Tag Archives: back to school

Back to School Planning

Back to school time is here. This can mean changes to the au pair schedule and possibly to the duties.  It is very important to communicate these changes to avoid problems.

Here is a list of topics to consider discussing:

  • Au pair’s work schedule
  • The children’s school and activity schedules
  • Where the children get dropped off and picked up and who will be doing this
  • What to do if a child is staying home sick, late to school, does not get off the bus (if they are supposed to)
  • Driving laws regarding stopping for school buses
  • How to tell if school has been canceled or delayed for bad weather
  • Add the au pair to your list of people allowed to pick up the kids from school and explain the process
  • What to pack for lunch
  • The routine after school (do they have free time before starting homework, what to give for a snack, any chores, where do they put their backpacks & lunchboxes)
  • How to communicate about what’s going on at school. Your Kids in Care logbook from Au Pair in America can be a great two-way communication tool for keeping track of schedules, afterschool activities and day to day info that needs to be transferred between host parents and au pair.
  • If your au pair will be the one going through the children’s backpack and helping with homework, consider designating an area for putting things that need to be read and/or signed by parents.

Here are some Printable Fill-in-the-Blank School Notes for parents. You can print these out and have them ready for times when the kids are absent, late, have an early dismissal or you need to give permission for something.

Check out Au Pair in America’s Pinterest School Tips and Ideas pinboard for things like organization ideas, back to school traditions, printable lunch box notes, and fun lunch recipes.


Use Your Library

LibraryFrom Riverhead Library director, Lisa Jacobs:  Ah, late summer, when school supplies are on sale at all the stores! I’m so tempted (like Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail) to buy them even though I don’t need them. Binders, filler paper, new pens…

The reality is, the most important school supply for any student doesn’t appear on teachers’ lists. That is a LIBRARY CARD. Even with Internet access so widely available, your library card still offers access to many things students need. Here’s my own top 10 list:

10. Live online homework help, every afternoon and evening
9. Test prep assistance, both online and in person
8. Online skills-building resources (to help learn that tricky math concept)
7. Access to America the Beautiful state books, both in print and online
6. Access to accurate online encyclopedias such as Grolier and World Book
5. Educational programs on a variety of topics, plus some fun stuff too
4. Free ebooks for downloading to most any device
3. Information for Science Fair projects, both in print and online
2. Access to millions of different books to borrow (now available from both Suffolk and Nassau)
And the number one thing…
1. Great librarians who can help you figure out which of those millions of books you need or want to read next!

Au Pairs should all get library cards!  There are great programs for the kids and you at the library.  Most of the libraries in Suffolk County all have free English conversation groups!  Join one and make even more friends!

Back to School and Routine

APIA Suffolk Au Pairs meeting in September was standing room only!!  Cindy Garruba, Senior Community Counselor, led the au pairs discussion of getting the children they care for back into routine for the school year.  The discussion including communication between the school and home through the backpack.  The backpack is the way notices, homework, classwork, and anything the student needs goes to and from school.  Also discussed was minimizing morning madness on school days.  We also discussed the healthy way to sneeze and cough to avoid spreading germs, not in the hand, but in the sleeve!!

After the discussion, we discussed lots of upcoming fall activities including the Annual NYC Scavenger Hunt for NY APIA Au Pairs.  Dessert, conversation, and a chance to meet the newest au pairs were a highlight of this fun and informative meeting.