BlogParenting Resources12 Essential Back to School Tips for Parents and Kids

12 Essential Back to School Tips for Parents and Kids

Preparing for the new school year can be exciting and overwhelming for parents and kids alike. It’s a time filled with anticipation, new beginnings, and the promise of growth. With the school bells ringing again soon, it’s time to gear up for another exciting academic year. We know how important it is to set our kids up for success, and that’s why we’ve put together this handy back-to-school tips for parents.

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From establishing routines to navigating homework and fostering a positive learning environment, we’ve got you covered. These back-to-school advice for parents are designed to make the transition back to school smoother, reduce stress, and set the stage for a productive and fulfilling academic journey. We want to make sure our kids have a great school year ahead, and these tips will help us do just that. Let’s dive in!

Related Reading: Exciting Back to School Activities for Kids of Different Grades

1. Stay Organized with a School Calendar

A to do calendar

We all know how chaotic the school year can be with multiple deadlines, events, and activities popping up left and right. It’s like trying to juggle a dozen balls at once! That’s why using a calendar is one of our top back-to-school tips for parents.

Start by getting a big, easy-to-read calendar and hang it somewhere visible, like the kitchen or your child’s room. Then, with your child, go through their school calendar, and mark important dates, like tests, project due dates, and parent-teacher meetings. You can also add extracurricular activities and family events so everyone is on the same page.

Encourage your child to take ownership of their calendar by writing down their assignments and upcoming events. This will teach them valuable time management skills and keep them accountable for their responsibilities. Remember to review the calendar regularly as a family. This way, you can anticipate busy weeks, plan for projects, and avoid any last-minute surprises.

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. – Malcolm X

2. Establish a Consistent Bedtime Routine

Father reading bedtime story to kid

We all know the struggle of getting our little ones to bed on time. It’s like trying to herd sleepy kittens! But here’s the secret: establishing a bedtime routine can work wonders for both you and your child.

Think of a bedtime routine as a series of steps that help your child wind down and prepare for a restful night’s sleep. A bedtime routine can be as simple as a warm bath, followed by cuddling up with a favorite book, and then some quiet time to chat about the day. The key is to create a calm and soothing atmosphere that helps your child relax and transition into sleep mode.

Why is this so important, you ask? Well, quality sleep is like a superpower for kids. It helps them recharge their batteries, improves their focus and memory, and even boosts their overall well-being. Plus, let’s not forget the blissful peace and quiet you get to enjoy once they’re fast asleep! Make bedtime a special and consistent part of your daily routine. Stick to the plan, even on weekends (yes, even when tempted by those late-night movies!). Lights out, sweet dreams, and let the bedtime routine work its wonders!

Related Reading: Bedtime Stories for Kids of Every Age Group

3. Plan Nutritious and Delicious School Lunches

Lunchtime can be a source of stress for many parents. But with some planning, you can ensure your child has a nutritious and delicious meal at school every day. Incorporating this back-to-school tip into your routine will save time and provide your child with the fuel they need to excel in their studies.

Start by involving your child in the planning process. Sit down together and brainstorm ideas for healthy lunch options. Get creative and think beyond the typical sandwich. To create a well-rounded meal, consider including various fruits, vegetables, protein sources, and whole grains.

Once you have ideas, create a weekly meal plan for lunches. This will help you stay organized and make grocery shopping a breeze. Preparing and packing lunches the night before can save time and reduce morning chaos. Remember to keep the lunches appealing by adding fun touches like colorful toothpicks, food cut into interesting shapes, or a special note to brighten your child’s day. By creating a plan for lunches, you’re ensuring your child gets a nutritious meal and giving yourself peace of mind. 

4. Beat the Rush with Early Back-to-School Shopping

Back-to-school planning can sometimes feel like a marathon race through crowded stores. But fear not, by getting your shopping done early, you can avoid the stress and enjoy a smoother start to the school year.

Start by listing all the essential items your child will need, such as backpacks, school supplies, uniforms or clothing, and shoes. Take inventory of what you already have at home to avoid unnecessary purchases. Once you have your list, hit the stores or go online to shop. Shopping early gives you a more comprehensive selection of items, avoids last-minute rushes, and ensures that your child gets everything they need before the first day of school.

Remember to involve your child in the process. Take them along or let them help with online shopping. This can make them feel excited and prepared for the new school year. By getting back-to-school prep done early, you’re saving yourself from the stress of last-minute rushes and ensuring that your child starts the year fully equipped. 

5. Explore and Familiarize by Taking a School Tour

Touring your child’s new school before the first day can make a big difference in their comfort and confidence. Schedule a visit to the school with your child. Following this back-to-school tip will set your child up for success as they embark on this new chapter of their education.

