Hope Smith in white pajamas standing over her son who is filling in a coloring book.

4 Back-to-School Tips for Moms (and Kids)

After a summer filled with fun and memories, the back-to-school season is here. It’s time to dust off those backpacks and get your kids ready for the school year ahead. But we all know going back to school isn’t just sunshine and rainbows. However, with a little studying, you and your kids can ace the back-to-school grind.
Here are some tips to make that shift from summer vacation mode to study mode easy for you and your kids.

1. Start Your School Routine Early

The first tip is all about getting the entire family in the right headspace going into the school year. By talking about school to your kids early and starting the morning routine even a week ahead of that first day, it’ll make the transition way easier when school actually starts. Also, starting routines a week early gives you a chance to make any adjustments you need to your own morning routine.

2. Prep for Tomorrow the Night Before

Speaking of preparing early, getting school things ready for your children the night before (such as lunches, clothes, and packed backpacks) can be a lifesaver in the morning and can give your kids (and mom) more time to get ready and out the door.

3. Plan for Open Communication with Teachers and Kids

The next tip may sound simple but it’s so crucial to keep a line open to track your child’s progress. Teachers get to see your child while you aren’t around which can offer a more complete picture of their development. You can get input from teachers ranging from a child’s learning difficulties or emotional struggles to academic achievements and milestones. Teachers are your teammates here and staying in contact with them throughout the year will do wonders.
Some questions to ask your child’s teacher at the beginning of the school year include:
  • What can I do to support literacy in my home?
  • What are the most important ideas my child needs to understand by the end of the year?
  • What are the best school resources that we should consider using as a family to support our child in the classroom?
Good ongoing questions to ask teachers throughout the year include:
  • How is my child doing?
  • Do you have any concerns about their social or academic skills?
  • Do you think they need my help with anything?
Keep in mind that a lot can happen during school and teachers might not catch every nuance. It’s best to keep an open line of communication with your child to notice any difficulties and to build trust that they can come to you with any problem.
Some questions to ask your kid about school include:
  • Tell me about the best part of your day.
  • What was the hardest thing you had to do today?
  • Can you show me something you learned (or did) today?

4. Manage Separation Anxiety with Positive Support

Going back to school can be hard for everyone, especially after an amazing summer with the family! Try adding some “playtime” at the school, so that the building and its playground isn’t so strange. Or schedule playdates with your child’s classmates to renew those relationships, especially if it’s been a while since they’ve been together in person.
If anxiety runs high, try to talk through it, and offer up ways that your child can cope through empowering mental techniques for kids. It’s key that parents offer moments of affirmations and love throughout the day and to recognize that anxiety can seem irrational to adults but be overwhelming to young children. Help them remember you love them throughout the day, even when they’re at school. You can try leaving notes in their lunch or even offer simple words of encouragement as you start or finish the day. Just find the method that works best for you and your kids.
With these tips, your family will slide into this school year like pros. If you’re looking for more tips on motherhood, check out Hope’s blogs on celebrating BAD MUTHAs and different routes to motherhood!