By GreatSchools Staff
The secret to back-to-school prep isn't just getting your child ready, it's getting ahead of the curve yourself. Here's how:
Does your school send home emergency and informational forms for you to fill out? Don't wait until the night before school starts to get these ready. Are your emergency contacts up to date? Do you need to ask another friend or relative to be your emergency contact this year? Be sure to leave yourself time during the week before school to get the information you need to properly fill out these important forms.
"Have a night-time routine and stick to it, "says Kathy Glass, a California middle-school teacher, educational consultant, and author focusing on curriculum and instruction. "Begin it in August so kids are accustomed to it when school starts." Her suggestions include: no television Sunday to Thursday nights, instant message only after homework is done, no texting or instant messaging after a certain hour, read for at least 20 minutes before bed.
Glass does acknowledge that many students are able to instant message, do their homework and achieve good grades. "If they can keep up good grades, allow them to go back and forth," she says. "It's the way of the world now. When I work, I go back and forth from writing to checking my email and I still get my job done. Keep this in mind when enforcing that students do not text or instant message while doing their homework. Know your child. Some are able to multitask and some are not."
"A week or so before school starts, talk through with your kids what they envision their schedule will be like," advises Laurence Steinberg, professor of psychology at Temple University, and author of You and Your Adolescent and The 10 Basic Principles of Good Parenting. "For younger children, explain the schedule and how the days will be organized. For secondary school children, ask them to explain what their schedule will be like - what classes they are taking, what extracurricular activities, work schedule, etc. Help them think ahead as to how to handle their responsibilities. When will they block out time for homework? When will they block out time to practice? Help them make sure the schedule is 'realistic'."
"If your child is changing schools or going to a new school for the first time, remember that it can be very anxiety provoking," says Steinberg. "This anxiety can manifest itself in several ways. Watch for it and be supportive."
For guidance, check out our 11 tips for adjusting to a new school.
"Parent involvement in schools matters," adds Steinberg. "Parents should think about the level of involvement they can commit to for the year. Whether one field trip or volunteering weekly, figure out the level of involvement you can commit to and stick with it."
Sign up for our free newsletter and we'll send you
more just like it every week.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.