Tag Archives: aftercare

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.

Reminder: It is illegal in the State of Maryland for a child under the age of 8 to be left alone in the home or car. Please make sure that your drop off routine does not include leaving children under 8 at home or in the car while dropping off another child. Even if a host parent gives permission to do this, it is not allowed, because it is against the law.

Big Kids Need Interaction, Too

Just because a child is old enough to occupy themselves, doesn’t mean that they should be expected to do so the majority of the time.  Host families have a certain expectation of activity and involvement for their children. Get the kids engaged and active. You can be more fun than the TV or video game.

But, my kids don’t want to do anything but watch TV or play video games.

Instead of saying – “Would you like to (fill in the blank with any activity)?  The answer will often be, “No.”

Try this – “Now we are going to (fill in the blank with any activity.) or “Would you rather do  ___ or ____?”  (Make sure both the choices are things you approve of.)
Your chances of co-operation are greatly increased. Even kids who are reluctant to try new things will usually get in the spirit of things and have fun, if you pick a good activity.

I don’t know what to do with school age kids?

Here are a few easy ideas to start with.  Look for more on the internet and the library.  Google “activities school age kids” or “activities tweens”
-Making things (check craft stores like Michael’s for kits and models that are age appropriate)
-Going fun places (check the Cluster Google Map for all kinds of great places in the local area including pottery making, jewelry making, farms, museums and more)
-Sports (soccer, tennis, swimming, bicycling, roller skating, ice skating, and more)
-Visit places in the area like the library, museums and attractions in DC, mini-golf and go-karts
-Let them teach you to do something they enjoy.  Kids this age love being the expert.
-Get outdoors and visit local parks.  You can even make a project of reviewing all the local parks (what kind of equipment they have, is there shade, water fountain?)  They can write this up and keep, so they remember which ones they want to go to again and which ones to skip in the future.
-Let them help you search and plan some activities.
-Check on the APIA Pinterest page and here on our cluster blog for ideas.
-If your host children are in scouts, find out if there are things that they need to complete that you can work on with them.  Even if they are not in scouts, I suggest you check your local library for Cub Scout Handbooks (Tiger, Wolf, Bear & Webelos.)  They are full of activities appropriate for boys (and girls) from age 7-11.
-If you have a GPS, try taking them geocaching. Here is a website with all the details.

Note: Always get permission from your host parents before taking the kids places.