8 Tips for Back to School

by Jen Reichert

It’s that time again. The start of school is here. So we’re passing along tips to help you and your kiddos start off on the right feet. Whether you’re headed back to online school or going in person, these ideas can get you and the kids into a school-loving rhythm.

1. Make a plan for a full night’s sleep like… Set a notification at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

  • It usually helps if the notification doesn’t come from a person.
  • Create bedtime routines. Include time with you as much as possible. Visuals like charts can help kids under age 10-ish. There are at least one million examples online. Having different school nights and weekend nights bedtimes (and wake times) are okay for many kids.
  • Remove techy things, such as phones and tablets, from kids' bedrooms.
  • Use night lights, white noise machines, fans, and/or music for kids who struggle to sleep.
  • Teenage brains are wired differently than everyone else on the planet. They need more sleep and don’t get going until much later in the morning than younger kids. Cut teens some slack where you can.

2. Play a “Back to School” themed game.

Kids draw questions and move a game piece (or if you don’t want to use a game board, they can earn a Skittle or M&M) each time they answer a question. Ask questions like:

  • What sport or game do you want to play this year (in PE, Athletics, or at home)?
  • If someone hurts your feelings, what’s something you can remember about yourself to feel better?
  • What are two things you can do if someone (in your class or on Zoom) bothers you?
  • Does anything make you nervous about going back to school?
  • What is something you think you’ll like about school?
  • What games do you like to play with your friends?
  • What is your favorite after-school snack?
  • If you lose a game at recess or don’t do as well on an assignment as you wanted, act out…
    • A good example of how to respond.
    • A bad example of how to respond.

3. Make a rewards chart relevant to your child and his goals, and use it as a way to encourage him to work on things he doesn’t like.

For example, if your child struggles in math, he earns a sticker every time he spends 15 minutes putting effort into math homework. When he earns 5 stickers, he gets a prize.

Download our Reward Board for more ideas.

4. Talk to your child about contact-free greetings and give him options like a wave, thumbs up, jazz hands, peace sign, hang loose sign.

5. Schedule regular blocks of time to check in with each kiddo to see how things are going at school.

6. Refresh your rules about screen time for the school year. What's allowed? When?

7. Agree on an after-school schedule that allows time for snacking, relaxing, playing, and homeworking.

8. Role play your morning routine.

You can act it out yourselves or pretend your child’s stuffed animals are going to school.



Here’s hoping school starts as smoothly as it can! And if you have more ideas you’d like to share, contact us and we might just add it to the list.