Summer is coming to a close, and kids throughout the country are gearing up for that all-important first day of school. The beginning of the school year is also a time of change for parents. There are new schedules, new activities, and many other changes. For those parents that are divorced, there are additional issues that need to be worked out for a smooth transition into the school year.
Experts stress that consistency in a child’s routine is very important. If possible, divorced parents should work together to arrange for a standard schedule for activities like meals, homework, and bedtime. Children should also be clear about which parent’s home they are staying at on particular days, and informed of any changes to these arrangements as the school year commences.
Some families find it useful to have a master calendar that travels with the child in their backpack to each parent’s home. The calendar lists school functions, test dates, vacations, after-school activities, and other important events. For those families that are more technologically savvy a synced calendar, like the one offered by Google, can also help keep everyone on the same page.
The beginning of the school year is also a good time to inform your child’s school district and teacher that you are divorced parents. This helps to ensure both parents receive copies of progress reports, report cards, individualized education programs (IEPs), and other important documents. It is also good to touch base with your child’s teachers to inform them of the circumstances, especially if the divorce is recent and your child is having some difficulty adjusting to the situation.
Source: Democrat and Chronicle, “Divorced parents need united front for back-to-school planning,” Carrie Putnam, August 22, 2012