5 Back-to-School Tips for Single Parent Families

Be Prepared When the School Schedule Kicks In

There's more to back-to-school prep than buying new clothes and school supplies. While assembling all the right gear is important, proactively shaping your kids' routines in preparation for school deserves at least as much attention. These 5 back-to-school tips will help you plan ahead and ease your kids' adjustment to a demanding school-year schedule: 

  • 01 of 05

    Get everything ready the night before.

    Boy filling his backpack for school.
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    For a lot of busy parents, this one back-to-school tip packs the most punch. Get into the habit of making lunches and setting out clothes the night before—for your kids and yourself. This way, if anything has gone missing or needs to be washed, you'll know it in plenty of time—instead of finding out just before the school bus pulls up. (Be sure to pass this responsibility on to your kids as they get older, too.)

  • 02 of 05

    Load your kids up on protein.


    The school schedule is demanding. Make sure your kids are prepared for a full day of learning by feeding them a protein-rich breakfast, such as a yogurt with fruit and granola or peanut butter and banana slides on whole wheat toast.

    Take the same approach with their lunches, too. And if you need to rely on easy-to-grab, pre-packed snacks, be sure to read the labels. Look for foods that are low in sugar and contain at least 3 grams of protein, which will help them feel full longer.

  • 03 of 05

    Help your kids develop homework routines.

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    Whether your kids do homework during after school care or while you're making dinner, get into the habit of discussing their assignments during a nightly 'check-in.' Be sure to add any due dates or scheduled tests and quizzes to your family calendar, as well, so you'll all know what's due, and when.

    Use the daily 'check-in' time to find out whether your kids have received any school forms you need to sign, too, such as emergency contact forms or field trip forms. This...MORE way you won't be rushed in the morning or receive a 'past due' notice from the school.

  • 04 of 05

    Be involved.

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    Parental involvement makes a huge difference in kids' academic performance—at all grade levels. So get involved, and commit to staying involved through graduation.

    Simple steps like attending back-to-school night with your ex and personally introducing yourself to your child's teachers can make all the difference in helping your children be successful in school. Pay attention to how you speak in front of your kids about their school district and teachers, too. Any negativity you display...MORE could impact your kids' attitudes toward learning or cause them to put forth less than their full effort. 

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Make sleep a priority.

    Miguel Sanz

    Finally, create a consistent bedtime routine that allows your kids to get enough sleep each night. For most, the trick to executing this back-to-school tip is making your entire evening revolve around bedtime planning, at least until you're all used to the new routine. For example, serve dinner earlier than usual or put off doing the dishes until your kids are in bed.

    In addition, create a 'house rule' around when the TV goes off at night, and when your kids have to turn off their...MORE personal handheld electronic devices—including phones! Proactively winding down from these neural stimulants will help to ready their brains for a restful night's sleep.