Can I get a “Alleluia!” for kids going back to school!? Summer has been long and HOT and I know my kiddos are ready. Summer reading programs, camp, VBS and vacation just wasn’t enough and with school in sight I am already planning how to make it a successful year. School can be so stressful and with our added military uniqueness, it can be even more so. Well, I have some tips to help ease it just a little.
1. Make sure you have your child’s immunization records! I know this seems to be a strange tip but moving frequently and using different doctors can make this tough. Also, many parents transfer with toddlers and don’t think to ask for a copy of that record till it is kindergarten time… Oops! My best advice is to take a civilian record to any military medical branch and have them transcribe it onto those nice yellow cards. They are easy to read and you get to keep them. Child needs a immunization? Take that card with you and ask to have it documented on there and you will never worry about it again.
2. Use Tutor.com for tutoring assistance for middle and high school aged children. This sight is great! Kids can get tutoring for any subject at any time of the day. They also do not need a parent to log in for help. I had friend who’s son used it get help with a math class and she said it was a life saver! Oh and it’s FREE!!
3. NEX and Commissary offers scholarships! Did you know that the NEX has a reward program if your child scores a 3.0 or better on their report card? They do!! And it isn’t limited to the Navy either. All you need to do is head over to the nearest NEX and sign up at the Customer Service Desk. The Commissary has a writing contest that normal starts in February. So keep your eyes peeled after the holidays on social media and in base/post newspapers for that information.
4. Ask about any special “military considerations” at your child’s school. Some schools (not all) will have special exceptions to absences for military children. For instance, if a parent is returning from a deployment and you want to go on vacation, this could be considered an excused absence. Another example is my children’s school, parents are allowed to withdraw their child about two weeks from the end of the year for PSC purposes without consequence. All examples of “military considerations”! Just ask!
5. Keep kids in a consistent routine. I know, I know… I say this often but really, it is a great thing. Life in the military is full of so much change all… the… time! These constant changes can be hard on kids, especially when they have school to think about. As the parent left behind try hard to keep the school routine the same day in and day out no matter what the current home life is. Whether dad/mom is home every day and tomorrow they are gone for two months or they have returned from deployment and have some extended time off. Keep it the routine the same!
The transition back to school is a tough for lots of kids (and parents) but it is my hope that these five tips help make it smoother in different ways based on the needs of your own family. For us, it will be the kindergarten transition for my youngest. He has repeatedly told many people that he isn’t going and he will be going back to his pre-school. But, not this year….. poor kid. No, he will be six and ready or not he is going. So, from one nervous mom to the next, I wish the most successful school year!