August in Western Kentucky marks the start of school. It's sad really, when I was a kid we never went back to school before September. As I type that, I realize how old those sort of statements make me sound.
At any rate, now is a time of a lot of changes in your child's life. New teachers, possibly a new school, new schedules, new extracurricular activities, etc. Whether you are the primary custodian of your child or not, chances are, if you live in Kentucky, you have joint legal custody. Therefore, you are entitled to all the same information as the custodial parent from the school. Most school districts now have very detailed websites chock-full of information like school calendars, special event announcements, teacher's names, and all kinds of other information about the facilities where your child will be spending a large portion of his/her life. If you have a child in McCracken County, our school district's website is located here.
Whether you are the primary custodian of the child or not, now is a good time to make the commitment to taking an active roll in your child's life. Here are some tips and ideas for strengthening your bond with your child:
Whether you are a divorced parent or not, getting involved with your child's school will reward you in numerous ways, the most important being a strengthened bond with your child.
- Make plans to go to back to school night and get to know your child's teacher. Talk to the teacher about any subjects you or she believes your child struggles with. Work with the teacher on creative ways to help your child. If your is not having any problems, plan a reward of some sort for the good report.
- If your work schedule permits, you might volunteer to be a homeroom parent or let the teacher know you would be available to come and speak for career day.
- If your child's school allows it, make the commitment to eating lunch with him at least once per month (FYI, although most schools will let you buy a lunch in the cafeteria, I don't recommend it. School food has not gotten any better since we were kids).
- Get a copy of the schedule for the sport, band, or whatever activity your child is involved with and be at either the practices or the games whether it is "your time" or not. If it is held at a public place and you are not causing a disruption or otherwise violating the law or court order, the other parent cannot prevent you from being there. You might even consider volunteering to be a coach.