Ready, Steady, School! Tips for the New School Year

By , on August 29, 2013

Back to school! Photo from Monkey Business Images at
Back to school! Photo from Monkey Business Images at

It’s that time of the year again. Starting a new school year always brews mixed emotions in students and parents. Some students are excited to meet new friends and learn new things, some would rather stay in bed under the covers or live under a rock than go to school. For parents, it’s the eternal battle of waking up the kids early (with a wrestling match to get them out of bed), preparing breakfast, preparing their packed lunch, getting them ready, sending them off to school, and before you know it, you’re late for work.

But don’t worry, we’re here to help you out. With just a few weeks (or days!) left before the school year starts, here are some practical tips you can do with your children to get them ready for school and hit the ground running.

Practice waking up early. Photo by Shumilina Maria from
Practice waking up early. Photo by Shumilina Maria from
Practice Waking Up Early

Even if they don’t have classes yet, encourage them to wake up early. This might prove to be quite a difficult task, but it will pay off in the end.

About a week before they go back to school, wake them up earlier than their usual wake up time during the summer. Do this gradually, so your kids won’t raise hell everytime they get up. For example, on day one, you can wake them up 30 minutes earlier; on day two, an hour earlier; day three, an hour and a half earlier, and so on.

Waking up early even if they don’t have to school yet will help condition their system better.

A Change of Attitude

This might be the inner Stephen Covey in me talking, but try to influence your kids from the inside out. Show your kids that you’re excited about them going back to school and let them know how happy you are that they’re starting a new schoolyear. Imagine all the great possibilities this new year can bring: a new achievement, a new skill, a new proficiency, a new friend. Show your kids that you are looking forward to help them and support them this year even more than you did last year.

Brush up on past lessons. Photo from Pavel L. Photo and Video from
Brush up on past lessons. Photo from Pavel L. Photo and Video from
Brushing Up

About a week before school starts, encourage your kids to brush up on his or her past lessons. Summer tends to wash off most of the things they learned the previous year — perhaps it’s all the heat. So, it is best to let them review important points that they tackled last year.

Reviewing will give your kid an advantage when it comes to his classes. Surely, he will hit the ground running. While his classmates are still trying to remember the answer, your kid’s already raised his hand to answer the teacher’s question. Tell your kids that starting the school year well will motivate them to keep up the good work.

Enjoy Outdoor Activities

Your kid will most probably spend most of his/her time at school — a not-so-willing captive of the classroom. It is best to let them enjoy the outdoors just before they start school, so they won’t feel like they’re missing out on too much.

This is also a great source of inspiration for the perpetual essay on the first day of school, “What I did last summer.”

Set Expectations

Before school starts, ask your kid what he or she wants to achieve by the end of the schoolyear. It doesn’t matter whether your kid is in his/her senior year in college or just setting off for third grade; ask them what they want to achieve this year. Whether it’s getting better grades or learning a new skill or making a new friend, help them achieve that goal.

Again, in the words of Stephen Covey, “begin with the end in mind.”