Preparing for Back-to-School

Heading back to school after the long summer vacation can be tough on parents and students both. Here are some techniques for dealing with this difficult readjustment.

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Back to school can be tough, exciting, or both. Parents need to take it seriously and not just let it sneak up. As your child grows, routines change with needs, social life and the classes she takes. It takes participation, creativity and flexibility, but there are lots of things parents can do to help smooth out the wrinkles and get their kids off to a steady start at school. Here are some tips, provided by the Sylvan Learning Center, a national leader in education, for getting back into the swing of things each fall.

Prepare a Schedule

Organize your family's time with a daily schedule. Designate specific times for homework, play and bedtime - and stick to them!


Your child has so much assigned reading, it's important to help him choose reading he wants to do, also. This will help him see reading as a positive thing and give it a value in his life apart from the demands of school and achievement.


Give your child a homework notebook and teach him to take notes on the details of each assignment as the teacher explains them. Break homework sessions up into smaller segments of time. Spread them out throughout the afternoon. This will get your child used to spending enough time at the task, which will come in handy when he gets older and the demands increase, or if he gets a special project that requires more of him than the ordinary work load.

Be an Example

Engage in a study project of your own and sit in the same room with your child to do it. This will give her some sense of being part of a team with you. It will put her education into a larger context by showing her that she is now immersed in a life long endeavor that she will one day have control over. It will help her see the value of education beyond the demands of teachers and school. Plus, it will keep you nearby in case she has questions and will allow you to monitor her progress.

Family Interaction

Family time is even more important than homework time. Build it into the schedule so you can all share the events and details of the day. Before bed at night, prepare for the next day: pack lunches and backpacks, pick out clothing and putting necessary belongings in the same location. This will help to ensure a smooth start to every new day.

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