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Back to School: Tips for an Easier Transition

A pink polka-dot backpack, a green backpack, and an orange backpack, all bursting with supplies.

The back-to-school transition can be difficult for many families. Kids are trading in lazy days and sunshine for early mornings and homework, which can be challenging for both parents and children alike. Follow these five back-to-school tips to prepare for the new school year and remain stress-free when the first day arrives.

1. Make a game plan.

Whether your child will be engaging in hybrid, remote, or in-person learning, it’s important to have all your tools in place before school starts. If you’re remote learning, setting up school space in advance and ensuring that all devices have been properly updated help make the transition easier for everyone. For those going back to the classroom, prepare your kid for what the new school year will look like. One of the best back-to-school tips for parents is to role-play new processes, procedures, and schedules at home so that they’re more comfortable—and confident—on day one.  

2. Get supplies early.

Get new school supplies even if your child will be learning remotely. Not only may it be required by the school system, but it also helps your kid feel connected to their classmates. It gets them excited about the school year and gives them something to talk about. Schedule your back-to-school shopping early to avoid out-of-stock surprises and to give yourself plenty of time for the delivery of online orders. With so much up in the air, getting the basics taken care of can make a world of difference.

Some general back-to-school supplies you can buy online include:

  • Highlighters
  • Calculator
  • Hole punch
  • Binders
  • Flash drive
  • Index cards
  • Lunchbox
  • Folders
  • Pencil case
  • Pens
  • Sticky notes
  • Loose leaf paper
  • Pencils

Shopping for back-to-school is fun and exciting but can also be costly and stressful. Learn how to save big bucks on back-to-school supplies so the experience is memorable and smooth. 

backpack with colorful school supplies

3. Adjust your sleep schedules.

Saying goodbye to sleeping in and staying up late can be tough. But kids 5 to 12 years old need 9 to 12 hours of sleep each night for better brain function during daytime hours. Consider adjusting sleep schedules before back-to-school week arrives. Slowly changing wake-up and bedtimes to be earlier and earlier each day will allow you to ease into the new routine. One of the most important back-to-school tips for kids is catching all the zzzs you need. Here are some ways to get better sleep:

  • Turn off devices, like TVs, tablets, and phones, at least one hour before bedtime.
  • Follow a calming bedtime routine that includes taking a warm bath or reading a book.
  • Don’t watch scary shows or movies near bedtime that can make it hard to fall asleep.
  • Use your bed just for sleeping, not homework or playing, so your body makes a better connection between bed and sleep.

Get the absolute best night’s sleep. Read “How to Get Your Best Night's Sleep Yet” to learn how.

4. Organize the family calendar.

School, sports, and work are all key agenda items, so there are sure to be some conflicts. To keep everyone on track and moving forward as the school year begins, create a family calendar. Visual schedules are a helpful back-to-school tip for students and parents. Setting up a big calendar in a common area provides everyone with a daily visual reminder of what’s happening that week and informs the household when new plans are being made. Holding a family meeting at the beginning of each week to plan out the week’s activities together can ensure all are on the same page as activities pick up. 

5. Do what you can to relax.

We’ve all had a hectic year, and changing up your routine amid all the stress can compound that stress. The back-to-school transition can make hefty demands of everyone’s time, and taking a moment to reflect on the good bits of this past year or relax together might be beneficial for the entire family. Appreciate one another’s company and go on a hike, take one last trip to the pool, or simply settle in for a movie night to unwind before things pick up again.

Even though you don’t have much time to relax, you can still squeeze in a moment for yourself with our relaxation techniques you can practice on the go.

child on first day of school holding school supplies

Making Back-to-School Mornings Easier

Our back-to-school tips and tricks can make mornings easier, but it’s still necessary to send the kids to school properly fed. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Check out our article, “Easy Breakfast Recipes the Whole Family Will Love,” for delicious dishes you can whip up in no time.