As the start of a new school year approaches it’s almost that time to begin planning for the back-to-school transition. Getting back into the routine of homework and extracurricular activities can be overwhelming for any family, but it may seem especially overwhelming to those who have recently divorced. Therefore, we have compiled a list of 5 tips to help ease the transition and help your family start this school year off on the right foot.

1. School Supplies

Between folders, markers, calculators, and everything else on the list the cost of school supplies can add up quickly. It is important for both parents to communicate about who is buying what so the children are prepared and have everything they need to succeed in school. Additionally, proper communication and planning between parents can prevent spending on unnecessary or duplicate items.

2. Set up a shared family calendar

There are many different apps and websites that allow you to create a shared family calendar that can be updated and checked online. A good free option is google calendar. You can color-code it to organize it by kid, activity, or whatever method works best for your family. This will allow both parents and the kids to add events to the calendar for everyone to see such as: homework assignments or major project deadlines, appointments, extracurricular activities, performances, vacations, and more. Having an organized and up-to-date shared calendar allows everyone to be on the same page, and will prevent someone from missing an important game or assignment.

3. Update the school and your child’s teacher

You do not have to share specific details, but it is important to keep your child’s school and teacher aware of your family situation. This will avoid any confusion when your child is picked up by a different parent or stepparent from school.

4. Make sure each home is prepared for the school year

There are some items that are unnecessary for kids to have two of, like backpacks for example, but making sure each parent’s house is equipped with basic school supplies will save your kids a lot of trouble. It is important for each house to have things like pencils, paper, and scissors so that your kids are able to easily complete their work no matter which house they are staying at. Some schools will even give kids two sets of textbooks so they do not have to lug them around from house to house all of the time. Additionally, you should plan for extracurricular activities by making sure they have the clothes or equipment they need with them.

5. Plan for parent teacher conferences

Many teachers will work with you to have separate parent teacher conferences. However, it is beneficial to attend the conference together if possible. This will show your child and their teacher that you are both on the same page in supporting their school work. If one parent is unable to attend the meeting they can always call in. It is important that both parents are kept informed about how their kids are doing in school throughout the school year, and attending parent teacher conferences together is a great way to start that.

Your children’s best interests should always be your priority.  So while it may be difficult, it is important for divorced parents to openly communicate and both attend school events. Doing so, along with following these 5 tips, will ensure that your family is organized and prepared to have a smooth transition and a great school year.

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