Starting the School Year off Right – Parent Edition

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It’s hard to believe, but it’s already time to head back to school!

Every first day comes with jitters – and we know after such a unique school year last year, those jitters may be bigger than usual. We want to help you make the transition from summer break to school as smooth as possible and start the school year off on the right foot.

Life moves quickly, especially during the school year. It’s always busy and never seems to slow down, and it may feel as though there is no rest for the weary. But with a little thought and prep – every family can start the school year off on a positive note!

Fix Bedtime

Late summer bedtimes are fun and all, but late nights aren’t going to work once the alarm clocks start going off again in the morning. Start at least a week ahead of time bringing your child’s bedtime back little by little until you get back to your desired school year bedtime. Put your child in charge of watching the clock and letting everyone know when it’s time to head to bed, and start your bedtime routine.

Make a Lunch Station

Set up a basket in both your pantry and refrigerator with lunch items. A simple basket of items for the week is great because your child can easily grab it and help pack their own lunches. Bonus – they know what they are allowed to bring, as they can only pick from the items you have already placed into the baskets!

Set up Routines

  • Consider packing backpacks and lunches the night before each school day.
  • Set out your child’s clothes in the evening for the next day.
  • Whether it be right after school or after dinner time – schedule a set time for homework.
  • Stick with your bedtime

Take Time to Contact Your Child’s Teacher

A wonderful school year includes parents and teachers working together. If you can’t attend an open house, send an email or write a note. Any communication will help the school year run smoothly.

Eat Dinner Together

Yes, life is busy – and it may seem near impossible – but plan at least 2 weeknights each week to have dinner together as a family and make sure to let everyone talk about their day. Remember to ask open ended questions in order to get your child opening up more. Looking for question ideas? Try some of these:
  • What was a challenge you had today?
  • What was easy today?
  • Who are 3 people that you talked to today?
  • Did anything surprise you at school?
  • Did anyone do something funny?
  • What games did you play at recess?
  • What is something new that you learned today?
  • Did anyone push your buttons today?
  • Did you help anybody today?
  • What made you feel proud of yourself today?
  • Did you talk to anyone interesting today? What made them interesting?
  • How was today different from yesterday? How was it the same?
Check out this post for more ways to engage with your child after school.

Organize Your Space

Back to school means back to backpacks and papers and shoes everywhere. Before the school year starts, make sure to find homes for all your school related items. Give your child a basket for their shoes, a hook for their jacket and backpack, and tray or basket on the counter to put school papers. Remember to go through your child’s papers each night and check for any forms that may need to be signed or returned, and hang up any lunch calendars or permission slips that could easily be lost.

Set up a Homework Station

We already talked about dedicating a set homework time, but it’s also be helpful to set up a designated homework station. Consider keeping a supply bag filled with school supplies ready that your child may need to complete their homework (pens, pencils, a pencil sharpener, highlighters, dry erase markers, dry erase board, crayons, markers, glue, calculator, etc.) Keep these supplies near the table or desk that you have designated as your child’s homework area.


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