Happy New School Year! 22 Tips for Parents and Kids
Yes, I know, it is not January 1st but for parents with school-age kids like myself, this time of the year is when we should celebrate back to school and wish our kids a safe, successful and happy new school year.
This week my 2 high schoolers started school. I don’t know why the first day of school hit me more than their birthdays and make me feel melancholic. I guess it is because school only last a few years and every new school year means they are close to the end of the kid stage and closer to college and adulthood. For me, my kids’ first day of school is what makes me realize how much they have grown.
The first day of school also brings me memories. Do you remember any of your first day of school? I don’t remember any specific first day, but what I remember, mostly from high school, is the different feelings I use to have.
First Day of School's Feelings:
- Happiness to see all my friends again
- Anxiety for all the new things the new school year could bring
- Excitement for my new clothes, supplies, classroom, and teacher
- Curiosity about my new teachers
- Nervousness for the unknown
- Optimism to have a better year than the last one
- Unhappiness because summer vacation and days “to do nothing” were over and would be replaced by homework, tests, and stress
When I see my kids, I can see all those feelings in them too. As you could notice, there is a mix of pleasant and not so pleasant feelings. Kids are usually excited to start, but at the same time, they don’t want to leave the “relaxation mode” they have had for more than two months. Who would want to? Even for us, parents, it is the same. We want school to start to go back to the routine, and see our kids using their time learning and not on the phone, but at the same time, we do not want school to start because that means we need to start dealing with homework, grades, and drama.
However, ready or not ready, want to or not want to, back to school is here and we should celebrate it. So, here it goes wahoo!!!
This means, we have to make sure to inject in ourselves and our kids a dose of excitement because as any new year we should start fresh with new goals and lots of energy. We should put “back to school” into action to have a Happy New School Year!
22 Tips to have a Happy New School Year for us parents:
- Let’s show excitement and make it contagious to our kids
- Go to the open house and introduce ourselves to the teachers
- Do some networking with other moms especially our kids’ friend moms if you don’t know them already
- Don’t get crazy buying school supplies and extras. Buy only what our kids need.
- Buy some new clothes for our kids to wear if they don’t wear a uniform. This is another way to show our kids the importance of the occasion and it also generates excitment
- Depending on the age of our kids, teach them to be independent. i.e., let’s them prepare their breakfast or lunch. Check these 50 healthy school lunch ideas from laurenslatest.com
- Help our kids with homework reviewing or explaining
- Have a good communication channel with our kids and their teachers
- Get involved in the school and offer to volunteer. PTA will appreciate it.
- Get to know our kids’ friends. Always welcome them to our home.
- Check grades regularly to make sure everything is going well
- Don’t wait until last minute to look for help if our kids are struggling with a subject
- Always focus on the strengths of our kids and not on the weaknesses. This is something I heard on a conference offered by Dr. Tim Elmore (a best seller author and CEO of Growing Leaders.) I recommend his book “Nurturing the Leader within Your Child”
- If our kids’ grades are not all A’s, it is ok. The most important thing is that you see they are working hard and putting the effort and interest to learn and be the best they can be
- If our kids are gifted or are in the “all A’s or 4.0 GPA club,” feel proud of them and ourselves because that is a great achievement but let’s be sure to not be pompous in front of other parents or kids
- Always remember that all kids are different, and grades DO NOT measure or guaranty success and happiness
- Be patient, very patient whith our kids and always show that we love them not matter what
- Celebrate our kids’ achievements. This doesn’t mean only the As, but the effort they put into getting better.
- Promote reading. We all know reading helps to improve vocabulary and comprehension
- Talk to our kids again (yes, again and again) about sex, drugs, vaping and alcohol
- Enjoy this stage because soon it will be over. (Read my post about “Go and Enjoy”) Yes, I know that sometimes it is hard and challenging, mostly during the high school years, when social life and everything that comes with it competes with academics.
- Whenever you feel you can’t handle it, remember when you were that age, talk to your friends to see that you are not the only one going through that or use the school resources.
22 Tips to have a Happy New School Year for our kids:
I am very sure these are tips we have all told our kids in one time or another. However, each of them is worth repeating every time we can, especially at the beginning of the school year.
Warning: if you tell any of these tips to your kids, be prepared to hear the famous phrase “I know, I know”
- Be respectful with teachers, school staff and pears
- Use manners: introduce yourself to teachers. Say good morning to everybody from the school bus driver up to the school staff
- Choose the right friends. Good friends will bring you good things; bad friends will bring you problems
- Be aware of what is going on around you. Things are always happening around you. Don’t miss the good ones and get away from the bad ones
- Be responsible: everything you do has consequences. Think before doing
- Be organized. Use Google calendar or any other calendar
- Use your time wisely. Create your own after school routine where you set times for the things you love to do, study, homework, extra-curricular activities and breaks. The key is to find a balance between what we love to do and what we have to do.
- Avoid procrastination. Turn your homework in on time. Don’t allow “NTI” to lower your grade
- Pay attention in class. This will always make your school life easier
- Be curious. Ask questions, go to every class with the intention to learn something new. (Read my post about “Curiosity into Action”)
- Daily review. Make some time to review your classes notes daily
- Be proactive. Do more than what is expected
- Be a helper
- Do not compare yourself with others. In this competitive world, it is hard to tell you not to compare yourself with others. However, keep in mind that it is not about to be better than anyone it is about to be the best you can be and to work hard to improve in everything you do. If you end comparing yourself with someone else, use as a motivation, not to let you down
- Eat healthy and rest well. Believe it or not, this helps you feel better and think better
- Put away your phone while you are doing homework or studying. Be aware of the time you spend on it so you can’t complain later about not having enough time for what it is really important
- Get involved in a school club or sport and have fun
- Safety first. Just like in airports, if you see, hear or know something suspicious report it immediately
- Please, please, please be careful. Make good decisions: you know what is good and what is not. Use your head and choose what is right
- Look for help at any time you need it. We (your parents) will always be here for you to help you in any way we can. Don’t hesitate to come to us with any problem you have
- Use the school resources and take advantage of everything the school has to offer. Teachers, counselors, help days, tutoring, clubs, extra-curricular activities
- Enjoy your school days because time flies and they will be over. Don’t rush, mostly every adult you ask will tell you that school years are the best years of life. Listen to wisdom.
A Special Note to Teachers:
Dear teachers: You all have one of the most important jobs in the world because you have the capacity to shape the minds and future of our kids. Thank you very much for all the love, dedication, patience, help and support you give to our kids everyday. I wish you also a Safe and Happy New School Year!
School is an essential part of our kids’ life, just like it was for our lives. It gives us the general foundation to be what we want to be. We need to transmit to our kids that school should not be a place to just go, sit and listen passively. School is more than a place. It is a fantastic tool that every student has to learn to use to their advantage so that they can get the best from it.
A new school year is a fresh start with new goals and challenges for our kids and us, parents. Let’s embrace it from the beginning with positive feelings and actions. Let’s make sure we put “back to school” into action with excitement.
Wishing you and your kids a Safe and Happy New School Year!
Here is a question for you:
- What is the best memory you have from school?
Here is a link of a great TEDx Talk that can help our kids to do better in school. Please take the time to watch it!
What do top students do differently? | Douglas Barton | TEDxYouth@Tallin
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Get this FREE Printable Design to remind yourself and your kids to put the word SCHOOL into action
Easy to download, high resolution image to print at home or favorite local or online print shop in any of the following sizes: 5 x 7, 8 x 10, 11 x 14, 16 x 20 and 18 x 24. To download, click the green bottom bellow.