Making back-to-school easier

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Summer vacation is coming to a close. As a parent you have the opportunity to instill a positive attitude and a strong work ethic in your child for the upcoming school year. 

Ease into the routine

Getting into the daily school-year routine is just as important as being prepared for the new academic year. If your children have been sleeping in and going to bed later during the summer, gradually start waking up them up earlier and sending them to bed earlier. This will make the morning of the first school day a little less stressful.   

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Save on supplies

Take advantage of sales tax holidays if you live in a state that offers one on back-to-school items. Visit for a list. Watch for sales or buy in bulk. Take your children with you when you go shopping for supplies, clothes, and uniforms. Even if last year’s backpack and lunch box are still in good condition, younger children will enjoy the chance to pick out a new lunch box or backpack with their favorite cartoon characters on it. A little splurging can’t hurt! 

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Set goals

Take some time to sit down with your children and discuss goals for the year. You might address subjects that your kids could improve upon from the last school year or suggest trying a new extracurricular activity. You could also talk about specific study times and expectations about completing homework.  

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Celebrate summer’s end 

To a child, the end of summer vacation can be devastating. Not only is the nice weather going away, but so is a lot of free time. (And it’s being replaced with work!) Show your children that you understand what a big deal this is by taking them out for a last hurrah before school starts. Go get some ice cream, play a round of miniature golf, or make one last trip to the nearest amusement park. If possible, consider taking a small vacation or weekend trip to the beach. Wherever you go, do your best to exude a positive attitude about the upcoming school year. 

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‘Homework’ for parents 

Parents should set goals for themselves, too. Did you miss too many of your child’s sporting events or concerts last school year because of work? Before the new school year, talk with your boss about possibly having some flex time. Other ideas include setting aside more time to help your children with homework, planning ahead to attend parent-teacher conferences, or getting more involved with your school’s PTA. Did Sunday Mass attendance slip during the summer? You can resolve to make sure your family meets this important obligation every week even when schedules get more chaotic. Your children will learn how to approach school in a positive way by following your example. 

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