During the tour, encourage your child to ask questions. This helps them better understand how things work and alleviates any concerns they may have. Note important information, like drop-off and pick-up procedures, to ensure a smooth transition. If possible, introduce your child to key staff members, such as the principal, office staff, and their teacher. This fosters a sense of connection and helps your child feel welcome in their new environment. Highlight essential safety measures, such as designated emergency meeting points or where to find a trusted adult. This empowers your child to navigate the school safely.

Consider exploring the playground or outdoor areas as well. This allows your child to familiarize themselves with spaces where they can relax and have fun during recess. By touring the school together, you’re providing your child with a sense of familiarity and confidence. 

6. Find the Perfect Backpack for Your Child

Girl wearing gray backpack

Selecting the right backpack for your child is more than just a fashion statement. It’s about ensuring their comfort, safety, and well-being throughout the school day. When choosing a backpack, opt for one that is durable and lightweight. Heavy backpacks can strain your child’s back and shoulders. Look for adjustable straps and a padded back to provide extra support and comfort. Size matters! Make sure the backpack is proportionate to your child’s body size. It shouldn’t be wider or longer than their torso. A backpack that is too big can lead to poor posture and discomfort.

Involve your child in the decision-making process. Let them choose a backpack they like, but also guide them in making practical choices. Encourage them to prioritize functionality and comfort over trendy designs. Before purchasing, have your child try on the backpack and adjust the straps accordingly. Make sure it fits snugly and rests comfortably on their shoulders and back. Remember, a well-chosen backpack can prevent unnecessary strain and discomfort.

7. Discussing School Safety Measures

As parents, our top priority is keeping our children safe, especially when they’re away at school. Having open and honest conversations about safety is essential for their well-being. 

Start by talking about stranger danger. Teach your child to be cautious around people they don’t know and emphasize the importance of never talking to or accepting anything from strangers. Role-playing scenarios can help them practice how to respond in different situations. Discuss school emergency protocols with your child. Teach them what to do in case of a fire drill, lockdown, or evacuation. Ensure these drills are for their safety and help them feel prepared and secure. Address transportation safety if your child takes the bus or walks to school. Teach them to wait for the bus in a safe place, look both ways before crossing the road, and never get into a car with a stranger. 

Lastly, remind your child about personal boundaries and the importance of reporting uncomfortable situations to a trusted adult. By having these conversations, you empower your child to make safe choices and give them the tools to navigate potential risks.

8. Openly Talking About Homework

Girl drawing on paper

Homework can sometimes be a source of frustration and stress for both parents and kids. But by having open and supportive conversations about homework, you can create a positive and productive environment that sets your child up for success. 

Firstly, discuss the importance of creating a designated homework space. Help your child find a quiet and well-lit area where they can focus and concentrate. This dedicated space will minimize distractions and promote better focus. Next, set clear expectations regarding homework time. Talk about the importance of consistency and establishing a routine. Together with your child, create a schedule that works for them, allowing sufficient time to complete assignments without feeling overwhelmed.

During homework time, be a supportive presence. Offer assistance when needed, but also encourage independence. Let your child take ownership of their work, fostering a sense of responsibility and accomplishment. Incorporating these back-to-school ideas for parents, such as open conversations about homework, creating a conducive homework space, setting clear expectations, and offering support and encouragement, will help foster a positive homework routine for their child’s academic success.

Related Reading: Ways to Make Homework Fun for Kids

9. Setting Academic Goals for Success

Setting academic goals with your child is an excellent way to motivate them and foster a sense of purpose in their learning journey. By working together to establish these goals, you can help your child thrive academically. Start by discussing the importance of setting goals. Explain to your child that goals give them something to strive for and help them measure their progress. Encourage them to think about what they want to achieve academically, whether improving in a particular subject or earning a specific grade.

Once you have identified the goals, break them down into smaller, achievable steps. This helps your child see progress along the way and prevents them from feeling overwhelmed. Consider creating a visual tracker or checklist to monitor their progress. Regularly check in with your child to review their goals and provide support and encouragement. Celebrate their big and small achievements and remind them that their effort and growth matter more than just the outcome. By setting academic goals together and using tools like SplashLearn, you’re empowering your child to take ownership of their learning and fostering a growth mindset. So, let’s set those goals and watch your child shine academically!

The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you. – B.B. King

10. Building Connections by Meeting the New Teacher

Man and woman talking while the child writes

Meeting your child’s new teacher is one of the crucial back-to-school tips for parents. It provides a valuable opportunity to establish a positive connection and lay the foundation for a successful school year. Schedule a meeting with the new teacher early in the school year. This gives you a chance to introduce yourself, learn about the teacher’s expectations, and share valuable insights about your child. It’s a collaborative effort to support your child’s learning and development.

