It never fails, one minute it’s August 1st and the next you’re walking your kids to the bus stop on the first day of school. Every year I will say the same thing to myself, ‘I’m going to get ready early this year.’ I know I am not alone! So this year I’ve gathered some successful parenting tips to help me and my kids get ready for back-to-school. I hope that they are helpful to you as well.

Present a good attitude about the upcoming school year and plan for success. Your kids are looking to you to set the tone, so model a positive attitude. Think about it this way: No matter what happens a positive attitude will make it better.

Give yourself and your kids some time to relax your way into it. Plan your vacations so that you have the full week before back-to-school at home. This will give you time to organize whatever your kids may need, do some back-to-school shopping, and take care of any last-minute emergencies. It will give your kids time to come off the high that is summer and exercise their brain a little bit.

Have a family meeting and discuss the rules for the new school year. What will be your teen’s school night curfew? What is the after-school schedule for each of the kids? What are the school night routines? What are the school night bedtimes? When and where is homework done? Set the rules together.

Help your kids do a review of school material that they already know. Go over the previous year’s concepts. You can find printable worksheets for kids online here: Free Printable Learning Activities for Younger Kids.

Start your school schedule at least two days before school starts to get your body’s internal clock set correctly. Wean your child from staying up late at night and sleeping-in. This may be one of the hardest things to do as the sun may still be out after bedtime during the late summer. But it is well worth the effort when your kids are not hung-over from lack of sleep the first day of school.


Plan out the first week of school with your kids. Know what your children are going to have for lunch know what they are wearing to be wearing that week and know what happens when they come home from school. Then, every weekend plan out the next week in a similar way. This is a successful habit to get established.

Go through the routine once. Will your child be walking to a new school this year? Or are they going to be waiting at a new bus stop? Do a run through with your child before the first day. Plan to be early the first day and adjust times accordingly as the first school week progresses.

Get organized!
Gather any notes or letter from your child’s teachers and make a list of supplies that your child will need. Be sure that they are able to go to the first day of school prepared. If you are unable to get anything on your child’s list, enlist the help of the teacher by writing a note asking for suggestions on how to get that particular supply.

Plan a favorite breakfast meal for the first morning of school. Use the time to cement any last minute plans. More importantly, enjoy this time together as a family as your start a new school year routine. Try and plan breakfast together once a week if possible.

Volunteer some time. Offer your services to your child’s teacher, but only offer what you are able to give. Can you chaperon a class party or help with a class unit? Great! Let your child’s teacher know by sending in a note with your child the first day of school. Be patient in waiting for their teacher to get back to you.

Prepare for the first night of school. Often kids come home with even more supply requests from their teachers and with a big stack of papers to fill out. Set time aside and avoid any other plans on that evening. Mark off any special dates on the calendar and place a copy of the school calendar where you will find it.

Ask your kids how their day went and really listen to what they have to say. Ask questions if your child is not too forthcoming. Do they like their teacher? Is there any subject/project they are looking forward to studying/doing? If you child is too tired to talk, wait until they are ready and be available.