Preparing for Back to School: How Parents Communicating with Their Child’s Educators Makes all the Difference

It’s that time of year where our nation gears up once again for the start of the school year. As students head back to the classroom, some facing new and unfamiliar schools or classrooms, it is important for parents to remember the valuable role they play in opening the lines of communication with educators. While educators are dedicated to creating effective  lesson plans and learning environments for their incoming students, they are best armed for success when they have the support of those who know their students best—the parents.

When parents keep educators in the loop about their child’s hobbies, fears, dislikes, passions, strengths and weaknesses, they provide them with an invaluable roadmap for better understanding each individual student. Parents are encouraged to attend back-to-school night and introduce themselves to their child’s teacher and principal, establishing a preferred mode of communication. Additionally, if their child comes home ranting or raving about a classroom activity, or if they express confusion or excitement about a specific topic, parents should make sure to let their educators know.

When teachers, principals and parents can work as a team, the best results are possible. Here are five other key ways from AFSA to help parents and students prepare for heading back-to-school.

  1. Review all back-to-school materials: Read through all of the materials sent to you from your child’s school and review details with your child such as their teacher, classroom and bus details. In some cases, especially if your child is starting at a new school, it might be good to visit the school beforehand or to set up a time to meet with a new teacher to help calm any anxieties that your child may have about starting school.
  2. Practice handwriting, spelling, and math: Getting your child back into the habit of practicing the skills they learned before summer vacation will give them confidence heading back to the classroom. It’s also a great way for students to see the value of what they learned in the classroom as they apply it in a real-world setting.
  3. Get in to the routine of an earlier bedtime: Children not only respond extremely well to routine, it has been shown to reduce their stress levels. Toward the end of the summer, start getting your child used to a bedtime appropriate for a typical school day schedule. This will streamline the transition and ensure that your child is well rested once school begins.
  4. Create a quiet homework space: Providing your child with a quiet, dependable place where they can study will help encourage them to get into a daily routine of completing homework assignments. To get them involved in the process, have your child help you create a sign for their homework area. Also designate an area for their backpack and lunch box.
  5. Get a Child Safety Kit: While a missing child is not something fun to think about, having the American Income Life (AIC) missing child kit can be a matter of life in death in the very unfortunate chance that your child ever goes missing. These kits are free and they allow you to store all of the resources that would be needed by investigators, such as a hair sample, a fingerprint, height, a photo and more to ensure that your child is located as fast as possible without losing crucial time. You may get it free for every child in your household at

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