Tips for Parents: Start the School Year Off Right

Tips for Parents: Start the School Year Off RightIt’s back to school time, parents! Starting a new school year can be stressful. The lazy days of summer are over and now kids have to go back to daily learning and homework! However, if students and parents prepare ahead of time then it won’t have to be quite as hectic for anyone. Here are some back to school tips start the school year off right and making sure everyone is prepared to have a wonderful start to the school year.

Start the School Year On the Right Foot

Go to School Orientation

I know we talked about this in “10 Back to School Tips for Parents,”  but this one bears repeating: don’t skip the school orientation! School orientation is the day that you and your child can go and get the class schedule, look around the school, gather supply lists, and meet the teachers. The reason these days are so important is because of all the useful information that can be gathered.

It can reduce a lot of anxiety for you and your child to know where their classroom is before the first day and to already have met their teacher. Touring the school will familiarize you and your child with where they need to be and how to get there as well as where to go to pick them up or help during a class party. Knowing where the gym, art room, music room, cafeteria, and classroom make the schedule more real and improve planning.

Overall, orientation will make everyone feel more relaxed and also helps parents feel confident that they know where their children are, who is teaching them, and what is to be expected of them on the first day. So put it on your calendar now!

Get to Know the Teacher

Sending a friendly email to the teacher before the school year starts can also help with knowing what is expected of your child before class begins. Does the teacher have any tips for homework or at home learning? How much homework do they give out? What are classroom rules and expectations?

If your children are older, they will have multiple classrooms and teachers.  Take a look at their schedules and make sure to ask for any relevant papers that go out on the first day. Usually, teachers will send out a syllabus and a list of expectations for the semester during the first week of classes. Make a copy for yourself and give it back to your child to keep.

Make a Space for School Work

Try to make a specific space in the home to do homework and school projects and have a schedule of when homework is to be completed. Will it be right after school, or before or after dinner? Will your child not be able to watch TV until their homework is done? Having some rules set about schoolwork before the year starts will make the transition easier for everyone.

Get into a routine so that your child knows when and where schoolwork should be done, and make sure that distractions are minimal when they are doing schoolwork (i.e. no TV, phones, or tablets while at the workspace). This will allow students to focus on the work they are doing and to know what is expected of them. Involve yourself and be aware of any upcoming projects, papers, and tests so that your child can start studying ahead of time to reduce stress!

Prepare Supplies Ahead of Time

Glue sticks, pencils, pens, markers, scissors – the list is of supplies could go on and on. You already know that you need to go shopping to make sure your children have everything they need for the first day, but you also need to get those supplies ready for school.

Before the first day of school, you’ll want all the supplies gathered in an organized fashion in their school bags. Label important items so that they are not lost or mistaken to be another students’. It’s not uncommon for a number of kids to have the same or similar items. Losing something is inevitable, but labeling supplies will help reduce the likelihood.

Do Some Summer Reading and Learning Activities

Make sure your children read books and keep their brains working over the summer so that they don’t forget everything they have learned. Doing some entertaining but educational activities each week keeps the brain stimulated and primed for learning.

It is a good idea to have fun activity books for younger students to do and make sure that older students have a summer reading list they are completing. For younger kids who are attached to technology, there are still ways to practice reading online, or students can play math games on the computer to combine learning with fun. Use fun educational activities to limit the time spent with the TV so that they aren’t going back to school in the habit of wanting to watch shows all night when they get home!

We here at A Grade Ahead assure you that trying out some of these tips will make it an easier transition into the school year and less stress for everyone. Do you have anything that you do to get ready for the school year? Let us know what your back to school tips are!

Author: Elisa Travalio, Editor, Teacher and Blog Writer at A Grade Ahead

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