Five Ways to Help Your Child Prepare to Go Back to School

Author Bio: Ryan Howard runs Smart Parent Advice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Cristin writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase.

It’s that time of year again. School supplies, lunchboxes, backpacks, meeting the teacher, and waiting excitedly to find out who all is going to be in the same class. Most kids are filled with worry, anticipation, and other mixed emotions regarding the start of a new year, or even the start of a new school.

There are several things you can do as a parent to help ease the transition into a new grade, no matter what the school year might bring for your child. The most important thing is that you’re attentive and patient with your child as they encounter new things.

1. Offer support.

The best thing you can do for your child is offer a listening ear and any advice or encouragement you might have for them regarding the things they’re worried about. Just knowing you’re there for them and you support them no matter what will go a long way to making them feel more confident about taking on the coming year.

2. Give them the supplies they need.

Make sure you take your child shopping for the school supplies they need to be successful this year. Get your district’s supply list and take it with you. Often, each individual school, grade level, or teacher will have their own recommendations apart from the generic list.

One of the best ways you can help your child’s teacher is by reaching out before school starts to find out what else they may need that isn’t on the list. This will help prep your child’s classroom for learning and may also lend a hand to students whose parents can’t afford their supplies.

3. Organize their records.

Familiarize yourself with your school’s medical requirements to attend and make sure you schedule any needed doctor’s appointments beforehand. Your school may require an updated record of immunizations.

You can also finish applications for nutritional programs if your school offers them, bussing if your child needs transportation, or before and after school care if you need a little help with your work schedule. That way your child will be ready to go on day one.

4. Read.

This is something you can be doing all summer long, from the day they get out of school to the day they go back. There’s so much power in reading. It will not only help prepare them for the upcoming year by making them a better reader, but it could also ensure that they don’t regress as much over the summer as they might if they weren’t reading at all.

That doesn’t mean you need to run out to the bookstore and spend a lot of money loading up on new reading material. Take advantage of the library over the summer for age appropriate recommendations.

Some libraries or other local organizations may even offer incentives to kids who read over the summer. If they complete enough books, they could win gift cards, free pizzas, and more.

If your child needs a little extra help, you can also use programs like ReadingIQ or Epic to give them a bit of a jump start.

5. Help with homework.

While you shouldn’t do your child’s homework for them, show them that you support their teacher regarding any take home work they need to complete. One of the easiest ways to ensure your child’s success is to support their education at home.

You may not always agree with the teaching methods, but that doesn’t mean you can’t encourage and support them anyway. There’s never anything wrong with asking the teacher for some extra materials so you can help continue your child’s learning outside the classroom.

Most teachers are more than willing to help any parent who takes an interest in their child’s education. Involved parents who support teachers are a teacher’s biggest ally and encouragement when things in the classroom get tough.

Final Thoughts

If you give your child everything they need to feel confident in their abilities, they’ll be ready to take on the school year and succeed. All they need is to know you’re there to help them through it with a strong support system and all the love in the world.