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HomeBack to SchoolBack-to-School Prep

Nine steps to a smart start

Page 3 of 4

By GreatSchools Staff

Set priorities and schedules

To make the best use of your time and keep life from being harried, think about priorities for family members and then schedule them into the week.

For children

  • Before school begins, discuss what extracurricular activities your child will participate in. If your child needs a little extra encouragement to audition for jazz band or to take that early morning Italian class, now is the time to go over the benefits of these activities. If, however, your child needs to have limits set, have her pick her favorite activities and forgo the rest. Be realistic and don't fall victim to over-programming.
  • Make sure to leave enough time to do homework and for family time.

For parents

Determine how much time you can give to the school each month as a volunteer and involved parent: in the classroom, on field trips, for fundraising events and on school-wide committees.

For the family

Start a family calendar in a common area where each family member can write down his or her activities.

Prepare for the homework ahead

Having set routines and a place to study at home will make it easier for your child to be organized and successful at school.

  • Set up a well-lit, quiet place with a good work surface to do homework. Try to keep this place dedicated to homework and free of other clutter.
  • Establish a regular homework time. This will help your student to complete assignments on time.
  • Discourage distractions such as television, radio, the Internet or phone conversations during homework time.

Arrange for transportation

Everyone will feel better if transportation to and from school is addressed well before the start of the school year, particularly if your child is walking, riding his bike or taking the bus.

Walking or biking

  • Chart out a route to school or to the school bus stop.
  • If your child is going to a new school, take a dry run a few days before school starts.
  • Go over the rules of stranger awareness and traffic safety. Warn your child to always walk with a friend, and to avoid vacant lots and places where there are not a lot of people.
  • Be sure your child has your daytime phone number (including area code) and address, as well as the number of another familiar adult.
  • Scout out safe houses in the neighborhood where your child can go in case of an emergency.

Taking the bus

  • Remember to get the new bus schedule!
  • If your child will be taking the bus for the first time, discuss the bus route and bus safety rules with her.

Driving

  • If you will be driving your child, have a backup arrangement with another parent in case you are delayed for some reason.
  • Confirm carpool arrangements in advance and make sure your child knows who will be picking him up before and after school.
  • Become familiar with your school's traffic safety rules, drop-off and pick-up procedures.

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

09/13/2010:
"great tips to make life a little easier with a first time to school child!"
09/2/2010:
"I LOVE the books they suggested! I have started the going to bed early. "
09/2/2010:
"This article was very helpful in giving out pointers for parents with younger kids about to return to school. I agree with just about everything it says, however, we need and article to address the parents of kids returning to Middle School and High School. They need our help, too!!!"
09/2/2010:
"Great ideas for making life easier during the school year!"
09/2/2010:
"very helpful, thanks"
09/2/2010:
"thank you for the wonderful tips "
08/30/2010:
"important things to do"
08/30/2010:
"good tips! thank you."
08/30/2010:
"This are great tips..!"
08/30/2010:
"Love the Get Organized."
08/30/2010:
"Great Article! "
08/30/2010:
"Thanks again great stuff"
08/30/2010:
"Good article for younger students."
08/30/2010:
"Great tips!"
08/30/2010:
"I liked the thoughts in this article!"
08/30/2010:
"informative"
08/23/2010:
"Reading all your articles gets me excited about school! Thanks!"
08/23/2010:
"Thanks. Great article."
08/23/2010:
"As a teacher and a parent, the above suggestions are right on!"
08/23/2010:
"breakfast is a major one"
08/23/2010:
"we love our family calendar do not know what i would without it."
08/23/2010:
"very helpful, thanks"
08/23/2010:
"It is always important to stay on top of things."
08/23/2010:
"cool!"
08/23/2010:
"Thank you so much!"
08/23/2010:
"We do start getting ready for the new routine weeks ahead of time."
08/23/2010:
"We start all this about 2weeks before school starts so we're extra ready! We NEVER miss breakfast, and water is very important in the lunch/snack bags!!"
08/23/2010:
"Another great informative article. Thank you so much. I love this site. It is full of great tips to aid in our children's academic success."
08/23/2010:
"IGreat article. We follow many of theses suggestions at our house and it helps so much."
08/23/2010:
"thank you!"
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