Parents: Prepare with a Plan! By Katherine Young

School is right around the corner: parents—are you ready? Let’s start the school year off right by properly planning. You may still have time to schedule your child’s doctor’s appointments prior to the start of school or you can use the resources provided by the Peoria Public School District 150 for PPS 150 students.

Remember: your student may not be able to attend school if they do not have all of their medical business (such as physical exams, immunizations, dental exams, and etc.) in order. In addition, if your child is attending PPS 150, student registration is now open and available and you have many options to register at a nearby school registration hub or online in the comfort of your own home if your child is not changing schools and you have not moved. Visit www.psd150.org for more details.

It would be very beneficial if you took the time now to write out and communicate a working schedule so that you and your student can smoothly transition into a great school year. Everything is in the details. Consider full schedules: when everyone needs to get up in the morning; preparing clothing the day before (or even for the whole week); how you’re sharing bathroom time; eating breakfast; providing lunch options; meal prep for dinner; after-school activities and responsibilities, as well as anything else in between. In my home, I like to write out a working schedule so that everyone can see it and this year, I’m planning to share an electronic calendar with my family so that we’re all on the same page.

Once you’ve created a schedule you and your family feels like can work, it would also be beneficial to discuss goals for the school year and other areas. In my home, we discuss our kids’ school goals in various categories from academics to what organizations or clubs they may want to participate in for the school year. In addition, we then reevaluate home responsibilities so that they can manage their time well to balance school, home, extracurricular activities, and personal time. As parents, it’s helpful to see what our kids are interested in so that we can prepare our calendars but also our pockets. If you have not noticed, when you want your child to participate in extracurricular activities, the fees seem to increase for each activity! Knowing what your calendar looks like and your financial budget will hopefully keep you ahead of surprises versus behind full of regret.

Lastly, parents, I want to encourage you to create a positive line of communication with your student, their teachers, and other staff at their school. If you know your student had some negative experiences in the past, clean the slate for the upcoming year. Discuss possible ways your student can have a more positive experience, and work together to make it a reality. Most importantly, use your resources to know what’s going on in your student’s life—check their grades early, and talk to your student and their teachers to know what’s going on in their classes. In a world where we use technology as a daily part of our lives, there is no reason why as parents, we can’t help our student’s be held accountable to strive for excellence and be responsible to be the best student they can be. Being involved at the middle and high school level is also just as important as being involved during the early elementary school years. There is a lot your teenager needs to learn in order to be prepared as a young adult, and it would be negligent to not help prepare them to be strong and independent citizens to the best of our ability.

By properly preparing for student success, you and your student should have a fantastic school year!