How to Help Your Child Prepare for Back-To-School

How to Help Your Child Prepare for Back-To-School

prepare for back to school graphic with photo of two kids studying

As parents, we might often think about how to prepare our kids for back to school, but by framing our to-do list this way, our kids are missing out on a learning opportunity. If you read our blog post about Skills Acquired During the Covid-19 Pandemic, you’ll recall that one of the most valuable skills kids have had an opportunity to learn over the past year is independence. We can continue to nurture and develop this skill by giving them every opportunity available to take charge of their education.

Encourage them to set goals for themselves

Sit down with your kids and ask them: Are there skills that they want to develop, like being more organized or managing their time better? Is there a subject they’re struggling in that they want to improve on? Maybe there’s something new they want to try this year. Setting goals will help get kids thinking more about the bigger picture and less about the individual successes and setbacks.

Goals should always be SMART, which means they should be:

  • Specific – Goals should be clear and part of an actionable plan.
  • Measurable – How will they know if they’ve reached their goal?
  • Achievable – Goals should push your kids to stretch their abilities but also be realistic.
  • Relevant – They should matter to your kids so they feel motivated to reach them.
  • Timely – There needs to be a time limit on goals for them to be meaningful.

Tip: Consider tying rewards into incremental goal accomplishments. Not only will they be earning their rewards, but they’ll be even more motivated to reach their goals.

Get them involved in planning their own routine

Ask your kids to think about: What extracurriculars will need to fit into their schedule? When do they feel most productive when doing homework? Make sure they know what chores they will need to plan for.

We all know kids often complain when they’re asked to do something. But having a routine can help mitigate arguments because there are fewer surprises. Allowing them to make some decisions about when things like chores and homework are done can help them feel more in control of their lives and less frustrated when it comes time to doing those tasks.

Tip: For younger kids, help them create and print out a schedule that they can follow each day. For older kids, have them input recurring events in a digital scheduler with built-in reminders for key tasks. And don’t forget to plan for fun and free time!

Have them clear out the clutter and getting organized

The first step in de-cluttering is going through last year’s school materials. Have your kids help decide what they can reuse and what can be recycled or disposed of.

Next, homework spaces can get a little disorganized over the summer break, so have your kids clear out the clutter from their bedroom and homework space. An organized physical space with few distractions can help the mind focus on the task at hand. So, when it comes time to start homework again, they’ll be ready to go.

Lastly, think about what’s missing. Apart from school supplies, what other materials need to be replenished or replaced? Perhaps new clothes or homework supplies need purchasing. It can be easy to focus on what kids will need for at school and forget about what they’ll need at home.

Discover even more study tips and resources to help inspire a love of learning.