10 Back-to-School Tips for Parents of Elementary School Aged Kids

A mother helping her daughter with her elementary education.
Start a successful school year—and keep it going!

1. If you and your child have fallen out of your bedtime routine this summer, get back into a solid routine! A week before the first day of school is a good time frame in which to begin.

2. Plan and shop for healthy breakfasts and lunches a week in advance. This will save you precious time and prevent much stress in the long run!

3. Go shopping for school supplies together. Some elementary school teachers will provide specific supply lists for their classes. Your area’s office supply store may also have local school supplies lists on hand. Shopping from a teacher-supplied list will ensure your child has the right supplies, and could save you a ton of money and time.

4. Save time on those busy school mornings by preparing your child’s clothes a week ahead of time, already paired. Place a pair of socks, underwear, a shirt, and matching bottoms together in the drawer so that your child can easily grab a stack and go.

5. Support positive study habits early! Create a homework center—a specific area in the house where your child can do homework each evening. Make sure that it’s in a quiet place and stocked with enough supplies, such as pencils, erasers, paper, a folder or two, and a calculator.

6. Pack light—a backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of the student’s body weight. Always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles and may increase curvature of the spine.

7. Prepare your child for social situations in the elementary school classroom. A certain level of social anxiety is normal for elementary school aged kids. Teach her to introduce herself and make friends: “Hi, my name is Sarah; what’s yours?” If she’s older, role play various social scenarios with her—from sharing classroom supplies to encounters with older kids.

8. Keep encouraging literacy at home. Read frequently with your kids and make frequent trips to your local library.

9. If your child is going to be riding the bus to school for the first time, be sure to talk about bus safety. It’s also a good time to reinforce general school safety rules including who he should and shouldn’t talk to, and when he should and shouldn’t get off the school bus (when you or a guardian is not there waiting to pick him up).

10. Parent involvement in education is important throughout elementary school! Talk to your child’s teacher regularly about his educational and social development or, if your schedule permits, volunteer your time in the classroom or become an active participant in your school’s PTO/PTA.

Learn more about how to support the school success of elementary school aged kids.

10 Back-to-School Tips for Parents of Preschoolers

10 Back-to-School Tips for Parents of Kindergartners

10 Tips for Parents of Middle School Aged Kids

10 Back-to-School Tips for Parents of High-School Students

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