Back-to-School Tips and Tricks

July 30, 2019

It’s hard to believe kids will soon be heading back to school – the summer break evaporated like morning dew on a freshly mowed lawn! And it’s likely the Southshore students in your house will be a bit more anxious than the adults about returning to the deadline-oriented routine of school! Here are some tips and tricks from lots of moms, child psychologists and teachers to help with a smooth transition.  

Supplies, Wardrobe, Food and Sleep

For kindergarteners through high school seniors a quick look at the school supply list from your child’s school is first on the list of preparation activities. But first, sift through closets and drawers to see what essentials might be tucked away from last school year, then make a list of everything you still need and swing by The Dollar Store for cheap school supplies.

Giving your student everything he or she needs to succeed includes picking out that all-important outfit for the first day of school. Plan on getting a good night’s sleep, which may mean going to bed 10 minutes early NOW, to get everyone adjusted before the night before the first day of school. Some experts suggest having a family meeting to discuss the coming changes and ask your kids what might help them switch back to school-night bedtime . Maybe blackout shades are in order? A heads up 30 minutes before bedtime?

Teachers interviewed by Family Circle about setting kids up for first day school success, offered 20 tips for parents. We mentioned wardrobe, but according to one teacher, we forgot the shoes! Shoes can make or break a child’s day because there’s nothing more distracting than an uncomfortable pair of shoes. Like all teachers, she wants her students’ full attention!

A good breakfast is a deal breaker too because during the summer when days are less structured and meals are more laid-back we’re not thinking about a student processing information or laser-focusing and the fuel required to do that. And to get kids more excited than jittery when the first day arrives, make sure to shop for a cool lunchbox or backpack – something that they can’t wait to use. In this collection of lunch totes, Good Housekeeping found at least a dozen for the younger set and a A Taste of Home’s appealed to older kids’ tastes. 

And for a slew of suggestions about what to pack in those totes, head over to Real House Moms for plenty of menu ideas.

On the somewhat frivolous or at least crafty side, Woman’s Day has back-to-school DIY craft ideas that can help students get excited about the transition back to learning mode. And Studio DIY comes through with suggestions for embellished backpacks and notebook covers.

Tips for Students, From Students

Okay, this was too cute not to include: tips from kids for kids. Parents Magazine collected a few bits of advice from young learners, anxious to share their insider insights with peers. Olivia shares with her preschool peers that if you want to draw, don’t do it on the table, ask for paper from the teacher. And Quimby, a kindergarten alum, reports that math class is fun, when you get to count out loud with the teacher – sometimes all the way to 120!

Questions for Teachers and Students

Edutopia is a great resource for parents with lots of tips and tools for getting ready to send kids back to school. From Meaningful Questions You Should Ask the Teacher, to helpful questions to ask your child after school – to replace, “How was school today?”.

For teachers, questions like, “what academic standards do you use and what do I need to know about them?” to help you support your child’s learning experience. And for your child, questions and prompts like, “Tell me about a moment today when you felt excited about what you were learning,” are designed to elicit more than the usual”fine” response!

College students may not need much in the way of practical advice about how to transition to the school year after a summer off, but The Princeton Review has some great tips about creating a routine, a place to study and habits to cultivate to boost collegiate chances for success.

Back to School Southshore

Whether your school-age kids are attending the elementary, middle or high school near Southshore or heading off to higher ed, they’ll always want to come home to Life at the Lake. If Southshore isn’t your home, check out this amazing development – located near dining, shopping and all kinds of recreation and entertainment. Tour the model homes from Century Communities, Richmond American Homes and Toll Brothers — available in ranch and two-story designs, and priced between the $400s and the $700s.