Back to School Ideas to Help Get Your Kids Ready for a New School Year

Make the Transition to a New School Year Smooth for You and Your Child

Going back to school is an unnerving time in many children's lives. With back to school ideas that prepare her for another year of school, your child will be able to walk to her classroom with confidence. Try these back to school ideas to help get your kids ready for the new school year.

  • 01 of 12

    Go Back-to-School Shopping Together

    A picture of school supplies
    Take your kids to help with your back-to-school shopping. Photo © Joe Scarnici / Getty Images

    Sometimes all a child needs to get excited about going back to school are some school supplies and new clothes. Parents can save big on back-to-school shopping every year while she gets to pick out the purple pencil or the flowery dress she wants. Check for back-to-school sales tax holidays in your state or a neighboring state to take advantage of even more savings on her essentials.

  • 02 of 12

    Try Learning Activities Before School Starts

    A child writes
    Photo © bies / stock.xchng

    Encourage a love of learning before she steps one foot inside her school. Enjoy learning activities at home. She'll be having so much fun, she won't even realize she's learning. When school begins, she'll have a better understanding of school's purpose and be more confident when she opens her textbooks.

  • 03 of 12

    Get Back Into a Routine

    A picture of a mom tucking in her children
    Photo © Eric Hamiter / Flickr

    Most kids thrive when they stick to a routine. A morning routine gets everyone out the door and into the car with as little stress as possible. A bedtime routine prepares them for the next day. In summer, though, we tend to cheat and let the kids stay up past bedtime. Inch your child back toward the time you want her to go to sleep during the school year. If you've gotten way off schedule, start sliding her bedtime back in 15 minute increments until you reach the time you want her to go to...MORE bed every night.

  • 04 of 12

    Take a School Tour

    A picture of an empty classroom
    Photo © Liz (perspicacious.org) / Flickr
    Don't skip the orientations and open houses before school begins. Mark those dates on your calendar and make a point to be there. Tour the school to see your child's classroom, meet the teachers and learn the layout of the school. Your child will feel more comfortable about going back to school if she has a good sense of where everything is located. She might even run into other kids she knows or make a new friend during your visit. Continue to talk to her about your school tour right up...MORE until the night before school starts to keep everything fresh in her mind.
    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    Create a Homework Space

    A picture of a girl doing her homework
    Photo © samlevan / stock.xchng
    Set up a homework area before she comes home with a pile of books and assignments to complete. Use some of her new school supplies to stock this special section of the house. The more involved she is in setting up her homework area, the happier she'll be about going to school and studying at home.
  • 06 of 12

    Hit the Road for a Practice Run

    A boy waves goodbye as his dad takes him back to school
    Photo © DNAMichaud / Flickr
    Practice makes perfect and, after a summer of nowhere in particular to be, every family needs to get back in the habit of getting up and getting going. Set the alarm. Get everyone out of bed. Make breakfast. Get the kids ready, backpacks and all. Load the car and drive to school just as you would if the school bell was going to ring today. It's go time and your family will be better prepared for the coming school year after your trial run.
  • 07 of 12

    Prepare for Lunchtime Together

    A picture of a mom preparing lunch with her kids
    Photo © Monika Adamczyk / Fotolia

    The cafeteria can be one of the most daunting rooms at school. Where will I sit? What if I have to eat all by myself? But a lunchbox can be the keeper of all things that remind her of the security she has at home. Sneak in a note into her lunchbox to say, "Hi! I'm thinking about you." Let her plan her own menu before school by picking foods she'll want to eat off of the 101 ideas for kids' lunches list. The time you spend with her in the kitchen at home will make her feel...MORE like you're next to her right now, which can help block out the anxiety of being in a big cafeteria with so many children she doesn't know.

  • 08 of 12

    Tackle Time Management

    A picture of a mom holding a baby while dangling from a clock's hands
    Photo © David Waldorf / Getty Images

    Schedules become optional when school is out. You may not have even worn a watch over the summer. With a new school year fast-approaching, you'll constantly notice the tick, tick, tick of the clock again. Slow time and make every minute work for your family members, not against them. Simple time management training for moms gets everyone on track without feeling pressure from the clock's always-in-motion hands.

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    Throw a Back-to-School Party

    A picture of kids in a swimming pool
    Photo © PBoGS / Flickr

    Everyone loves a party and there's no better way to say goodbye to summer and hello to a new school year than with a back-to-school bash. If you've already visited school and know who's going to be in your child's class, now's a great time to invite the kids who she'll be spending a lot of time with in the new school year. Throwing an inexpensive party before school is a great way for children to get to know each other in a relaxed environment. The familiar faces from her...MORE party will be a welcome sight on the first day of school.

  • 10 of 12

    Explain What to Expect

    A picture of a mom and daughter talking
    Photo © Rob / Fotolia
    Fear of the unknown often makes kids nervous about going to school. Talk to your child to help her understand what to expect. Making friends, learning something new every day and getting to come home to tell you all about her school day are just some of the perks you can use to get her excited about going back to school.
  • 11 of 12

    Answer All of Your Child's Questions

    A picture of a family talking
    Photo © Manchan / Getty Images
    Be prepared to answer her questions. "Can I take my hamster to school," she might ask from the backseat as you drive to the grocery store. "Will you be there too, Mommy?" Really listen to your child and answer all of the questions she has about going to school. Also make a date to give her an in-depth talk about school and answer any other questions she may have. With a Q&A session, she gets your full attention to discuss her fears and concerns so you can calm those first-day...MORE jitters.
  • 12 of 12

    Make a Big Deal ... But Not Too Much

    A picture of a boy eating spaghetti
    Photo © meddygarnet / Flickr
    School is a big deal. A really big deal. While you want to show her how important school is and how much it's going to open up her world, hold yourself back so she's not overwhelmed. Instead, make the weekend before she goes back to school special with family time, her favorite meal or something else that puts the spotlight on her. Once she sees how exciting school can be, she'll be giddy about her first day instead of being scared of the unknown.