Back to School Survival Guide for Parents

By Steve Green, Executive Director
Sylvan Learning of Richmond

Father Saying Goodbye To Children back toSchool

While the idea of waking up at the crack of dawn to prepare lunches, fighting over appropriate school attire and regulating the amount of television watched might have you frazzled, take solace in the fact that you can play a big part in getting your children motivated and excited to tackle a new school year.

Depending on your child’s age, your role in the above-mentioned tips will vary. The following are helpful ideas to ease kids of all ages back into learning mode:

Help Your Child Discover His/Her Learning Style. Because each child is special, with different learning styles and academic needs, it is important to personalize the learning process.  People learn in at least eight different ways, according to the Multiple Intelligences Theory: visually, verbally, physically, mathematically, musically, naturalistically, through group activity or through quiet thinking time. Talk to your child’s teachers about your child’s learning strengths and how best to support them.

Get Back In The Routine. Ease the transition from lazy summer days to the structure of the school year by re-establishing bedtime, mealtime, reading and homework routines. Talk with your child about the importance of structure and how routines help ensure that he is not overtired or overly anxious about schoolwork.

Develop A Family Event Calendar. One of the most helpful tools for getting organized is a family event calendar. To ease the chaos, track school programs, volunteer work and after-school activities. Family time management is essential if you are going to avoid the tumultuous frenzy of disorganization.

  • Depending on your children’s ages, this calendar can be on construction paper with large squares to write in all necessary information, or it can be produced on a white board so that it is easy to revise.
  • If it is color-coded by family member, you can clearly see who has an activity scheduled and when the event occurs.
  • Place the calendar near the telephone, so when a friend’s mother calls to invite your child to a birthday party, you will know instantly whether it fits within your family plans.

Purchase School Supplies In Advance. Avoid the last-minute rush by purchasing supplies at least one week in advance. Take your child.  She can feel excited and in control by choosing her favorite colors and designs.

Be a Cheerleader. Encourage your child to share any concerns he has about returning to school. Reinforce positive feelings by talking with your child about learning and achievement. Support his academic interests and encourage him to get involved in extracurricular activities at school.

See Sylvan Learning Center’s back to school survival tips for students

For more educational resources for children in grades pre-K through 12, please visit or call 804-782-2377


sylvan favorites logorgbSteve Green is the Executive Director and Owner of the Richmond Sylvan Learning Centers, which is the leading provider of tutoring to students of all ages, grades and skill levels with more than 30 years of experience and nearly 800 centers located throughout North America. Sylvan’s trained and Sylvan-certified instructors provide personalized instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, study skills and test-prep for college entrance and state exams. Sylvan also hosts, a blog offering tips and resources from moms and education experts. For more information, call 1-800-31-SUCCESS or visit

Sylvan Learning Center is a sponsor of

Sarah Cole

Sarah is a full time working mom of three boys, Max, Hudson and Marlowe. In addition to working and parenting, Sarah has also been seen as an actress on the Richmond stage (and screen). She blogs lovingly but sporadically at

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