Back to School Success: a Guide for Parents and Students

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Back to School Success

Hey there, it’s that time of year again. Summer is winding down and back-to-school season is upon us. Whether you’re a parent sending your kids off for another year of learning or a student heading back to the halls of academia yourself, the start of a new school year can bring a mix of emotions. You may feel excited at the prospect of seeing old friends again or learning new things, anxious about changes in teachers or schedules, or even a bit sad that the leisurely summer days have come to an end.

However, with some preparation and the right mindset, you can head into the new school year feeling confident and ready to succeed. This guide provides tips to help both parents and students start the school year off on the right foot. From establishing good routines to setting the right tech boundaries to bonding over back-to-school traditions, you’ll find advice to make this school year the best one yet.

Preparing for the First Day of School

The first day of school can be nerve-wracking for both parents and students. Here are some tips to help you prepare:


Double check that you have everything on the supply list. There’s nothing worse than realizing you’re missing something important on the first day! Get a special new backpack or lunchbox to make going back to school more exciting.

Meet the Teacher

If possible, attend any meet-the-teacher or orientation events. Meeting the teacher ahead of time helps students feel more comfortable in a new environment. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about classroom rules, procedures, and the curriculum. The more you know, the less anxiety you’ll feel.

Visit the School

Walk around the school with your child to locate their classroom, find the cafeteria, gym, library, and bathrooms. This can help avoid confusion and meltdowns on the first day. Point out the school office and any other important landmarks. For new high schoolers, map out the route between classes.

Practice the Routine

Start adjusting bedtimes and wake-up schedules a week or two before school starts. Have your child practice opening their lunch, finding the correct classrooms for their schedule, and following the routines they’ll experience each day. Repeating these small steps will make the first day feel familiar.

With preparation and practice, the first day of school can be an exciting new adventure. Support your child, encourage them to participate in activities, and celebrate this important milestone! The year will be off to a great start.

Getting Organized: Backpacks, Supplies and More

Getting organized for the new school year is key to starting off on the right foot. As a parent, help your student put together a solid plan to avoid chaos and frustration.

Back to School Success:


Stock up on necessary supplies like:

  • Pencils, pens, erasers, sharpeners
  • Notebooks, binders, dividers
  • Backpack, lunch box, water bottle
  • Calculator, USB drive
  • Tissues, hand sanitizer

Have your child help pick things out so they feel involved in the process. Let them choose a stylish but functional backpack and other gear they’ll use daily.

Assignment planner

An assignment planner, whether digital or physical, is essential for keeping track of homework, projects, tests, activities and events. Sit down together and write in all known dates and deadlines to start the year with a roadmap to success. Refer to the planner daily and update as needed.

Designated work area

Set up a quiet, distraction-free area for doing homework and studying. Make sure there’s a proper desk or table, good lighting, necessary supplies and a comfortable chair. Establish a regular work schedule or routine and enforce limits on technology and phone use during study time.

With the right tools, a solid plan and dedicated work space, your student will develop good habits and skills to thrive this school year. Offer encouragement and support to help motivate them along the way. Success is within their reach!

Establishing a Back to School Routine

Establishing a solid routine is key to starting the school year off right. As a family, sit down together and map out your ideal schedule for weekdays to keep things running smoothly.

Wake up and breakfast

Aim for waking up at the same time each day, around 30-45 minutes before needing to catch the bus or drive to school. Eating a good breakfast fuels up the brain and body, so make time for a balanced meal like oatmeal with fruit, a smoothie, or eggs. Have backpacks, lunch boxes, and clothes laid out the night before to avoid last minute scrambling.


Whether taking the bus, driving, walking, or biking to school, build in enough time so no one feels rushed. If driving, look into the best route ahead of time and leave a few minutes early the first few days until you get into the flow of traffic. Make a plan for after-school pickups or activities to ensure all students have a safe way home.

Homework and activities

Designate a distraction-free space for students to do homework and studying. Set a regular time each day for homework to become habit. Check that assignments are completed, and that students feel supported if they have questions or need help. Limit screen time and encourage exercise or other hobbies like sports, clubs, volunteering or arts to round out the day.

