Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Back to School – A Successful School Year Starts with Preparation

Boys Town - Mom hugging daughter before she gets on the bus

​Back to school is both an exciting and stressful time for kids. It is filled with so many changes – for some it might include a new school and new friends; for all it means a new normal from the summer routine. To help ensure a successful school year for your children, it is important to get them prepared, and the following four tools will help with that.

Communicate. Open and honest communication is a key to school success. As parents, it is critically important that you talk to your children and their teachers. Be available to them and carefully listen to what information they share. “When parents are actively involved in their children's lives, the kids do better in school," said Bridget Barnes, Boys Town Common Sense Parenting Expert.

Teach Social Skills. “One of the best tools for success that you can provide to your child is teaching them social skills," said Barnes. “You must teach them what to expect and how to respond appropriately. Most teachers will tell you that you can have a genius on your hands, but if the child can't follow directions, stay on task or take 'No' for an answer, they are going to struggle in school."

While summer vacation offers kids a welcome break, it also increases the possibility that they will have a memory lapse when it comes to school behavior. You can proactively help your children to be prepared and ready for school by teaching them these essential social skills:

  • Following directions
  • Getting the teacher's attention appropriately
  • Waiting your turn
  • Getting along with others
  • Staying focused and working quietly during study time

Get Health Checkups. Back-to-school preparations, like school physicals, also present an opportunity to check on your child's physical and mental health. The start of the school year can cause some kids to be filled with anxiety or create other conditions that should be addressed. Your pediatrician can do an assessment and make a referral, if necessary.

Develop a Routine. Once school starts, getting into a manageable routine will help pave the way to a smoother transition. It's important to take stumbling blocks out of your children's way so they do not become overwhelmed. Don't expect your kids to be back-in-the-swing right away as transitions take time, but effective preparation is a sure way to start off strong on the path to a successful new school year.

For more back-to-school resources, including a complete back-to-school checklist, visit Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Search