The ABCs of a Successful School Year

A successful school year is as easy as learning your ABCs. Check out these 26 simple tips for a happy and healthy school year.

Accept New Challenges: Push your child to go outside of their comfort zone. Encourage them to try activities, learn new sports, and make new friends.

Breakfast: We all know breakfast is an important meal.  If your child does not have time for a sit-down breakfast, provide on-the-go breakfast foods like egg bites, fruit, or protein bars.

Chores: Give your child a few jobs that you expect done each day before or after school, such as making their bed or feeding the dog. A little bit of responsibility will go a long way!

Downtime: Be sure to add free time to their schedule. These are the times your child can relax on the couch, dive into a hobby, or have a last-minute pick-up game with friends in the neighborhood.

Exercise: Balance your child’s sedentary school day with plenty of exercise. Combine unstructured play with friends with a more structured team practice.

Friends: Encourage your child to invite new friends over so you can get to know the people your child is spending time with. It is a great opportunity to meet their parents, too.

Grab and Go Snacks: Your child will be hungry after school. Instead of grabbing a handful of cookies, provide them with pre-bagged, healthy snacks that won’t interfere with the dinner hour. Think veggies and dip or hummus and crackers.

Help Them—to an Extent: We want our kids to succeed, but they have to learn by doing. Give suggestions, but remember that it is their name on the paper.

Illness: It’s back to school and back to a room full of germs. Stock your child’s backpack or desk with tissues and hand sanitizer. Remind them to wash their hands and to sneeze into their arm.

Join: Encourage your child to join activities at school. It gives them a sense of belonging and they will be more than just another face in the crowd.

Keep Trying: It is hard to see your child not get the role, position, or grade that they hoped for. Encourage your child to pick themselves back up and try again.

Limitations: While being a part of extracurricular activities is important, sometimes they are overwhelming. It’s okay to say no to invitations and extras when you see your child is overwhelmed.

Be Mindful of Others: Encourage them to think before they speak and apologize if something comes out wrong. They can also practice “the more the merrier” when making plans to include new friends.

Nutrition: Plan healthy meals ahead of time. Stock up on ingredients for quick healthy meals that your family enjoys. Save time by using the crockpot or prepping food ahead of time.

Organization: Save yourself some sanity in the mornings by organizing things the night before. Lay out clothes, make lunches, and put backpacks and shoes in the same place each night.

Provide a Good Example: While words are important, your actions mean so much more. Model good behavior for your kids.

Quality Time: It is easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of back-to-school schedules. Try to plan family dinners or game nights. It is important to stay connected and catch up with each other.

Rules: Remind everyone of the school year rules. Reestablish bed times, discuss the when, where, and how long for electronics use, and other school-year rules.

Social Media: Reconfirm what social media sites your child belongs to and check all passwords.

Take Time to Talk: Open your schedule each day and let your kids know when it is a good time to come to you with problems and concerns. You will get more out of the discussion if you are both tuned in.

Use Time Wisely: As our kids get older, their commitments increase. Teach your child to use their time wisely by prioritizing so they aren’t up late finishing homework.

Volunteer: See what goes on at school, meet the teachers, and interact with the other parents. Even working parents can get involved by helping at evening and weekend events.

Workspace: Establish where your child will do their homework. Choose a space that is quiet and has all the tools they need.

Xtra Help: Get a jump start on finding a tutor for your child. If they struggle in a subject, look for someone who can keep them on track this year.

Year of…: Help your child set achievable goals this year. Make this the year of good grades, fitness, or a part in the school play.

Zzzzzzs: Time to return to the school year bedtime. It is hard to adjust to waking up early again, so adjust a little at a time.