Tag Archives: Montgomery County

Back to School Tips

back-to-school1Most of the school aged kids in our cluster are either back in school or will be returning soon.  This will mean changes to the au pair schedule and possibly to the duties.  It is very important to communicate these changes to avoid problems.

I suggest you discuss the following (if applicable):

  • 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)
  • How to tell if school has been cancelled or delayed for bad weather
  • Add the au pair to your list of people allowed to pick up the kids from school
  • What to pack for lunch
  • The routine after school (do they have free time before starting homework, what to give for snack, any chores, where do they put their backpacks & lunchboxes)
  • How to communicate about what’s going on at school. (Kids in Care Log Books are available upon request from APIA)

At our August Coffee Meeting, I gave out Back to School Kits which included Printable Fill-in-the-Blank School Notes for parents. You may print these out and use them for times when the kids are absent, late, have early dismissal or you need to give permission for something.

If the au pair will be the one going through the children’s back pack and helping with homework, I suggest you designate an area for putting things that need to be read and/or signed by parents.

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.

Spring in the DC Area – Brookside Gardens & U.S. Botanical Gardens

We have a Special Guest Blogger who has written a series of posts highlighting places to visit during spring in DC. Sara is a longtime host mom in our cluster.
Post 1 of a 5 part series. To read all the posts click HERE.

Spring is very special in Washington, winter (however brief or long you felt it was) is behind us, and nature puts on a spectacular show. It’s worth heading outdoors to see the color. While some of the plants may seem familiar to you, there are local displays of color, like the redbud, which is in full bloom now. The dogwood might be native or Asian, and it just opened up. For those of you living in Takoma Park, you’ll soon find out why it is nicknamed Azalea City.

conservatory_springshowBrookside Gardens

There are some great places to see what nature has to offer, and most of them are free. Brookside Gardens http://www.montgomeryparks.org/brookside/, adjacent to Wheaton Regional Park, is a great place to walk around, with its duck ponds. Plants are arranged by type – with roses, azaleas, and aquatic plants are together. Many plants are labeled if you are interested in learning what they are. Children like to run on the footpaths and my kids liked to “bang on the sculpture” with their hands when they were younger. Don’t let the closed gates keep you out – they open for cars and pedestrians – but not for deer. There are footpaths to walk into Wheaton Regional Park from Brookside Gardens.

U.S. Botanical Gardens
If you love roses, then the rose garden at the Botanical Gardens is beautiful and free: http://www.usbg.gov/, just southwest of the Capitol Building. The indoor conservatory does seasonal displays. One of my favorite places to sit when the wisteria blooms is the Mall side of the National Gallery. It’s peppery-smelling blossoms are a spring treat.

Montgomery County Farm Tour & Harvest Sale

Thanks to Sara, a host mom in our cluster for sharing this with me.  It looks like a great event.

Montgomery County will celebrate its agricultural heritage, promote local farms and indulge in seasonally fresh food during the 21st Annual Farm Tour and Harvest Sale.

Fourteen farms will participate this year on Saturday July 24, and 10 will reopen for a second day on Sunday, July 25.  The farms will be open both days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will take place rain or shine; however, if it rains, some events and activities scheduled at the farms may be delayed or cancelled.  This year, the tour also coincides with the Buy Local Challenge which encourages people to eat locally grown food.

Residents can purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, plants and other local products. Several farms have hayrides, pony rides, music, demonstrations and other fun and educational activities planned for people of all ages.

See The Farm Tour and Harvest Sale brochure at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/farmtour or for additional information, call