A mother reads a book to her child while they sit in a chair at home

5 tips to prepare your child for the school year ahead

With the school year right around the corner, parents might be wondering about best practices to ensure their child is ready for another academic school year. Here are five simple tips to help you prepare your child for the school year ahead.

1. Set bedtimes early

A few days or even a week before school begins, start monitoring bedtimes again. During the summer months, we tend to be a little laid back with bedtime, but forcing students to cold turkey get back to a specific time can be a recipe for disaster. Instead, start the routines a little early. You can even make this into a fun competition amongst siblings where the winner gets to pick what’s for breakfast.

2. Make a morning to-do list together

Prior to the start of a new school year, plan what the ideal morning ritual will be. Compile a list of what is expected of each child (brushing teeth, picking out a school snack, etc.) before you get out of the house each morning. Then print it out on a fun template for them to follow.

3. Beat the school supply rush

Find out what supplies your child may need for the school year; most schools post them on their website or social media. Then make it a point to go early to get the best selection, or order online. You will be glad you did not wait until the first day!

4. Review and read

As a teacher and a mom, I tend to let my kids relax during the summer months. However, as the school year approaches, I like to review topics I know they learned last year in school in a fun, engaging way (i.e. playing cards to review math facts). This helps keep academic anxiety at bay.

Additionally, bring back the reading routine if they stopped reading during the summer. Again, this can be done in a fun way, using comic books or magazines.  

5. Get excited!

First day jitters are real. Do your best to minimize your child’s stress or nervousness by talking about how AMAZING this new year will be. Read fun back to school books such as “First Day Jitters” or “Our Class is a Family.” Find out, if possible, if any friends landed in the same class. Find any little thing to celebrate and to make sure your child is pumped to go back to school. 

What are your top tips for prepping your child for the school year? Let us know at @ArizonaEducator on Twitter or Arizona PBS KIDS on Facebook.


About the author

Marissa Will is the mother of two, Olivia (6) and Logan (4). Writing was her first passion: she’s a freelance writer and a Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication alumna. Will is currently educating the future leaders of tomorrow: She has spent the past nine years educating third grade with a master’s degree in elementary education from Northern Arizona University-Yuma.

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