Parent Horizons: Tips to Prepare for Back to School

August 28, 2017

Back to school can mean a lot of different things to different people, even people within the same family. Excitement? Dread? Relief? Anxiety? It’s normal to feel any and all of these things as the school year begins. At Explore Horizons, we want to make sure ‘prepared’ is on the list of things you feel too.  We have outlined our top tips to keep things from getting too hectic in the first few weeks of back to school.

Routine Routine Routine

This time of the year is all about keeping things on track and on schedule. If your kids are having trouble with the early mornings, have them go to bed 15 minutes earlier each night to ease them into school hours. If they are ramping up their afterschool activities, make sure you are on the same page about the schedule each day and pack supplies and equipment the night before. Any little thing you can organize ahead of time will save a lot of panic later on.


Empower your kids

Regardless of age, your kids are likely to have some nerves going into the school year. Rather than brushing off their fears or immediately jumping to comfort your child, try to talk to them about how they are feeling and have them brainstorm possible solutions to their worries.

“We want resilient children, and a resilient kid has the capacity to think about possible solutions to problems. So you can start flexing that muscle with your child of any age, as school approaches,” said Rachel Simmons, co-founder of the non-profit Girls Leadership, to The New York Times.


Ask the teacher

Your child’s teacher can be an incredible resource, especially if you know what to ask. Edutopia made a list of questions to ask your child’s teacher that can help get more to the heart of the classroom-  a few of those insightful questions are listed below. Use this list as a starting point to really get to know the environment your child will spend a lot of their time.

  • What academic standards do you use, and what do I need to know about them?
  • How will you respond if or when my child struggles in class?
  • What can I do to support literacy in my home?
  • What kinds of questions do you suggest that I ask my children on a daily basis about your class?
  • How exactly is learning personalized in your classroom? In the school?


Stay positive

The school year inevitably drums up critiques and competition, so, as a parent, try to focus on their strengths and bring positivity into their work. Confidence in school will go a long way and any effort to facilitate that is extremely beneficial. Explore Horizon hosts a Young Mathematicians’ Awards every fall—if your child is math-inclined, this is the perfect opportunity to support their passions and explore their strengths.  If math isn’t their thing, let them decide the areas they want to focus on and be their cheerleader throughout.


Back to school is a great time to try Explore Horizons if you aren’t already. Sign up here for a free assessment.


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