Wind down and rest

Aim for an earlier bedtime, especially for younger kids. A consistent sleep schedule will make it much easier to wake up for school. Have a relaxing wind-down routine like taking a warm bath, reading books together, or journaling before bed. Make sure all electronics are put away at least an hour before bed for the best sleep.

Establishing these good habits and a predictable routine will set your student up for success this school year. While it may take a few weeks to adjust, sticking with it will make the transition back to school much smoother for the whole family. With your support and encouragement, this can be an exciting new chapter!

Easing the Transition for Anxious Students

The first day of school can be an anxious time for many students. As a parent, there are several things you can do to help ease the transition and set your child up for success.

Connect with the school

Reach out to teachers, administrators and counselors. Express any concerns you or your child may have and ask how you can support them. Find out details about schedules, activities, and opportunities to get involved. The more you know, the less uncertain the first day will feel.

Visit the school beforehand

If possible, walk through your child’s schedule with them. Locate classrooms, meet teachers, and get a feel for the environment. Visualizing the space ahead of time can help alleviate anxiety about the unknown.

Practice the routine

In the weeks leading up to the start of school, begin shifting to an earlier bedtime and wake up routine. Pack lunches, pick out outfits, and do trial runs of the morning schedule. Developing the habit and familiarity will make the first day feel more normal.

Send a comfort item

For younger students or those with separation anxiety, send a favorite stuffed animal, toy or blanket as a transitional object. Having a familiar comfort item from home can help them feel less distressed in a new setting.

Stay positive and encouraging

Your attitude and support mean everything. Express confidence in your child’s ability to adapt to this transition. Remind them that anxiety is normal, and the uncertainty will subside once a routine is established. Offer encouragement, praise for their efforts and patience as they navigate this milestone.

With your support and guidance, the back to school transition can be a positive experience for even the most anxious of students. Staying connected, prepared and encouraging are the keys to setting them up for success and overcoming obstacles from the very first day.

Keeping Students Engaged All Year Long

Keeping students engaged throughout the entire school year can be challenging, but with the right mindset and strategies, it’s possible. Here are some tips to keep your kids motivated from the first day of school until summer break.

Set Small Goals

Help your student break down big tasks or long term goals into smaller milestones. This makes the work seem more achievable and less overwhelming. Celebrate achieving each milestone to stay motivated for the next one. For big projects, set deadlines for different stages to keep them on track.

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Find Interests and Pursue Passions

Encourage your student to participate in extracurricular activities like sports, clubs, volunteering or hobbies they enjoy. This gives them opportunities to pursue their passions and make new friends with similar interests. Their enthusiasm for these activities can help motivate them in their schoolwork as well.

Mix Up Routine

Adding variety to the usual routine can help boost motivation and engagement. Occasionally let your student study in a different location like the library or a coffee shop. Using different teaching materials, media and activities keeps learning interactive and interesting. Consider alternating between working with friends and working independently for a change of pace.

Set a Good Example

Model the motivation and passion for learning that you want to see from your student. Let them see you engaging in hobbies, skills development, and continuous learning. Share your own work experiences, education, and personal stories of overcoming obstacles or achieving goals. Your positive example can inspire your student to push themselves further in their own pursuits.

Offer Incentives and Rewards

Provide motivation through a reward system with small incentives for achieving goals and milestones. This could be time for screen use, a choice of activity, or a small treat. For bigger accomplishments, offer rewards like going out for ice cream, watching a movie together or another experience your student enjoys. Rewards give them motivation to stay on track with responsibilities so they can earn the next incentive.

Keeping students motivated for the long haul requires trying out different strategies to discover what works for their needs, interests and learning styles. With your support and encouragement, you can inspire your child to do their best from the first day of school until the last.


So there you have it—some tips and tricks to help you and your kids start the school year off right. Summer’s over, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end. With the right mindset and preparation, going back to school can be an exciting new chapter. Get organized, set some goals, connect with friends, and make the most of everything this school year has to offer.

Before you know it, you’ll be packing those backpacks again for winter break. But for now, focus on getting back into the groove of learning and enjoying this time with friends. The year will fly by, so take it all in and make memories that will last way beyond the classroom. You’ve got this! Now go get ‘em, kids! The year awaits.


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