Is This Your First School Year as a Single Dad?
If so here are some tips to making this transition a success for your children’s school year at daddy’s house.
1. You need a homework station!
Setting up an ideal space for your son or daughter to complete homework doesn’t have to be complicated. The bare essentials are all that’s needed: pencils, pencil sharpener, math kit (that little tin we all remember that contains ruler, protractor, and compass), red and blue pen, coloured pencil crayons, and a small selection of coloured contruction paper is also helpful. A homework caddy is an ideal way to store these essentials and easily transforms the kitchen table to the perfect spot, or a quiet room for older children.
2. Add the school’s phone number and your child’s new teacher to your contacts.
You’ll be happy you have your school’s phone number in your contacts the first time you have to inform the school about a late arrival or a sick child. Most school districts actively practice the “Safe Arrival Program”, where every student is accounted for thru morning and after lunch attendance. Parents can help this process immensely by reporting any absences or lates to the office as soon as possible.
3. Meet the teacher.
Making a visual and personal connection with your child’s teacher is an important gesture in opening up the communication lines between home and school. Connecting with daddy’s house is just as important. If you didn’t get a chance to meet the teacher the first day of school then make an effort some time during the month of September.
4. Stock the house with some quick to grab snack and lunch ideas like smoothie drink boxes, individually packaged cheeses, hummus, and dips.
Having some easy to grab healthy options for packing school lunches and for afternoon snacks will go along way to keeping a smooth transition from home to school. There are lots of very healthy individual portions that you can choose for even the pickiest eaters.
5. Don’t forget, the majority of schools in Ontario aim to be peanut safe schools.
No peanut butter. Enough said.
6. Attend parent teacher interviews and as many school events as possible.
Being a visible and active parent at your child’s school is important on many levels. Keeping informed of your son or daughter’s progress will help you focus their attention at home. Participating and attending school events means the world to your children. Cross Country (early fall) and Track and Field (late spring) are popular events for parents to attend. Your child will be eligible to participate in these events by grade 4. Contact the school for dates and locations to these events. Take lots of photos!
7. Provide the school with your contact information.
Don’t forget, if this is your first school year as a single dad the school office more than likely doesn’t have the most up to date contact information for you. Ensure they have all your info including address and cell number. This is very important when you have a sick or injured child. No child likes to endure the flu in the “sick room” at the school.
8. Request your own copies of newsletters, report cards, school photo orders, interview requests, fundraisers, and any other communication coming from the school.
There’s lots of communication coming home from school. Ensure you receive copies of everything by requesting your own set from the school office or Principal as this communication usually arrives via your child’s backpack.
9. Use your child’s Agenda.
Most schools make it common practice to utilize an “Agenda” to keep track of daily homework and communicate between teacher and parents. Have a question for the teacher or a comment about your child’s homework? This is the perfect tool. Typically teachers check agendas on a daily basis and if not you can make a request that they do. This is also a wonderful way for divorced dads to catch up on what’s been happening at school on the days that your son or daughter is not at daddy’s house.