Back to School Tools for Hands-On Parents!

Jul 27, 2008 is “the official kid’s portal for the U.S. government”, and is chock full of fun facts and activities geared to youngsters, all categorized by age group. There’s a  section for educators as well.

Featuring games, projects, brief articles, and great links to other kid-centered learning pages, this is a site you might want to recommend as a “first-stop” resource for young people during the coming year!

The American Academy of Pediatrics has a surprisingly comprehensive 1-pager covering all key areas for parents sending youngsters back to the classroom. It touches on themes ranging from travel safety to building strong study habits. This page is also available in Spanish.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association has totally hilarious rhyme-filled handouts for families, all focused on teaching kids how to be mindful as they travel to school and back. (As to the main rhyme structure involved: Think “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” by Paul Simon. You Boomers out there will remember its exhortation to “Hop on the bus, Gus…You don’t need to discuss much…”) 

The national Parent Teacher Association (PTA)  offers a whopping 100 Ways to Help Your Child and School Succeed. It’s a breezier read than the title may suggest, and very worthwhile indeed. You might want to refer to it throughout the year.

The PTA’s Back-to-School Kit, according to their website, was sent to PTAs across the country in mid-July, but there’s contact info for those that haven’t received it on schedule.

For home-schoolers, here’s an interesting page on plunging back into the home-schooling routine, from a Christian perspective. Lots of details here on how to prepare for a great school year.

Solid organizing strategies for home-schoolers can be found here, with ideas on the crucial business of keeping the home-schooling house an actual home—not a musty old warehouse for every file, project, and gross biology experiment you and your kids can generate over time.

I include here one more piece on home-schooling, but more because of the personal story involved than for any other reason. That’s because it addresses the extremely important discovery one mother was able to make by removing her dyslexic daughter from their elementary school system for three years, and getting a sense of how this child—now apparently a recent college grad—really learned best. Desperate approach, or a daring one? Impractical? Risk-heavy? Inspired? You decide.

Time now to start cultivating in earnest once again the talents and strengths of all our precious charges—the leaders, the healers, the thinkers, the builders, the problem-solvers of tomorrow!

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