Back-to-School Guide for Parents: How to Help Your Child Succeed

Sending kids back to school can be an emotional time for parents and children. Whether your family is preparing for the first day of preschool or getting ready for the last year of middle school, make the end of summer vacation go as smooth as possible with these helpful tips!

Before School Starts

Not sure how to prepare for school? Guarantee everyone is excited and ready to return to the classroom by taking these steps to say goodbye to summer vacation the right way!

Go to the Open House

Open houses are the perfect opportunity to meet teachers, ask questions, address concerns, and tour the school before classes start. This back-to-school tip is a great way to help everyone get focused early on and adjust to their new surroundings. Plus, if your child needs special accommodations, you can start talking to their teacher ahead of time!

Start a Bedtime Routine

Get your child’s sleep schedule back on track two weeks before school starts. Use these weeks to move their bedtime back and ease them into waking up earlier each day!

Collaborate on a Schedule

Let children have a say in creating their back-to-school routine! What kind of after-school activities would they like to do? Would they rather do homework right after school or closer to bedtime? No matter how old or young they are, collaborate on a structured plan before things get busy during the school year.

Set Goals

This tip for back to school will create quality time for you and your child, as well as give them direction for the new year! Encourage them to set goals for grades, friendships, and tasks at home. Take inspiration from their favorite teacher and create a cute theme to showcase their plans for success.

Take Inventory of Clothes & Supplies

Back-to-school shopping doesn’t need to break the bank! Go through closets and last year’s backpack to get a handle on what you have before heading to the store. Check the newspaper or your email for any coupons and end-of-summer promotions on notebooks, new shoes, and anything else you could need!

Schedule a Checkup

Stop by the doctor and cross this item off your school to-do list. Whether it’s for elementary school vaccinations or getting a sports physical before conditioning starts, be sure any health concerns are addressed before sending kids back to the classroom. If your child takes a daily prescription, review the school’s medicine policy and contact the nurse.

Review Safety Tips

Before your child heads back to the classroom, review important back-to-school preparation tips. If they bike to school, check the straps on their helmet. If they wait for the bus, walk to the stop and review protocol with them. From traveling to school safely to learning how to stand up to bullies, take some time to discuss necessary procedures with your child.

First Day of School Tips

Wondering how to have a great first day of school? Try these simple ideas to make the first day go smoothly and set the tone for an awesome and stress-free year!

Embrace Traditions

Whether it’s their first day of kindergarten or last year of high school, make the start of the school year extra special! This could be anything from making their favorite breakfast, sticking a note in their backpack, or having a cupcake waiting at home after school!

Pack a Special Lunch

Give your kids a pick-me-up halfway through the day when you sneak an extra snack or dessert in their lunch box! You might not have time to cut vegetables into fun shapes or carve their PB&J into their favorite animal every day, but this first day of school tip will brighten their mood and help ease the transition!

Capture the Memory

Don’t forget the backpack photo! Snapping a picture of your children wearing their backpacks or holding a chalkboard sign will help you keep track of the years. Not to mention, this first day of school tradition will come in handy when it’s time to assemble a scrapbook for graduation!

Encourage Reconnecting with Friends

Use the classroom roster to find out which friends are in your child’s class this year! Plan a playdate after class to make the first day of school memorable. If you have an older kid that already has football or volleyball practice after school, encourage them to invite friends over for dinner.

Be on Time

Set the tone for the rest of the school year and let your child know you’ll be there soon after the bell rings! Getting them to school early and showing up right when class or extracurriculars end is a great way to ensure the first week of school is less stressful.

Build Habits for the Whole Year

Create a plan for an awesome year, not just a great first week! From figuring out how to make school fun to helping your child have their best semester yet, try these tips to help them be successful year-round!

Develop Homework Habits

Consistency is key with kids! Review study tips and techniques with your child to help them develop and maintain reading skills, test-taking strategies, and a regular homework routine from the first day of the school year to the last. Whether you quiz them on their flash cards or run lines with them for the school play, help them build study skills early on!

Section off a Study Zone

Help your child stick to their homework habits by sectioning off a space for them to review notes, practice spelling words, or write an A+ paper! Buy a desk, create a reading nook in their bedroom, or a designate a homework zone at the dinner table so they have a clear area to study!

Update the Family Calendar

This back-to-school tip for parents should be utilized year round! Keeping an updated calendar with all activities and appointments not only helps you keep your plans organized, but it will also encourage children to keep track of their own schedules! Store your family calendar on the fridge, in the mudroom, or in another easily accessible spot in your home.

Create Time for Reading Every Day

From first grade to senior year of high school, reading is key to your child’s success in the classroom! Most sources recommend at least 20 minutes of sustained silent reading each day to help them expand their vocabulary, imagination, and worldview.

There’s no one right way to have a great school year! Do what works best for your family and your kids. Also, if you’ve recently moved, check out our guide to starting a new school in a new town to help your child acclimate!

Back to School Guide for Parents