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Back To School Tips And Tricks

Updated on September 14, 2016

By now your child will be in school or has already attended the first day of school. Whatever you and your family’s situation there are some help tips and tricks to do before, at the start and during the school semester that can help make it a great school year.

Ian Burt  cc by Flick
Ian Burt cc by Flick | Source

It matters not what semester year, parents have a great desire for their children to have a successful academic year. Therefore, it is important to establish strong school year practices. The below tips are courtesy of a licensed elementary school guidance counselor, with over 18 years of teaching experience.

  • Welcome the school year with a positive attitude. Be supportive of your child and his or her teacher.
  • Remind your child that she or he is important, smart, and unique.
  • Praise your child when she or he is acting responsible and doing the right thing. This can prevent negative-attention-getting behavior at home and school.
  • Simple rewards such as choosing what the family has for dinner, playing a game with your child, choosing a special snack or even drawing a silly picture to put on the refrigerator can do wonders!
  • Use alternatives to physical punishment. Involve your child in making a few simple family rules and setting consequences for violating them.
  • Teach your child to organize his or her thoughts and materials when prepares for the school day.
  • Remind your child of the importance of being responsible and respectful.
  • Stress that a good education is a priority.
  • It might also be fun and beneficial to have your child remind her or himself, every morning before getting out of bed to have a good day!
  • Tell your child to be a problem solver and that every bad thing passes.
  • Teach your child the power of positive thinking.

These tips are easy to carry out and will have a positive impact in a child’s academic year.

That settles it then, it is back to school and you have a list of back to school items to purchase. But wait, do not overlook a very important list, the back-to-school to-do list To solidify a smooth back to school transition, take a look at the below list. It is a good reminder of what parents frequently over look.

  • Be sure to get immunization card updated as well as the school required physical fitness examination.
  • Start back-to-school sleep schedule a week before first week of school.
  • In preparation for the academic world have practice time, twenty minutes per day, for basic reading, writing and mathematical skills.
  • Set behavior and grade expectations for the school year; develop plans and establish realistic goals to help meet expectations.
  • Discuss causes and consequences as they relate to school culture.
  • As a family, discuss the amount of parent volunteer hours to perform in school for the semester year.
  • For first time public transportation rider take a practice route to designated school.
  • Set up security alerts and check points.
  • Commit to make a monetary donation or purchase items from the teacher’s wish list.
  • Create a vision board of positive academic and social goals for the semester year.

Army Medicine cc by Flickr
Army Medicine cc by Flickr | Source

As you continue to prepare for the new semester year with the purchases of new school clothes and school supplies, deliberate on a few proactive behaviors to eliminate the possibility of failure. Read below some insightful observations:

Back to school jitter: At the beginning of the new school year children are often resentful, or afraid of going back to school. They were having such a “great summer” and as such will not appreciate the necessity to go back to school. Or, they are going to a new grade level or school and are afraid they will be unable to keep up academically or socially. These are just a few elements that often result in failing grades on the first progress report or report card.

Monitor homework: To prevent any failure parents should closely monitor all homework and work assignments. When students are doing homework sit with them and ask them to explain the subject. Put students in a teaching mode so that they can demonstrate their knowledge. If you are not able to sit with them have a relative or friend do so. This one on one session help identify a child’s academic weakness and prevents failure.

Teacher’s assessment: Children with “good” teachers are often diagnosed early for possible failure. Good teachers make these assessments early and often try to work with students. Consequently, parents should talk with teachers at the end of the first month of school. Parents should ask teachers about their perception of their children’s learning abilities, their weakest subject areas, and supplementary resources to help strengthen weak areas, academic or social.

During these preventive actions it might be determined that your child is a “slow learner”, do not despair. Early detection means preventing future failures and providing early solutions. Whatever the stage or time of detection it is never too late or too early to get a student help. However, be carefully of the labels placed on a student, the assessment is a diagnosis and not the totality of a child. Take the time to understand, and research options available to you and your child. But whatever you do, do something. Always do your utmost to prevent failure.

US Department of Education  cc by Flickr
US Department of Education cc by Flickr | Source

Is this your first time preparing for school?

