Preparing for Back to School – Tips Beyond the Shopping List

Last Updated on August 13, 2021 by Thinkster

The weeks leading up to a new year of school are an exciting time for both parents and students. A new set of teachers, classes, and experiences are waiting just around the corner!

At this point, most of the communication from your teachers and school will be about the class structure, the new schedules, and, of course, the shopping list of school supplies. While making sure you’ve fully equipped your children for the adventure ahead is important, there is more you can do to help them to be fully prepared to make the most of the next year.

Every grade level comes with its own set of experiences, challenges, and milestones. Often, students may have no idea what to expect or watch out for, and the transition to a new grade can feel overwhelming. As a parent, it will be helpful to touch base with your children to discuss how they are feeling, what they hope to get out of their experience this year, and help them become more aware of the types of interactions they may have with others. Here are some back to school tips that might make the transition a little bit easier.

When and How to Start Focusing on “Back to School”

There’s no time like the present to get started on preparation for returning back to school and the next year! Wouldn’t you rather reach that final week of summer feeling calm, prepared, and satisfied that your children are ready to go?

Are your children more academically inclined? Or are they social, with tons of friends and upcoming activities? Do they love sports and extracurriculars? We know you want to help your child achieve their dreams and make the most of the year, which is why it can be the most beneficial to you both if you begin your preparation ASAP.

As far as what to look out and prepare for, you will be most effective as a listener. Your kids know what they’re worried about, what problems they had last year, and what they’re looking forward to the most. If you have a real talk with them and listen without expectation, you’ll also help them understand that you’re here for them no matter what!

“New Year Resolutions” for the New School Year

New year, new me? We like to think that every person is constantly evolving. So, instead of viewing the new year as a time to start over, we like to focus on setting new goals designed to challenge and grow ourselves, often building on past goals. Kids can benefit from setting these types of goals too, and we’re here to help you figure out how to do just that.

Preparing for Back to School | Thinkster Math

Rather than putting all your eggs in one basket by setting hard expectations for your child, it can be much easier for them to strive toward something that has no deadline and no one counting on a specific outcome.

Setting realistic, attainable goals can be tricky. Especially with kids who either don’t know what they’re capable of, or think too little of themselves. That’s where you come in.

You know your children better than anyone else. They all have dreams and aspirations, and getting back into the school year can be the motivation they need to start working toward their future.

Take the time to go over goal setting with your kids, and you may just find yourself working hard alongside them as they work toward making their dreams a reality.

Academic Goals

Do you have a child that loves to achieve in school? Besides just their classes, they may participate in as many clubs as they can manage, or do extra work to excel in their studies. These children already know that they love learning, so what’s a good goal you can set with them?

Well, it might be time to do a little research. You may just find that there are plenty of additional options for your child to explore, and they’ll be grateful that you’re so invested in their current happiness and future success.

Academic Goals | Preparing to Go Back to School | Thinkster Math

First, figure out if your kids’ school offers any special programs or advanced curriculums that your child would see as an exciting goal. These can include competitions, running for student body, clubs, and more!

Academic goals don’t always have to be about getting better grades. We know your child is destined for great things, and your support will help them get there so much faster.

Extracurricular Goals

With so many options for extracurricular activities, it can be difficult to choose which ones are going to be the most beneficial for your children. We know you want them to reach their full potential, so joining a club that’s just for fun might not be the most appealing option.

However, we’re here to tell you that every extracurricular activity has benefits for your child. Not only do they expand your kids’ interests and expertise, they teach them valuable skills like time management, making friends, teamwork, and completing projects.

When considering extracurricular options, the best advice we can give you is to talk to your children. Many children are so eager to please their parents that they forget to choose activities that they are passionate about. You’ve got to express to your kids that their enjoyment, growth, and future success are the main goals here, so you’re going to do all you can to help them get there.

Make sure you do thorough research when choosing extracurriculars, and do the preparation work ahead of time so when that first day arrives both you and your child are ready to get started!

Important Back to School Topics to Discuss with Your Child

Besides getting physically ready for back to school with supplies and schedule changes, we highly recommend you have a discussion (or several) with your child about some things to expect during this school year. No matter their age, every year is different and they may or may not be ready to face some upcoming challenges.

We think it’s best to go over some important topics to discuss with your kids before it’s that first busy day and they’ve gotta face things one way or another. How they feel during school—about their friends, their difficulties, and their hobbies—is going to make all the difference when they come home to you after school.

Back to School Tips | Topics for Back to School | Thinkster Math

Sit down with your kids and ask them how they are feeling about:

  • Bullying
  • Extracurriculars
  • Academic success
  • Schedule changes
  • Staying focused
  • Touching/consent
  • School lunch plans
  • Community service
  • College applications
  • Dating

We know that if you take the time to listen to your kids and their fears—really try to see things from their perspective—that they will feel confident going into the year knowing that their parents have their back.

As back to school creeps ever closer you’ll be so glad you took these steps to make the fall easier on both you and your children. So sit down with them and talk about back to school in a way that they’ll feel ready to both face and handle the upcoming challenges.

And, if you’d still like to go above and beyond, you can always consider online math tutoring to give them that extra boost. Our dedicated and knowledgeable tutors will work with your children on difficult math concepts, so when the time comes to return to school they can feel more prepared and ready to tackle math class!

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