By Tina Avila, LMFT
Back-to-school season is here, and if you're like me, you've been putting off getting ready for it. But no more! It's time to get organized and be prepared so that we can all start this new school year on the right foot. The start of the school year is an exciting time for children, parents, and educators alike. Whether you're a parent or teacher, we hope you enjoy these eight tips for getting the most out of this new chapter in your child's life.
Locate your school's emergency contacts
One of the best ways to prepare for a new school year is by locating the school's emergency contacts. This way, you'll know who to call in case of an emergency or crisis situation. You can find this information on your child's parents' portal or through the school website. It will be located under an "emergency" tab or section that lists all of their numbers, email addresses, and websites. If you're having trouble finding it on either one of those two platforms, try calling up an administrator at the school office! They'll be able to help guide you in finding what you need.
Figure out a daily routine
A routine is a great way to structure your day, especially in the beginning. It gives you and your child a sense of what will happen at certain times throughout the day and helps with predictability for everyone.
Your schedule may also need to be adjusted as time goes by—for example when your child's needs change (or change back!) routine is one of the most important things you can do for your child. It can help them stay on track, get ready for school, and feel more comfortable. You may want to sit down with your child and make a daily schedule for them so they know what time they need to be up, what time breakfast is served, and when their bus will come. or their interests shift. Just remember: no one likes being told what to do all the time!
Organize your child's stuff
The first day of school is an exciting time for your child, but it can be stressful for you as well. You want to do everything you can to make sure that your child has a smooth transition from summer vacation back into the classroom. Organize their backpack, locker, bedroom, and bathroom so they know where things are and feel prepared on the first day of school. Make sure they have enough supplies like pencils and paper in their backpack so that they don't run out when starting new classes or projects during class. Put aside any homework assignments that were due by the end of last year's school year so there's no confusion about what needs to be done or when it needs to be done by this upcoming year's deadlines.
Set up healthy meals and snacks
Your child needs to have a good breakfast every morning so they can focus in class and stay alert. Make sure they eat a balanced breakfast with protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins. If your child doesn’t like eggs or cereal, try a high-protein energy bar instead.
If your child has an afternoon snack, make sure it’s nutritious and not full of sugar or artificial ingredients that could make them feel tired later on in the day.
Communicate with teachers to stay on top of your child's progress
It's important for kids to feel supported and connected to their teachers, who play a key role in their academic success.
If you're concerned about your child's grades or behavior, speak with their teachers as soon as possible. They'll be able to tell you what's going well and how they can help your child succeed at school. If there are any problems or concerns that need addressing, it's best to address them early on in the year so that they don't become larger issues later on.
Ask them about the curriculum, how much homework they'll have, what type of classroom environment it is and how you can help them succeed. Also, ask if there's anything specific that you should do at home to support your child's learning.
Establish homework routines and stick with them
The first step in setting up a homework routine is establishing a homework space, whether it's in the living room or the kitchen table. The second step is to establish a time for your child to do their homework. This will help them focus on what they need to do and not run out of time at the end of the day.
The third step is setting up times when you check their work and make sure they understand it. By setting up these routines, your child will be more likely to complete their assignments without being nagged by you constantly!
Additionally, set aside some time each evening after dinner where they can go over any extra work they may have missed during school that day, practice math problems from books or online quizzes, or read an additional book if necessary.
Set up an after-school schedule but allow some flexibility, too
As a parent, it's your job to set up an after-school schedule that ensures your child is able to relax and unwind after a long day at school. As the kids come home from school, they'll need time to decompress; this might involve watching TV or playing video games, or it could be something else entirely. If you've got them enrolled in extracurricular activities, then this would be a great time for them to practice their sport or instrument. And finally, make sure that when dinner rolls around your family still gets some face-to-face interaction!
Prepare for the morning by laying out clothes the night before
The night before, lay out the next day's clothes and make sure they're clean. Don't forget to pack snacks for after school and water bottles for extra hydration on hot days. Pack their backpack with everything else they need for school, including books, notebooks, pencils, and pens.
You should also make sure that your children have eaten breakfast before they head off to school; it's important that they eat something nutritious so that they can stay focused throughout the day!
We hope these tips have helped you get ready for the school year. Remember, being prepared will make this time easier for everyone involved—especially your child! Now that you know these tricks of the trade, it’s time to put them into action.