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E-TIP: Don't just be First-Day Ready. Be School-Year Ready!

Updated: Dec 6, 2019


In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.

— Theodore Roosevelt


Are you or your kiddo dreading the beginning of the school year? Does anxiety kick in at the thought of one particular subject or school task? Do you feel like a hamster in its wheel, going around and around getting the same results each school year?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, here are some tips for increased success and decreased stress.

Use Checklists

You can make them, buy them, Google them, get them from a teacher. However you get your hands on them, checklists help students complete tasks entirely (without forgetting steps). They also support students as they tackle an unfamiliar or difficult task, such as:

Manage Time as a Family

Animals travel in packs. Families should schedule in packs!

Post a family calendar of activities somewhere everyone can see. Going over the schedule at the beginning of the week will minimize last-minute running around and provide your kiddos with the planning, organization, and time management skills they'll need to run their own business someday.

Parents should model use of personal planners/schedules (digital or on paper) to highlight the importance of responsibility and independence. Won't take much to convince your child. Believe me, once students experience the benefits of successful planner implementation, they are hooked. Who doesn't want to feel successful? For added buy in, I often help students design their own planners, down to the artwork.

Remember, maximizing your time can free you up for family activities and discussions. Here's something to get you started: Click here for questions to help you connect at dinner.

Nourish Your Network

If you want to go fast, walk alone.

If you want to go far, walk together.

~ African Proverb ~

So much to do, so little time. We get it; you can't do it all alone. Who said you have to?

Tapping into your support system for help is not a weakness or a last resort; it is the benefit of living in a community. Build and nourish a network of friends, family, and professionals. You get to:

  • Ask another parent for a recommendation if your child needs tutoring or therapy

  • Join the public library's mailing list for updates on activities, events, and resources for the whole family

  • Get a mentor for your child in case he needs someone with whom he feels comfortable speaking

  • Click here to Start or Join Meetup groups to help you with anything from learning a language to skateboarding and living as a single parent.

  • Share resources, such as reading materials, online resources (e.g., apps), discounted Group rates for tutoring sessions, etc.

  • Schedule a homework rotation. Kiddos in the community do homework at a different home every night as the rest of the families get a much needed night off.

  • Follow online communities that provide quality resources. It's no secret that I love the following on Facebook: Reading Rockets, Storyline Online, and Understood.

For additional tips . . .

'Like' our Facebook page for our Back-to-School Tips series.

We're up to Tip #5! Be on the lookout for the pencil image at



Your child should carry NO MORE than 10-15% of their body weight. Before you head out to search for that 'cool' backpack, visit



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