Grandparents Teach, too

Getting ready for school year key task

Sabin, Davis, Hetrick, Anderegg, Macalady, Walker, Darling and Katers

It’s an exciting time for students of all ages as they look forward to new classes, activities and friends. It’s an exciting time for parents, too. Although life is still very busy, there is more of a consistent schedule again. How can you use this time to teach your children?


You can include your children in your shopping plans for school supplies and new clothing. Most families with elementary aged children will have a supply list from the school. They are also available in stores.

Preschoolers may not have a supply list, but will enjoy buying something new like a new t-shirt for the first day, or a special notebook for drawing or work. Most students will need a backpack, although this might not appear on the school list.

You can make this a positive exciting learning experience by reading the list and store ads together and writing down what you will need to buy. Many retail stores are now having special sales for the beginning of the school year. This is a good opportunity to help your child understand about the importance of printed information and learn about costs, budgets and price comparisons.


Although there is a limited budget, you may want to involve your children in discussion and decision making as often as possible to teach them economics. There are opportunity costs. If they buy one thing there will not be enough for another. They might want to make that special purchase from their own piggy bank.

This is an exciting activity for most kids and helps to build positive attitudes about starting a new school year.

Some families may be unable to purchase the suggested supplies. There are often backpack programs through churches, the Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul.

Prepare for study

What else can families do to support their children’s education? It helps to have a special spot with good lighting for writing, drawing and working. This can be a desk, small table or place at the dining room table. Help your child organize this space with some home supplies like paper, crayons and pencils and storage box. You can label boxes for papers that children take home to check their progress and note what needs reviewing at home.

Mark backpacks, jackets and later winter gloves with last names. Have a place in your house to drop off back packs. If you have room, hooks work well. Make a note to check them every day. Also plan a wall or a place on the refrigerator to display pictures, notices and good papers from school.

For more see grandparentsteachtoo.blogspot.com; wnmufm.org/Learning through the Seasons; Facebook and Pinterest since 2009.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Grandparents Teach, Too is a non-profit organization of elementary and preschool teachers from Marquette, Michigan. The writers include: Jan Sabin, Mary Davis, Jean Hetrick, Cheryl Anderegg, Esther Macalady, Colleen Walker, Fran Darling, and Iris Katers. Their mission since 2009 is to help parents, grandparents, and other caregivers of young children provide fun activities to help prepare young children for school and a life long love of learning. They are supported by Great Start, Parent Awareness of Michigan, the U.P. Association for the Education of Young Children, Northern Michigan School of Education, the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum and the Northern Michigan University Center for Economic Education.