Preparing Your Child for Back to School Success

By Dr. Raymond Huntington

Going back to school does not have to be stressful for your child. In fact, a little effort now makes the transition easier—and your child will feel more motivated and ready to make it a great school year. Here are suggestions on how to prepare your child for going back to school this fall:

  • Plan a few fun outings to gear up. Take your child out to lunch and to shop for school supplies and a first day of school outfit or two. Sometimes, picking out a backpack and new school supplies makes things fun, helping children ease into the idea of school.
  • Spend time setting goals for the fall semester. At Huntington, we often talk with students about the importance of goal setting. This process helps children get into the right frame of mind for learning and focused on working hard toward the future. Encourage your child to reflect on last year and think about what to could improve this year. Have him or her write down those goals and a few steps to take to reach them.
  • For high school students, talk about college. Help your teen keep the big picture in mind by having regular conversations about higher education and career plans. What does your teen find interesting from an academic and career standpoint? Discuss visiting their guidance counselor early this fall to ensure your teen is aware of and on the right track with all of the college to-dos.
  • Talk about the importance of staying organized. Organization is the key to doing well in school, and it all starts with developing a good system for keeping track of homework and test and project dates. If you have a younger child, consider a simple homework notebook, while a student planner or smartphone planner app might work best for your middle or high schooler.
  • Remind your child about good time management practices. If your child has gotten a little lax with any sort of routine over summer break, it’s time to start discussing what a typical school day will look like. Together, start putting important dates on the family calendar, such as school orientation and back to school night. As the school year gets underway, have your child show you how he or she will block off time in the hourly schedule of his or her planner and record important dates and deadlines.
  • Encourage your child to advocate for him or herself. You’ll do your child a big favor if you teach him or her how to communicate well with teachers and peers. The sooner your child takes ownership of his or her education, the more equipped your child will be to address problems correctly with the help of you and teachers.
  • Be enthusiastic. Be a good role model for optimism. Remind your child of the great parts about school, whether that’s seeing friends again, making new ones or getting back into a daily routine. Be positive and frame up the new school year as an opportunity for growth, learning and adventure.

Need more guidance on how to prepare your child for back to school success? Contact the Huntington team for more back to school ideas. We will share our best back to school tips, plus more about how Huntington’s one-to-one learning programs will help your child be efficient and effective with homework and studying and achieve his or her potential.