Depending where you live, your family is enjoying one more month of summer, preparing for school to start, or already into a new school year. There are always first-day-of-school jitters for everyone (parents included!), but military kids often are dealing with the first day at a new school, too, which can add an entirely different level of stress.
We wanted to bring some actionable, easy ideas to military families as they embark on another school year. That’s why we sat down with Meg Flanagan, a teacher, education advocate, military spouse, and parent who owns and operates MilKids Ed, where she shares advice and help for military parents looking to give their children the best educational experience possible. Meg holds a bachelor’s in elementary education and a master’s in special education. She’s taught in DoDEA schools as well as public ones, so she knows the ropes and has a well-rounded perspective.
Here’s our interview:
BSF: What’s one thing military kids can do to prepare for a new year at a new school?
Meg: For the kids, relax! You’re going to do great! Write your teacher a letter or draw a picture that shares a little bit about you. It will help your teacher get to know you right away!
BSF: What’s one thing parents can do to set their military kids up for success at a new school?
Meg: Military parents should be prepared to connect with the teacher and school right off the bat. Setting up a good, regular communication routine that has a positive tone can be key to finding solutions for issues that pop up.
BSF: What’s your best piece of advice for military parents when it comes to creating and maintaining a great relationship with their child’s teacher?
Meg: It’s really all about messaging and tone. The old saying, “you catch more bees with honey than vinegar” holds true. Highlight something positive the teacher is doing or an activity your child enjoyed recently. Then go for the more serious issues or concerns. We all are more likely to be helpful and supportive when we feel respected and appreciated.
Really, it all just comes down to communication that is polite, respectful, honest, and collaborative.
BSF: What’s one piece of advice you have for kids attending overseas DoDEA schools for the first time?
Meg: Military kids will be in a school with almost all military children. These are your people. They get the life you live. Be open and honest. Support each other.
BSF: For kids going to school off-installation, how do you suggest they broach the military-civilian divide with new friends?
Meg: Going off-base isn’t scary or something to avoid. It’s a great chance to meet non-Military kids and experience more local fun. Sharing your experiences will be a great ice breaker. Invite your military parent(s) to school for career day or Veterans Day.
The post 5 Ways Military Families Can Totally Rock the New School Year appeared first on Blue Star Families.