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Back To School Tips

For some students, this year will be a “transition year,” time to go from an elementary to middle school or a middle to high school. These transition years can be exciting and full of promise, but they can also cause some anxiety.

Research and common sense tell us that the first year in a new school is critical – getting assimilated, making friends, setting goals, establishing habits and attitudes, selecting courses, discovering talents and interests, choosing mentors, learning new skills and knowledge, and building confidence.

Along the way, you might find out that the transition to back to school can be made easier with the help of a private tutor. If so, you’re not alone.

Every student and family is unique, but here are simple tips that can help students make the process easier.

  • Get to know the school. Attend as many of the end-of-summer activities your school offers. There’s probably an open house – go to it with your child, and invite one or two of her friends to go with you. Explore the school’s website ahead of time. Go to the school and explore the campus. Have his new schedule with you.
  • Know the rules. Read the Student Handbook with your child before school starts. Talk about responsibility.
  • Be encouraging. Being upbeat and positive is incredibly important. Encourage your child to join clubs, teams, and activities that he’d be interested in. This is the best way to make friends, discover new interests and talents, put down roots, build confidence, and create a feeling of belonging.
  • Make friends. Talk about friendships, how to make friends, how to be a friend, how friendships change and evolve over time. Share stories about your school friendships, especially the rare and satisfying ones that have stood the test of time.
  • Know the teachers. Make every effort to meet and keep in periodic touch with teachers. Know what their expectations are, when report cards are coming out, the due dates of major assignments, the testing schedule. Help your student keep on track by doing your essential parental job of friendly, persistent nagging when necessary.
  • Set goals and routines. Help your child stay ahead by setting goals with him, planning for important dates and events, establishing routines for his homework and studying, and letting him know you’re aware of his responsibilities.
  • Keep that confidence up. Talk with your child daily about school to let him know you’re interested in his day and that education is important to you. Show him how to recognize his successes, learn from his mistakes, and look forward to meeting new challenges.
There are more, but these are just a few that will help you as you mentally and physically prepare and transition to a back to school mode.