Back to School Tips

Back to School Tips

Back to school season is here! Schools are starting up again after summer break in nearly all of our surrounding areas. Our young ones are heading off to the their first day of school; our pre-teens are about to enter the middle school dark ages; our teenagers dealing with the four-year road to independence; our eldest teens prepare themselves to be on their own either working or earning a degree. Each back to school era ushers in new maturation and requires different preparation. We’re here to help with it. Their education is cumulative, so most everything mentioned from each milestone can apply to future grades as well!

Elementary School

The very beginning of a child’s schooling. This is the era when they will develop the social and early critical thinking skills necessary for nearly all parts of their future daily activities. These are the foundations of their future, so they’re mighty important!

  • Get things that show off what they like. If they have a deep love for Disney-Pixar’s Cars series, let them go wild and rock a Cars backpack or lunchbox. Do they love Elsa from Frozen? That Frozen T-Shirt would make for a great first day of the year outfit. It’ll be easier for them to find those who like similar things and begin a friendship with them. Friends in childhood are super important and can bring so much happiness to your child.
  • Buying supplies on supply lists is a safe bet. Teachers go to great lengths to provide the best education for their students. Many days before the year begins are spent preparing curriculum, games, ideas, assignments and more. Supply lists are pretty fine-tuned to provide everything a child could need. However, many teachers also pack their classrooms to the brim with their own supplies, so you may not need to buy everything. Talk to the teacher if possible and see what they have planned, and buy supplies around that. If you want to establish a good rapport with the teacher, definitely buy the much-needed tissues and disinfectants they always request.

Middle School

These are three years, but also the years most kids want to forget. Very few people finish school and say that middle school was a great time. These are the years of true identity building, and very often that means long hair, doing whatever it means to be “cool.” These three years can go any direction.

  • Social media can be beneficial or destructive. There’s a reason nearly all services state that users must be 13 years or older in the Terms of Service. Social media is a great place for friends to interact and share experiences with each other, but there’s a wild world out there on the internet. Keep tabs on their internet usage and set restrictions if you notice their usage becoming a detriment to their social or educational well-being. Time away from the screens can be a great thing.
  • Stay in touch with their teachers & counselors. It’s a good idea to keep in touch with your child’s educators so that you can know what’s going on when your child doesn’t necessarily tell you everything. Keeping regular contact with their educators can help you prepare for upcoming units/chapters/homework so that you can best help your young ones.

High School

Final stretch of the K-12 system. Your children are nearing adulthood and have matured so far beyond their first day of school in kindergarten. By the time ninth grade rolls around, the previous decade will have seemed like it flew by in the blink of an eye. High school is still a long journey to the finish line.

  • Recommend that they join a sport or club. If they haven’t joined one thus far in their K-12 career, now is a great time for them to hop in. Be it football, basketball, theatre, choir, band, art, math, beta, etc., they’ll be surrounded by people with similar interests. It’s a great way for them to make the friends they may keep for decades to come.
  • College-credit courses are wonderful and bountiful. It’s not difficult to imagine your child walking out the high school doors with enough college credits earned via AP and dual-credit courses to make them a college sophomore or higher. AP and dual-credit courses are far, far cheaper than an entire year–nay, even a single semester–and should absolutely be taken if the opportunity is there and if your teen wants to take them.

College

After nearly eighteen years within the nest, kids are likely begging to be released out into the world to fly. College is the prime time they can be on their own and learn vital skills related to independence, time management, and financial responsibility. When the semester begins, there’s a few things you can do.

  • Take the time to help them move in. Moving out is an important day in both your and your child’s lives and it’s best to experience it together. You’re going to serve as the bridge between their independence and their dependent home life. It’s a great thing to help and let them know independence isn’t as scary as it may seem.
  • Don’t buy all the books before the semester. Professors at many universities are often required to list a textbook as a required material even if the students don’t truly need it. For courses like anatomy, math, foreign language, and business, a textbook requirement is often true. For others, it’s best to wait until classes begin. Save your money and wait until the professor tells you to get it!

School is the wild wild west–we can never accurately predict the experience our children will have, but we have to try our best to provide them the best education and social experience possible. The hours spent in school during the 13 K-12 years and 4 university years are where they learn who and what they are. The time will speed past us at breakneck rates, but it’s important we try our best to slow down and be there for our kids whenever they need us, even when they don’t know they need us.

If you have any tips you want to share with others, leave a comment here or over at our Facebook page! Schooling is hectic, and parents are always in the market to further their knowledge. To read more tips about your home, head back to our blog.

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