You may have seen the bumper sticker proclaiming, “If I had known grandchildren were so great, I would have had them first!” With a new school year approaching, grandparents and their grandchildren are relishing these last days of summer all around El Cerrito, Berkeley, and Oakland. Our team at Sunset View Cemetery & Mortuary can feel the excitement in the air, as we readily remember what it’s like to start a new grade, meet a new teacher, and befriend new classmates.

For grandparents, these changes provide many opportunities to offer grandchildren – and their parents – added support, love, and positivity. Many in our Sunset View family look back fondly at how our grandparents helped us through life’s transitions, and we would like to provide our favorite tips for helping children head back to school with ease:

Attend the school’s open house.

This will give you the opportunity to see your grandchild’s classroom, meet the teachers, and make sure your name and up-to-date contact information are on the emergency contact and pick-up list, if needed.

Request a copy of the academic and events calendar.

This way, you can mark important dates such as school concerts, PTA meetings, field days, and more, and have that information all in one place.

Read about the school’s emergency procedures.

The school handbook will include information including how parents/grandparents are contacted, and what processes are in place in case of emergency (for example, how and where children should be picked up). 

Practice “drop-off and pick-up” before school begins.

According to the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, an estimated 2.2 million children ages 14 and under are injured in school-related accidents each year. This includes transportation-related injuries, with an increase in pedestrian, bicycle, school bus, and motor vehicle crashes. Whether your grandchild walks, bikes, or is driven by bus or car, make sure to cover the basics about how to do so safely.

Walk through the morning routine.

For those who live with their grandchildren, you may have noticed everything seems to take longer in the morning. If you’re in charge of your grandchildren before school, what will they eat for breakfast? Who will choose their outfits? What time do you need to get out the door? You can minimize stress and potential issues by having a plan in place before the school year begins.

Sign up for email newsletters or other electronic updates the teacher provides.

Be it a Facebook page, a weekly e-mail, or even a blog, many teachers enjoy using technology to keep parents in the loop. Ask how you can keep up online with what’s happening in the classroom.

Our team at Sunset View hopes you’re enjoying the end of summer with your grandchildren, making memories that will last a lifetime. If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your adult children or others on Facebook. And keep in mind that, in addition to our blog, we have a vibrant Facebook page featuring pertinent information about daily life, grief recovery, and the services we offer. We are always available for your family and want you to know we care.