Author: Ginette Rhodes
The age-old expression, “time flies when you’re having fun,” couldn’t be truer as summer gradually comes to a close and the countdown to the school year begins. Summer walks in the park, amidst blooming flowers and freshly clipped grass, sun-soaked evenings spent on family vacations, and the sheer bliss of sleeping in past your alarm—where has all the time gone? Yet, as the seasons transition, a new thrill awaits. It’s the exhilarating sound of the class bell echoing through the hallways as students eagerly scurry to meet their new teachers. It’s the excitement beaming from a child’s face as they unpack their lunch. These cherished memories are what bring us solace in the embrace of fall.
Whether you’re a student, or a foster/adoptive/guardianship parent, there are ways you can prepare for the upcoming academic year to ensure it will be the best year yet!
Provide your child(ren) with the tools they need to succeed
When preparing your child(ren) for the school year, remember that the little things make all the difference. Ensure they have the confidence they need in the classroom by providing them with essential school supplies. Items such as notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers, rulers, and calculators empower students to actively engage in classroom activities. To ensure students can fully concentrate on their lessons and successfully complete their assignments, it is crucial for them to have the necessary supplies.
Approach the year with empathy
Understand that the beginning of the school year can evoke different feelings in each child based on their previous experiences, trauma, or need for stability. For some, the beginning of the school year marks a time of excitement and expectation, while others may experience anxiety. This is especially true if your child(ren) in care is in the process of moving to a new school or district. It’s important to gauge how your child(ren) feels and ensure they receive the proper support services to guide them through this process. The Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition offers an invaluable program called Educational Advocacy, specifically designed to assist families in navigating the educational system and providing the support they need.
Establish a morning and nighttime routine
Collaborate with your child(ren) to establish a consistent morning routine. A well-structured morning routine can help create a sense of predictability, eliminating back-to-school butterflies and morning stress. Encourage reflection, positive affirmations, and journaling to set the tone for the day. When your child(ren) returns from school, consider helping them establish a wind-down routine after they finish their homework and dinner. Perhaps encourage them to read a book or take a warm bath. By knowing what to expect and having a familiar routine, children may feel more grounded and prepared to face the challenges of the school day.
Time management and organization
Help your child(ren) develop time management skills to allocate time for academic responsibilities and social activities, including social media. If you notice distractions, recommend setting specific time limits for social media to avoid excessive screen time. Invest in a planner or show your child(ren) how to use digital tools to keep track of assignments, projects, and deadlines. Assist them in breaking down larger tasks into smaller, manageable ones and prioritizing them based on importance and due dates.
Show up to class “ReFreshed”
The Coalitions resale boutique, ReFresh offers a wide range of clothing options for children, with up to $200 in free clothing available every 6 months. To qualify for this program, you must bring proof of placement, such as a placement letter, court order, or the most recent maintenance check stub. Our hours are convenient for busy families, with availability Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. If you have any questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to call us at 314-881-0331.
ReSource is another excellent option for foster children, offering a selection of clothing for newborns all the way up to youth sizes 18/20. Similarly to ReFresh, you must bring proof of placement to qualify for up to 30 free clothing items every 6 months. We are committed to providing foster children with quality clothing and exceptional service, and we look forward to serving your needs!
The best school year yet!
Acing the school year is a collaborative effort that unites the child and caregiver. It’s important to note that you are never alone in this process. The Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition is here to support your family in thriving this school year and beyond! Reach out to our Education Advocacy Team below to learn more about the resources we offer!