During the meeting, ask questions about the curriculum, classroom routines, and any specific focus areas for the year. This helps you better understand what your child will be learning and how you can reinforce those concepts at home. Building a positive relationship with the teacher is key. Share any concerns or specific needs your child may have, whether related to learning styles, special accommodations, or other considerations. Open and honest communication fosters a strong partnership between you, the teacher, and your child.

Related Reading: How to Build a Positive Teacher-Student Relationship

11. Limiting Screen Time for Healthy Habits

Research has shown that excessive screen time in children has been associated with various negative effects, including decreased physical activity, increased sedentary behavior, irregular sleep patterns, and a higher risk of obesity.

Create clear rules and expectations around screen time. Set specific time limits for activities like watching TV, playing video games, or using smartphones and tablets. Use parental control features to enforce these limits if needed. Lead by example. Show your child the importance of limiting your own screen time and engaging in other activities. Establish device-free zones and times for the whole family, like mealtimes or before bedtime.

Encourage alternative activities that your child enjoys. Plan fun outings, engage in arts and crafts projects, or play board games together. These activities provide a break from screens and foster creativity, social skills, and family connections. Discuss the importance of balance and moderation with your child. Help them understand the potential adverse effects of excessive screen time while encouraging responsible and mindful technology use.

12. Have a Stress-Free Start

The back-to-school season can bring about feelings of anxiety and stress for both parents and children. However, by adopting strategies to manage anxiety and maintain a sense of calm, you can navigate this time more easily. Acknowledge and validate your child’s feelings. It’s normal for them to feel nervous or anxious about the new school year. Let them know that it’s okay to feel this way, and reassure them that you’re there to support them every step of the way.

Encourage deep breaths and positive self-talk to promote a sense of calm. Maintain open lines of communication. Encourage your child to share their worries or concerns with you. You can help alleviate their anxiety and provide guidance by listening attentively and offering reassurance.

Establish a routine that includes self-care activities. Prioritize activities that help reduce stress, such as exercise, getting enough sleep, and engaging in hobbies or activities your child enjoys. Model healthy coping mechanisms by managing your stress effectively. Your child looks to you as an example, so demonstrating calmness and positive coping strategies can have a powerful impact on their anxiety management.

Related Reading: Calming Strategies for Kids Every Parent Should Know

Conclusion

As we gear up for a new school year, it’s time to embrace the possibilities and prepare for success. Remember, you have the power to make this a remarkable journey for your child. By implementing these back-to-school tips for parents, you’re laying a strong foundation for their academic and personal growth.

From establishing routines and setting goals to fostering open communication and managing anxieties, each step you take plays a vital role in your child’s development. Embrace the opportunity to create a supportive and stimulating environment that encourages curiosity, resilience, and a love for learning. Celebrate their achievements, big and small, and provide them with the guidance and support they need to thrive.

As parents, you are their biggest cheerleaders, guiding them through challenges, and celebrating their successes. Remember to cherish the moments, build connections with their teachers, and foster a sense of community within the school.

So, take a deep breath, trust in your child’s potential, and embark on this back-to-school journey with enthusiasm and determination. Together, let’s create a year filled with growth, accomplishments, and joyful memories that will shape their future. Your child’s success starts here, and the possibilities are endless!

Here’s to a fantastic school year filled with growth, achievement, and joyful learning!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can I do to ease the morning rush and make school mornings less stressful?

To make school mornings less stressful, establish a morning routine by creating a back-to-school to-do list. Prepare lunches and set out clothes the night before to save time. Set alarms and wake-up times to ensure a relaxed start. Designate an area for backpacks and school items. By planning ahead and following a routine, you can minimize morning rush and create a smoother start to the day.

Are there any resources or strategies to support my child's learning and educational development at home?

Support your child’s learning and educational development at home through effective back-to-school preparation. Establish a consistent homework routine and provide guidance as needed. Encourage reading by having a home library or visiting the local library. Engage in educational activities and games to reinforce learning.

How can I help my child build positive social relationships and navigate friendships at school?

To support your child’s social development, encourage open communication and teach them the importance of empathy, kindness, and inclusivity. Encourage their participation in social activities, clubs, or sports where they can meet new friends who share similar interests. Foster a supportive home environment where your child feels safe discussing any challenges or conflicts they may encounter. These back-to-school tips for students will help them thrive socially and establish lasting relationships at school.

AUTHOR
Amy Gill
Amy Gill is a Contributing Editor at SplashLearn. As a former teacher, she likes to write about education reforms, edtech and how to make learning more fun for children.