Overcoming Back to School Challenges for Military Kids
This is a sponsored Back to School Challenges post. Opinions are my own and haven’t been influenced in any way.
It’s back to school! And while it’s an exciting time for many, for a lot of military kids there can be some challenges. I remember. I was one of those kids…
Your family is stationed somewhere new over the summer and before base housing becomes available you usually start the year at a civilian school. Most of the kids have grown up together and already know each other, but oh noooo, not you! You get to be the “new student”. You get to go up to the front of the room, introduce yourself to the class and explain how you spent your summer; which, for many a military brat, consists of watching movers pack up our stuff yet again and driving or flying across the country (or the world!) to the latest place the military sends you and your family. For a kid, it’s easy to feel out of place and as a parent it can feel overwhelming as you’re juggling a hundred other responsibilities on top of making sure your children are ready to get back to school books and studies. Here are a few things you can do to make the transition easier on all of you:
Check out local trends
While what we wear is certainly not the most important thing when it comes to learning, let’s face it – we invest a lot of effort (and money!) in those back to school outfits. If you’re moving from a base in Alaska to Florida you may want to purchase a few items of clothing that will make your child comfortable when they start school. Say goodbye to the coats and boots and hello to t-shirts and Converse. Get the kids’ feedback, of course! They’ll feel more comfortable stepping out in clothes that fit into their environment. If you’re stateside, check out your new state’s tax-free shopping days to save and shop stores like Old Navy who offer military discounts to save on those clothes!
Schedule a meeting with the teachers ahead of time
One of the hardest things about moving was starting a new school and feeling bored because I had already learned what was being taught. Lesson plans and curriculum do vary, so meet with the school ahead of time to review what materials will be introduced to your child for the year. This helps gauge whether he or she will need a little extra help or some extra credit projects to keep them stimulated. Bring up any special circumstances surrounding the family. If there is an upcoming deployment, your child’s teachers should know so they can be prepared to help during what we all know can be an emotional time.
Get your emergency plan in order
With military families, often a spouse is on base and cannot be reached during the day or they’re deployed. Make sure you and the kids have a plan in place in case of an emergency. Have all insurance paperwork in order and organized so it can be easily accessed by you or a trusted adult. You probably won’t ever need it, but knowing you’re prepared will give you all peace of mind.
Commiserate with others!
Times have changed a bit and with schedules that seem to get busier by the day, it can be tough to get to know people. Sometimes we all just need to vent, laugh at ourselves and share. With tablets, laptops and the power of social media many of us are more apt to communicate in more modern ways (raising my hand). So join in the fun with me, TownePlace Suites and some great bloggers during the #TMOM Twitter Party next week!
WHAT: #TMOM Twitter Party – The Challenge of Back to School (A #MilitaryMonday party sponsored by #TownePlaces)
WHEN: August 31, 9-10 pm ET (8-9 pm CT; 7-8 pm MT; 6-7 pm PT)
Towne Place Suites @TownePlace
and your humble panelists:
Candypalooza; Twitter: @CandyPo