10 Tips to help you and your child prepare

A new school year can be both fun and scary for students. But there are steps parents can take to help their children succeed.

  1. Talk with your child. If your child seems nervous, let your child know that many students are also nervous about the first day of school. Point out the positive aspects of going back to school, such as seeing friends, participating in fun activities and going on exciting field trips.
  2. Plan and practice how to get to school. Will your child be taking the school bus, walking or riding in the car? Discuss safety measures for each of these methods, such as ensuring there are crossing guards, looking both ways before crossing the street, wearing seatbelts and other important measures.
  3. Get to know the teachers. Go a step further than attending back-to-school night or orientations. Introduce yourself to teachers and ask questions that help you, as a parent, understand the expectations for the school year.
  4. Don’t forget breakfast. Prepare a healthy meal for your child in the morning to get his or her day started off right. A healthy breakfast every day is important for student success.
  5. Create a routine. Build a routine for school days, such as bed times and wake times and getting ready patterns. Designate a homework time and quiet location. Turn TV and cell phones off.
  6. Pack safely. A child’s backpack should never weigh more than 10-20 percent of his or her body weight. Wide, padded shoulder straps are ideal. Adjust the pack so the bottom sits at the waist and tell your child to wear it on both shoulders. If a child must carry a heavy load, then consider a rolling backpack, if permitted.
  7. Stay involved. Consider volunteering at your child’s school or parent organization.
  8. Make homework a priority. Schedule enough time for homework, taking into account after-school activities. Help your child as needed, but never do his or her homework yourself.
  9. Make sleep a priority, too. Ensure your child is getting adequate rest for his or her age. For example, most adolescents require eight to ten hours of sleep, and younger children need even more.
  10. Talk with your kids about online safety. Teach your children about identity theft, online bullying and dealing with threats that happen over the Internet and social media.