If you have no children living at home, you might not know that school resumes this week.

Nevertheless, everyone should be aware of that.

You should be aware of that because life as we've known it for the past couple months changes considerably when school is in session. Life in most of our communities often revolves around our schools, and in one way or another, that affects us all.

One of the most important things to be aware of is the change in traffic patterns. With kids out and about early in the morning - either walking to school or catching the bus - motorists need to be especially alert. Despite all sorts of adult warnings and safety precautions taken by school districts, kids can be pretty impulsive. It's not uncommon for one to dart out into the street at any given time - early morning or later in the afternoon. Be ready. Those flashing signals in school zones requiring you to reduce your speed aren't street decorations. When they're flashing, slow down. Slow down anyway when passing a school zone. And watch for the big yellow buses. When the red lights are flashing, STOP. A first offense could draw a $250 to $400 fine, five points on your license and/or possibly 30 days in jail.

There are other lessons to learn as school doors reopen, particularly if you have a student at home. With the exception of the ral little ones, kids aren't necessarily excited about returning to the classroom, especially after the terrific summer weather we've had. Romping about outside seems a whole lot better than studying math facts, and that's why it's important that you create a home atmosphere where education is a priority. If you're excited about learning, chances are your child will be, too.

Here are a few other tips:

- Partner with your school and the teacher. This is critical. A teacher without a parent partner is like a fraction without a denominator. Build a rapport with the school and let your child's teacher know you're on board and available, if needed, as a volunteer for special activities. Attend open houses, find out what’s expected of students - and parents. Then stay involved without becoming a pest.

- Review the school day - every day - with your child. Before school, make sure he/she has everything needed that day. After school, discuss what happened. Talk about problems and concerns - academically and socially. Communication is vital.

- Discuss issues/concerns with the teacher. Teachers want to know what's going on at home because it can affect student performance on any given day.

- Support school activities. Attend music concerts, PTA meetings, science fairs, athletic events, school plays, book fairs and other school-community events. If your child sees that you’re interested in school, they will be, too.

- Be sure your child reads something every day. Reading is the foundation for everything else.

- Don't overbook your kids. That's easy to do, especially in the wake of sporting activities, music and arts events, scouting and myriad other activities. Their school work should be a priority. Staying busy is good, too, but remember that allowing them time to just be kids is important.

- Recharge the battery. That means getting enough sleep. Research shows that proper sleep not only can help your child’s performance in school, but also can help keep them healthy.

It's good for mom and dad, too.