6 back-to-school tips for the best year ever!

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Ready to take the school year by storm? Whether your first thought was “absolutely!” or “SOS-help, please!”, we’ve got some tips and tricks to help get your child ready (and actually excited) to step back into the classroom. 

And for many kids and families, it’s not so much of a step as a big, running leap, really. 

That’s hardly surprising given the turbulent nature of the 2020 school year, so let’s look ahead to making the 2021 academic year not just “back to normal,” but back and better than ever!

Back to school tips for success in 2021 and beyond

No matter what “back to school” looks like for your family this year, the fall offers a big reset button for kids. 

Our advice? Push that reset button! 

Well, unfortunately that button doesn’t actually exist. In lieu of that, we’ve got six tips to help your child succeed and thrive in school this year. 

1. Establish great relationships with your child’s teachers

The start of a new school year is a wonderful opportunity to start off on the right foot with your child’s teachers. Now is the time to make sure you know how to reach them, when and if they offer after-school extra help sessions, and generally open up those lines of communication. 

Even if it’s just to say "hello" and tell them a little bit about your child’s strengths and weaknesses, trust me, it’s well worth the time to touch base. From there, make sure to follow up and to continue working together. You and your child’s educators are all on the same team, after all. 

To continue going strong, try: 

2. Build a solid after-school routine 

In the whirlwind leading up to the first day of school (this back to school checklist incidentally, will make that whirlwind a lot easier to manage) sometimes the after-school stuff can fall by the wayside. And while a perfect after-school routine doesn’t happen overnight, there’s no time like the present to lay a solid foundation. 

(This after-school routine tips and tricks guide is an excellent starting point to start customizing a plan that works for your child’s specific needs.)

3. Encourage your child to set goals

Fresh off of summer break, kids are often energized, rested, and excited to jump into the next chapter of their education. Sure, there might be a little nervousness that goes along with that start of school energy, but that makes some goal-setting all the more valuable.

It’s a win-win! Talking things through with your child is a great way to show support, alleviate some of their worries, and put their best foot forward academically. Our comprehensive guide to goal-setting for kids has ideas for any age or goal. 

Goal-setting puts kids in the driver’s seat of their education, which sets a strong precedent for the 2021-2022 school year. Whether that’s learning to code for the first time, stepping up math skills, or building the skills that mean the most to them, well-designed goals (plus actually following through) will pave the way to get there. 

Need a little inspiration? Here are a few ideas:

4. Balance solo and group activities

Balance matters more than ever as kids kick off a new school year. Team sports, clubs, and busy class schedules can make that balance challenging, but the fresh start of the first week of school is a prime window of opportunity to prioritize a balance. 

Kids need both interaction and individual time to pursue their interests, and there are numerous benefits of after-school programs applicable to both types of learning experiences. As you work together to build their schedule for the year, making time for each of these types of activities will ensure well-rounded enrichment. 

To help achieve that balance, here are just a few ideas: 

Not to mention, does your child’s school not offer what they’re looking for? Try thinking outside the box! Check out this step by step how to for starting a coding club.

5. Be proactive about homework

Certainly not kids’ (or parents’) favorite aspect of school , the fact is, homework is here to stay in most schools. The pros and cons of homework are absolutely still up for debate, but if you know that homework will be a part of your child’s schedule, it’s best to be prepared. 

Of course, paying attention in class is key before the homework even starts. A great after-school routine will really come in handy here, as will useful math test study tips, plus carefully vetted tutorials and other academic resources.

By focusing on homework from the start, your child will build great habits for the rest of the school year and beyond. 

6. Remember to have fun! 

There’s no way around it: the return to school this year will have unique challenges. More than ever, a little fun, patience, and empathy goes a long way. If you ask us, kids, teachers, and parents alike need a little extra of all three this school year! 

We’re all looking forward to seeing kids get back on track, but before rushing into overloaded schedules and putting too much pressure on young learners, make some time for fun and infusing creativity and enjoyable elements into learning. 

That could be in with one of the awesome family-friendly video games out there, fun math activities for kids and teens (even those who hate math!), or a STEM competition to ignite your child’s creativity. 

Ultimately, this school year is just the next step in your child’s learning journey, and we’re here to support them every step of the way! Whether your child needs an expert math tutor or after school STEM enrichment, we’ve got you covered.

Here’s to an awesome 2021-2022 school year!

A photo of Virginia

Virginia started with iD Tech at the University of Denver in 2015 and has loved every minute since then! A former teacher by trade, she has a master's in education and loves working to embolden the next generation through STEM. Outside the office, you can usually find her reading a good book, struggling on a yoga mat, or exploring the Rocky Mountains.