Back to School Tips for Busy Parents

The new school year will be here before we know it. Whether you’re sending your first child to school with a tearful goodbye, or rejoicing as your five school-age children disappear for eight hours so you can get some work done, this guide will help you be ready for this back-to-school season.

On the other hand, perhaps it is not your kids who are going back to school, but you. Many adults are returning to school for lifelong learning, a chance to finish that degree they never quite wrapped up, or to further their career.

This guide applies to you, as well! With these back-to-school tips, you will receive an “A+” in school preparedness.

Having trouble agreeing on parenting, school, visitation or other family-related issues with your former spouse? At the Law Firm of Caryn S. Fennell, we know how stressful legal issues can be when children are involved. If you need help finding an amicable resolution related to your child, reach out to us today. Our caring and compassionate legal team will make sure you have one less thing to worry about when getting prepared for the looming school year.

Back to School Tips that’ll Get you an “A+ in Parenting this Schoolyear

1) Get to Know the Teacher

Meeting the teacher early on in the school year helps you open good channels of communication. If this is your kid’s teacher, you set a foundation for showing that you care how their education is going, which lays good groundwork before any parent-teacher conferences.

Taking this initiative will leave a good first impression with your teacher and will help you feel at ease knowing you are leaving your child in good hands. Use this time to build rapport and ask any questions you may have.

2) Take a Tour of the School

Walking the halls of school before the first bell rings helps in a number of ways:

  • Help your child learn the routes to and from class to avoid confusion
  • Find out where key areas are, such as the library, cafeteria, and the all-important bathroom
  • This practice helps settle first-day jitters, allowing for a more relaxed environment

3) Don’t Wait for Back-to-School Sales

Tax-free weekend sounds great, but many places hike up prices to make it look like items are on sale or that you save a lot of money by not paying sales tax. This event also makes you deal with huge crowds and potentially sold-out items.Avoid the pressure of cramming in back to school shopping the weekend before school begins by picking up items here and there as the summer progresses. Many schools publish a school supply list by grade online. Picking up a few supplies every week will also help you avoid breaking the bank.

4) Get in the Right Mindset

This tip is especially helpful with children who are going to school. Summer is fun, but they need to be eased into their new routine of “study before play”. A few weeks before school begins, start talking about what your family’s school year routine will look like.

Two weeks before school starts, abandon those late summer bedtimes for a normal school year bedtime. Establish if showers will happen the night before or the morning of. Prepare your children to avoid the shock of the end of summer. Start practicing getting up early to get in the habit.

5) Make Summer Fun but Educational

Be sure to fit in some pool days and summer relaxation but also take advantage of fun, educational offerings. For instance, tour an art museum or a science center. Take the kids on a nature walk and talk about different birds, insects, plants, and animals. There are many opportunities to enjoy the good weather while also learning!

6) Participate in Summer Reading Programs

Libraries have really scaled up the “fun” in these programs, and it helps young children retain early reading skills. Whether you read to your child or if they can read on their own, books can provide a world of entertainment and education. The rewards are great incentives to keep the kids involved, as well. Go sign up for your local program today!

7) Create a Family Calendar

Not only is school starting back up, but many activities resume as well. By scheduling any sports, hobbies, music lessons, or study groups, you can help avoid family members overbooking themselves, including you!

You can also use this calendar to create a set “homework time” after school each day. This could be immediately after school, right after dinner, or right before bed, for example. Do what works best for your family.

8) Plan Ahead

Have a spelling test on Friday? Quiz your kid on a few words each night to avoid a rush. Flying out the door every morning?

Here are a few things you can do to slow the morning down:

  • Shower the night before
  • Pack lunch the night before
  • Pre-pack a week’s worth of snacks to set out on the counter or in the fridge
  • Pick clothes out the day before and set them in the bathroom
  • Prep breakfast on Sunday to warm up all, or part of, the next week

9) Be Flexible

Each child is unique in the way they learn and performs best. Be flexible with plans, routines, and schedules. By keeping everyone’s individual needs in mind, you can set your family up for success in this coming school year.

Get Ready, the School Year will be Here Before you Know it!

Follow the tips in this guide and you’ll be well-prepared for the school year ahead. Whether it’s your first rodeo or you’re a seasoned pro, planning ahead can take a lot of stress out of the process.

As family attorneys, the team at the Law Firm of Caryn S. Fennell is here to support you in making the best decisions and providing the best opportunities for your children. If you need assistance with any family legal matters don’t hesitate to reach out.