Our guest post today comes from Regarding Nannies

I love to find and use other people’s bright ideas. Lately I have been frequenting more blogs. Secret experts hiding with the “I did this and it was successful” post, for every day of the week. It always feels like a little treasure that I find as I venture through these posts. It can become very time consuming! See, the bloggers are finding each other, so that when you find one great blog, you then have a blogroll (aka list of the blogs those bloggers are reading) of even more blogs. So yeah, I guess I have become the dork that not only writes a blog, put keeps up with bloggers like I have known them all my life. [And you are thinking, did she just say “blog” 8 times?] But, my little obsession will hopefully be your reward today, as My Favorite Things – Back To School Edition comes to you from some of these said bloggers. After all, they are the ones living the examples of creativity, first in real life and then again in pictures and text. So I thank you, bloggers. You not only save me time and money, but give me daily inspiration.

Get all of Regarding Nannies Favorite Things here!

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

The Growing Pains of A New School Year

As summer draws to a close, it’s almost time to wrap up the summer fun and return to the school year routine. No matter how old your kids are, this change comes with some unique challenges.

Here are our tips for TLC nannies and families as you ease into this school year:

1.            Create a schedule together. Change is hard.   As a family, including your nanny, talk about what a typical day will look like for your family in a few weeks when the schedule changes from summer to school. Make it fun by using arts and crafts supplies, or by using a big white-erase board and letting the kids contribute.

2.            Keep that summer fun alive. Just because the season of endless play-time is ending, it doesn’t mean that the fun has to end. That same excitement can be a part of your kids’ everyday life moving into the school year. Set aside some time daily or weekly to play their favorite summertime games ( as long as the weather allows),  do a craft project using photos or other memories from the summer, or brainstorm your next family vacation together. Your TLC nanny can help ease into the new school year by keeping the fun going!

3.            Think about what help your family needs. A nanny can take on very different roles during the summer and during the school year. During the school year months you may need someone to help with homework and transportation. Or, maybe now the nanny needs to take on more household duties. Think through what is best for all of you, and adjust accordingly.

 

TLC for Kids can help you with this transition, whether you need a new nanny, activity ideas, or tools to have a conversation about the change you’re about to undergo. Don’t hesitate to reach out with your questions and your needs.  Contact us at tlc@tlcforkids.com.  Or, call TLC Florida at 305-256-5905 or TLC St. Louis at 314-725-5660.