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Parents with freshmen college students do not have a full insight into preparing for the college environment the below tips and tricks will go a long way in preparing and surviving the first year of college.

College tip: With a decision made as to what college your child will attend if your child has not done so already, now is the time for your child to explore the college’s website. Today most colleges communicate via the internet. Students can learn about freshman orientation, registration, school calendar and more. Subsequently, now is the time for your child to visit the website to understand the college’s mission and expectations. The college website can also help with outlining the required classes for your child’s major. Information about tutoring, sports, clubs and associations is readily available. Visiting and re-visiting the college website will coach your child for college life.

College trick: If your child worked for the summer or will receive funds for college this is a great time to teach him or her how to spend responsibly. Sit down with your child and make a list of items for college. Put a computer notebook at the top of the list, a successful student cannot be without one. Personal computers are now functionally outdated for college students because it does not offer the flexibility of a notebook. Furthermore, you and your child should discuss hardware and software options new or used as well as how much you should “contribute”.

College trick: As you check the big-ticket item off the list, now is a good time for your child to explore degree choice. Working this summer is more than taught your child the importance of a college degree. To help cement that importance, you and your child should discuss his many interests and for the remaining weeks work on developing his talents. Some college offer free online fast-track classes that might be of interest to your child.

College trick: For on campus students roommates are inevitable, hence have your child contact the college for any available information on his or her roommate. If at all possible have your child reach out to the roommate via social media. Try to build a friendly tone with the prospective roommate and if your child finds that a compatibility does not exist try to change prior to or at the day of checking in.

College tip: This is crunch time now is the time to double-check the college to-do list. If at all possible take a trip to the college, get what many call “the lay of the land”. Try to get a tour of the campus dorm to confirm you purchased the appropriate items. Dorm living is high risk; one college student had her clothes stolen every time she left her dorm to attend class. So, purchase the right locks and dorm equipment to secure your child’s privacy and personal possessions.

Attending any secondary school in the United States require proper immunization. Below are things parents should be aware of as the get their children vaccinated.

  • Children are more susceptible to disease than adults and vaccination should start early.
  • Children can contract: Diphtheria, Haemophilus Influenzae type b, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Human Papillomavirus, Measles, Meniongococcal, Mumps, Pertussis, Pneumococcal, Polio, Rotavirus, Rubella, Tetanus, and Varicella.
  • Children are given minimal doses to help build their immune system.
  • There are side effects to vaccination so it is important to monitor your child for severe reactions.
  • If a severe reaction occurs take your child to the doctor. Do Not Delay.
  • Keep good track of your child’s immunization card, never alter and change it. Overdose or lack of is deadly to your child.
  • Free vaccination is available in some communities.
  • There is an 800 phone number to answer any immunizations questions. Parents can call the CDC at 1 800-CDC-INFO or the TTY Service Hotline at 1 888-232-6348.

Finally, see below for some general and often necessary information to further help you and your child through the school year.

Use these resources to help in the back to school process knowing that at least some aspects of your child’s schooling will be quick and easy. As always parents are the drivers of their child’s future. Hence, remember to be proactive. Happy learning.


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    • Flipsgeraldine profile image

      Yvette Marshall 20 months ago from Houston, Texas

      peachpurple I appreciate you sharing about your son it shows how in tune you are with him, that is so important in this day and age.

      Serana Martel thanks for the compliment. Just so you know, I struggle daily with my writing. Your first Hub was good. Your tone was good. I especially liked what you said about wearing proper clothing and positive self talk. I did notice that your introduction has a sub-title. Introductions as a rule should not have sub-title. I hope that helped.

    • Serena Martel profile image

      Serena Martel 20 months ago

      Awesome article! Very helpful... you are a very good writer! Would you mind checking out my first Hub? It would mean A LOT to me! Thanks!!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 20 months ago from Home Sweet Home

      you know, when my son goes back to school after 2 months of vacation ( the final school holidays), he was worried that he might get lost in school, I had to teach him what to do, presuming what might happen.

      He needed answers to "in case" questions.

      After the 1st day, he was ok