When the school year arrives, it is not just about finding the bus stop, supervising homework, and packing bagged lunches the night before. It is also the time when extracurricular activities kick into high gear. Whether it is the varsity soccer team or after-school band practice, this means your schedule includes practice in the evening and games on weekends. Not to mention, you have to keep track of school delays and off days, field trips, parent-teacher conferences, classroom volunteer hours, and so on.
With all of this back-to-school hustle and bustle, it can be hard to keep up family bonding for those 9 months. To help your family stay tightknit, here is a list of ways to take advantage of family bonding opportunities from IKO Community Management:
Take advantage of long weekends and holiday breaks. The school calendar offers many long weekends, 2-hour early dismissals, holiday breaks, teacher workdays, snow days, and other off time for students. Take advantage of this, and go on a mini family vacation in or around your community. You can even download our guide on where to visit in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. during these breaks.
Try to do dinner together every night. While one kid may have swim practice and another has piano lessons, it can be difficult to have a nice sit-down dinner with your entire family. With most nights being fast food, try to prepare and eat together at least once or twice per week as the back-to-school rush dies down. Put down the cell phones, turn off the television, and enjoy this great family activity.
Support your kid. Like we said, the school year means big things for sports and other after-school activities. While sitting in the crowd might not seem like family bonding, your kid will 100 percent appreciate your support. Cheer them on at as many games, plays, concerts, and whatever else you can attend. Knowing that you are their No. 1fan is sometimes all it takes for a great performance.
Volunteer for the school. Did you know that “family involvement promotes school success for every child of every age?” According to the Harvard Family Research Project, “children in grades K through 3 whose parents participate in school activities have high quality work habits and task orientation.”
On top of that, teachers always appreciate a helping hand. By volunteering at your child’s school, you get to spend time with your student, benefit their learning, and do something good for the community. Here are a few of our favorite ways to volunteer in the classroom:
- Create a baked good for the bake sale
- Offer to grade papers after class (upon the teacher’s permission)
- Go into the school to have lunch with your kid
- Participate in Dads and Donuts or Moms and Muffins
- Run a station at Field Day or the Book Fair
- Chaperone a field trip
- Drop off extra school supplies for the classroom
- Tutor children after school
- Help with classroom parties
- Speak at Career Day
We know that family time can get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list when it comes to back-to-school schedules. However, IKO’s tried-and-true ways prove that you don’t have to drop everything to spend quality time together. This special time helps children perform better in the classroom, and it relieves stress from educational and extracurricular tasks.
If you need a little more help in alleviating some anxiety this school year, download our latest white paper on how to conquer the classroom at any age:
From all of us at IKO Community Management, good luck, and happy family bonding!