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.
Make some caramel apples with your kids to get into the carnival vibe and enjoy some yummy treats.
All you need are apples, cubes of caramel, and milk!
- Remove the stem from each apple and press a craft stick into the top.
- Butter a baking sheet
- Place caramels and milk into a microwave bowl and microwave for 2 minutes.
- Roll each apple with caramel sauce and place on sheet to set.
PS – You can use treats like nuts, cookies, etc. to add some extra flavor! (Always check for allergies before serving)
Table your constant stream of morning reminders with this clever place mat, which allows kids to take responsibility for their own must-dos.
- Decorative paper
- Glue stick
- 18- by 12-inch sheet of poster board
- Clear Con-Tact paper (or have it laminated at a copy shop)
- Nontoxic dry-erase marker
- Adhesive-backed Velcro dot
- Cut three 6- by 12-inch rectangles from decorative paper. Use a glue stick to affix them side by side onto the poster board.
- Write a “Do at Home” checklist on the left rectangle and a “Take to School” checklist on the right one (leave a few blank spaces at the bottom of each list for write-in reminders).
- Have the place mat laminated at a copy shop or cover it with clear Con-Tact paper. Your child can use a nontoxic dry-erase marker to check off items or write additional reminders. Affix an adhesive-backed Velcro dot to keep the marker in a handy spot on the mat.
Here are some interesting fact about the upcoming Labor Day holiday that you may not know. Below are some tips on what you can do with your children to celebrate from cooking recipes to coloring pages. Use this time to engage is some cultural sharing with your families.
The Workman’s Holiday ~ Dedicated in honor of the worker, Labor Day is also known as the “workingman’s holiday”. The holiday is dedicated to all workers in the United States in respect and appreciation for the work they do in or outside of the home, union or non-union, big companies and small companies and au pairs too. As long as you work somewhere at something, this holiday is for you! It is a day to celebrate your contribution to American working life and the work you do.
The First Labor Day ~ The first Labor Day was celebrated in New York City on September 5, 1882 and was started by the Central Labor Union in New York City. In 1884, it was moved to the first Monday in September where it is celebrated today. Labor Day quickly became popular and one state after another voted it as a holiday. On June 28, 1894, the U.S. congress voted it a national holiday.
The End of Summer ~ Labor Day is also viewed as the official end of summer. While the Fall Equinox is still a couple of weeks away, kids go back to school and summer vacations are over. This day is celebrated with a long weekend off from work and union sponsored parades. Many people celebrate this weekend with one last picnic. It is also the date that many people close up the swimming pool, and put away the boats.
Was it McGuire or Maguire? Either Peter McGuire or Matthew Maguire is the Creator of Labor Day. Peter J. McGuire, was an active labor organizer. He was also general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor. He was believed to be the first to suggest a day be dedicated to American workers and their accomplishments. Matthew Maguire however, was secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York in 1882 and many believed that he proposed the holiday in 1882.
So What do Americans eat on Labor Day? Picnics and barbecues are popular ways to celebrate Labor Day. Old standards are hamburgers, corn dogs, coleslaw, potato salad corn on the cob, baked beans and sliced tomatoes. Finish up with sliced watermelon, apple or blueberry pie and freshly churned ice cream. Sound good?
Want to try a recipe?
Click here for Labor Day coloring pages: http://www.apples4theteacher.com/coloring-pages/labor-day/
Click here for Labor Day short stories for children: http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/labor-day/short-stories/
Looking for ideas to keep the kids busy on this snow day?
Here is a simple snow day game plan…
- Play in the snow
- Come inside and warm up with hot chocolate (don’t forget the marshmallows)
- Do some Snowflake Crafts
- Play board games or legos together
- Ever heard of Snow Ice Cream?
- Look for more fun things to do on the APIA Pinterest Boards
- Bake cookies together or make some other fun recipe
- Play in the snow again
- Warm up inside taking turns on the Make a Snowflake Website
- Make a blanket fort
Stay warm & have fun!
We are very proud of the ongoing training we offer our au pairs which provides further educational on a wide range of topics.. Our orientation trainers take great care to research and prepare the topics presented and we get great feedback from au pairs who attend. Please help us spread the word by sharing the information via your FB groups, blogs, newsletters and emails.
Au pairs are sent emails monthly with the webinar details and reminders on the day of training and can register through the webinar link in the email.
Webinar Schedule (All times Eastern time zone)
8 pm Nutrition. Good eating for you and your kids
9 pm It’s Up to You. Making the most of your Au Pair year
10 pm Activities to do with Preschoolers
11 am Language Development: Birth and beyond
12 noon Tantrums are no fun for anyone. Help, my kids are fighting again!
1 pm American holidays: what they are, activities and getting through
the holiday blues
8 pm Managing play with more than one child
9 pm Repatriation
10 pm Feeling Sad or Stressed: Tips for gaining balance in your life
11 am Help! My kids are fighting again
12 noon Activities for School Age Kids
1 pm Homesickness. Making it through
8 pm Activities to do with Preschoolers
9 pm Successfully communicating with your host family
10 am Homework: Finding the right strategy for your child
9 pm Homesickness. Making it through
10 pm Toilet Training 101
8 pm Tantrums are no fun for anyone
There are so many new faces in the cluster. You must have heard “make this the best year ever”, but what does it really mean? Here is a list of suggestions I gathered from my former au pairs. They all agree that the year goes by really fast and despite having some bad days, they do miss being an au pair. When I asked them what suggestions they wanted to share, here is what they told me:
1. Take good care of the kids (this really was their first response!)
2. Listen and respect your host family, be honest about your mistakes, don’t try to hide them….it will only make things worse.
3. Travel as soon as you can, don’t procrastinate.
4. Meet new people, try not to hang out with only au pairs from your country
5. Enjoy every moment
6. Be open-minded, don’t compare
7. Don’t spend all your money on the stuff you don’t need. It’s not easy to take it home
8. Give it a good chance, even it you are feeling homesick, shy or nervous. Stick it out because its definitely worth it
9. Take advantage of your free time, volunteer and help out. The reference letter may help you get a job in the future.
10. Pick your classes carefully. There are some options that you will find interesting.
Enjoy your journey!
Au Pairs often find themselves driving the kids around to activities. Be sure to know the rules of the road in order to be safe and avoid getting a fine. The rules regarding stopping for school buses are:
- Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to load or unload children. You should slow down and prepare to stop the car.
- Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and children are getting on or off. Motorists approaching from either direction must wait until the red lights stop flashing before proceeding.
- It is against the law to pass a stopped school bus while its lights are flashing and its’ stop arm is extended. Vehicles must stop on both sides of the roadway. Failure to stop can result in high fines which the au pair has to pay, not the host family.
January-Dave and Busters Arcade
February-76ers Basketball Game, Philadelphia
March-Chinatown Brunch, Philadelphia
June-Phillies Baseball Game
August-Education Information Meeting
September-Hard Rock Cafe, Philadelphia
October-Eastern State Penitentiary Tour
November-International Thanksgiving Dessert Party