Back-to-school: 5 tips for parents to help children start the year off right

Bedtimes and setting alarms can help a child be successful

A boy sits at a desk with school supplies.
A boy sits at a desk with school supplies.

It doesn’t matter how old your child is, back-to-school time is a mixture of excitement and nerves for everyone, especially as we navigate through this coronavirus pandemic.

The end of summer typically gets capped each year with pristine school supplies, new clothes, open houses, team tryouts, meet-the-teacher events -- and then, eventually, we have the first day of the school year.

While things could, and probably will, look different this school year, this time of change is the perfect opportunity to implement some tweaks in habits, procedures and routines at home. So while the crayons are still sharp, the notebooks are still clean, and the backpacks are full of tissues and hand sanitizer, here are five ways that parents can help their child be successful this year in school.

1. Set limits

Has your child somehow managed to find six hours to play Fortnite in the evening but cannot find 10 minutes to do his or her homework? So many students arrive at school groggy and half-asleep because they were on some sort of screen all night. And there’s often a kid who is late to school more often than they are on time.

Creating consistent healthy routines for your child will help them be a better and happier student. Limiting screen time on school nights, taking away technology at a specific time, setting bedtimes and setting alarms are things that parents can do that will help their child be more successful each day.

2. Set time for study

While some teachers are doing away with assigning homework, it is necessary for some subjects or grade levels. In the older grades, some research shows a strong positive association between completing homework and higher academic achievement, partly because of the discipline, resilience and work habits it helps create.