Friday, July 29, 2016

Back to School-Carpools

It's that time of year when the stores are filled with notebooks, backpacks, and new pencils.  You are probably already starting (or have started) the preparation to send kids back to school.  It may be just another school year, or you might be sending you first child to college, or as in my case, your last to kindergarten.

Depending on where your kids attend school, you may be driving carpools again this year.  Do you get stressed out with carpools?  It seems that everyone wants to be in the exact same parking spot at the exact same time, and right as the bell rings and chaos ensues!  Here are just a couple of tips to make your carpooling a bit easier this year!
  • Keep your car maintained.  We all know someone who has been late to pick kids up, or been stuck in the parking lot due to a broken down car.  Be sure that major repairs are done ahead of time, so that they can be planned for.  Otherwise we all know Murphy's law just happens to take control in the moment that is least convenient, and that might be when you have a row of honking cars behind you trying to get past to pick up their kids!
  • Safety first. Carpools are always a time saver for everyone involved.  You take turns with your neighbor down the street, and with the people who live behind you, so that in reality you won't have to stop everything you are doing to go pick up/drop off kids twice a day.  However, be sure you have enough seat belts for everyone in the car.  In most cases, you are just driving a few blocks, but in one survey 52% of people reported accidents happening within 5 miles of their home.  Be safe, buckle up you and each one of the passengers in your car.
  • Have a plan.  Like we stated before, carpools should be a time saver.  Have a designated spot for the kids to meet, and for you to pick them up at.  Be aware of which kids will take a little longer, and which ones will be the first ones out.  Know which kids aren't at school that day, or won't need a ride home.  
  • Drop-offs.  Be sure to watch each child go into their homes.  Know if a parent is home, or if you need to send a quick message to a parent that isn't home to assure them their child made it home safely.  
The start of school is usually such an exciting time for the whole family.  It seems to be a rite of passage of sorts.  Enjoy the time you get to spend with all of those young people, sometimes for just a few minutes of car ride each day.

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