Elementary School Students
- Make sure summer homework is done
- Buy the school supplies
- Let your child choose their backpack, shoes and outfits (if applicable)
- Have a Wall Calendar so your child can see what day school starts (putting it in context of time)
- Boost reading, writing and math skills by doing them daily
- Ask: “School is starting soon, what do you feel, what do you want to know?” Have conversations that address what your child wants to talk about.
- Drive by the school and show your child where they will be going, visit the classroom & meet the teacher, if possible
- Clear time during that first week of school in order to spend time with friends from school in the park after school
- Create morning and afternoon routines (we love using note cards to list the tasks and allow the child to place them in the order they want to do them in and flip them over when they are done)
- Make time and have systems to complete the start of school paperwork, we can help with this if you need it!
Middle School Students
- Make sure summer homework is done
- Buy school supplies
- Let your child choose their backpack, shoes, and outfits (if applicable)
- Have a Wall Calendar so your child can see what day school starts (putting it in the context of time)
- Work on executive functioning strategies especially as they relate to:
- Inhibition (the ability to not act on impulse or desire – can your child work within unpreferred activities, persevere through a chore even when video games are available, complete a project in its entirety without jumping from task to task)
- Cognitive Flexibility (the ability to consider various aspects of an idea or solution – can your child consider your perspective and theirs, are they rigid or open-minded, do they have the ability to transition, can they act differently in one context vs. another, can they adjust themselves based on feedback)
- Attention (the ability to focus – can your child fully focus on reading a book or writing a story, are they able to use their entire brain for an academic task or are they distracted by social-emotional-physical needs or wants, can they build skills by giving the work their full attention)
- Your child will have many different teachers for each subject. Create spaces at home for each subject. We like posting the list of subjects on the wall behind where they work. We also like having bins for each subject’s materials. Having conversations as school gets started about each teacher and how they teach and the test is helpful too. We have a lot of ideas here, so definitely be in touch if you need more!
- Social-emotional-physical development will need your attention and support especially as your child begins school. Getting sleep, eating well, and taking care of bodies and minds are all important. Talking with your child about social challenges and keeping lines of communication open about them are important. Identifying thoughts and feelings and empowering your child to have a choice when it comes to the thoughts they have about school, work and studying are important. As SOON as you see behavior that does not serve your child, teach and support. We have a lot of ideas here too, so be in touch if you need more!
- I love doing 360 Assessments with middle school students because we can support them to learn about themselves as learners and empower them to create strategies for areas that are challenging – this age is so ready for this kind of empowerment!
High School Students
- The start of high school is exciting, but it can be riddled with pain and undesired efforts. Be curious about how this experience feels for your teen. Many of my high school students tell me the following: they don’t want to get up early in the morning, they find the initial classes at school boring and uninspiring, they get really tired after a week because of getting up early in the morning and because they are “on” all day, they get anxious about all of the work that will be coming their way, and they are super worried about grades and college.
- Whenever there is a challenge, empower your child to create a strategy. Buy the book: 30 Strategies and Read it together! It’s for college students, but the strategies can be applied to high school students and so can its invitation – which is that when there is a challenge, you need to come up with a WAY to handle it. Thus, if your child is challenged by getting up early in the morning, talk about that challenge with them and come up with a reasonable, mutually agreed upon strategy to support the effort of getting up early in the morning. Watch Mel Robbins on Instagram – she does this slithering method of getting out of bed that works for her. That’s a great example of a strategy used to support a challenge.
- Build systems with your teen to manage their workload, schedule, planning, social time, workouts, etc. Ensure that each week you have time to talk. This is a key tip that has helped so many families avoid miscommunication and ill attempts to support their children. We have so many more ideas on this, so if you need them, be in touch!
- Be sure your child is engaged and build opportunities to engage with trusted adults. Being a teenager in high school is a period of development and they will naturally want to separate from you. Allow this to happen, but ensure your child has a tutor (EEC tutors are great for this!), a coach, a teacher, a mentor – a trusted adult to connect with while they endeavor all that high school provides.
- Put your child in the action/driver’s seat. Allow them to do anything at all they can do on their own. Make a list of the responsibilities you have as an adult and begin to release them to your teen. Chores, money, grades, friendships, trips, and athletic pursuits – are all areas to examine. We can help too if you feel lost in how to do any of this!
- If you are worried about any aspect of your child’s functioning, write down all of your concerns – poll all adults involved in your child’s life. Interview your child too and ask what he/she/they are concerned about. Take a look at that list and categorize/synthesize it. Then, prioritize what your child will work on – what strategies can be used to build functioning? Be edited in your approach and prioritize the efforts. In this way, your child has a chance to be successful at developing skills. If you need help with this, we are here- this is what we do!
I hope you enjoyed these back-to-school ideas!
If you want more, please attend our Back to School Events — and if you missed the live event, we have a video of them to send you. Email Ella@evolveded.com with any questions!