Sharpen your pencils, dust off your rulers and get ready for school! Although this school year is a little different, it’s still important to prepare your student for success in every subject. From elementary school to senior year, each of those 180 days is equally important. 

To help your young scholar start this academic year on the right foot, establish and maintain healthy habits! From a balanced diet to time management, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few ways to ace this school year, all before the first exam!

1. Words of Encouragement

Start the first day in a happy way by acknowledging how proud you are of your child. Each new school year is a tremendous milestone in their young life that should be recognized. Take time before the start of the new term to remember their favorite moments from the previous grade and ask them what they look forward to. 

Start a keepsake box for them to reflect on this time when they are older. Start with first day photos and class pictures. You can also write a note for each first day of school, and write down your hopes for the days to come. 

2. Start Them on a Positive Foot

Getting back into a school routine might be tricky. Your child has become accustomed to sleeping in and has forgotten the dreaded sound of their morning alarm. Kick off their school year with some sunshine by being their biggest fans. 

Leave sticky notes around the house or apartment for them to find on the first day as they get ready. Depending on how much time you have in the morning, you can even phrase these passages as riddles. It could help kick their excitement for learning into gear.

Or just keep the messages uplifting and helpful like “Don’t forget your lunch” and “You’re going to do great today!”

3. Stay in the Know

The first week of school comes with a lot of paperwork. Class contact sheets, supplies list, reading requirements, and so on. But it also comes with your child feeling excited about the year ahead. Cool science experiments, new classroom decorations and a different set of responsibilities that come with getting older. 

Give your student the trust they need to feel empowered to complete their work on their own, but be aware of their schedule. During the first week of classes, review your child’s syllabus with them. Share your experience with these new concepts, topics and lesson plans. And remember, you dreaded reading Beowulf in high school, so don’t be upset when your child doesn’t like it either.

Understanding the lesson plans your child learns and navigates during the day will help you better understand their stress and experiences. And after a long week of test prep, set up a movie night to let them know you are here to support them. Gather all your throw blankets and pile onto the sofa for a cozy night in together!

4. Spend Time Outside

Before your child starts their homework, give them time outside to let out any remaining energy from the day. Being a child is sometimes frustrating. Not understanding the material taught in class, finding new friends and so on. 

Having time to play at the end of the day can help their cognitive and social development. Spending time outside can also improve their natural immune systems and show increased happiness in children. To read more about the benefits of letting your children play outside, click here

5. Study Spaces

Keep your child focused when it’s time to complete take-home assignments by providing a study space for them to get everything done. Choose a desk that gives them plenty of room for their materials. And a chair that provides needed back support when their heads are in their books. Be sure to include storage for extra supplies, textbooks and returned work. 

6. Everything in Moderation

Now we aren’t trying to tell you to plan every sneaky snack or late bedtime but leave yourself mental room for adaptation in your routine. Going back to school is stressful on you and your student, so give everyone a bit of leeway when necessary.

And this doesn’t look the same for every parent or family. Has your child had oven-baked chicken nuggets for two nights in a row? That’s ok! Did everyone miss their alarms, making the kiddos late for school? Don’t rush yourself! It’ll only keep the day on the wrong side of the bed. Refresh and restart, possibly with an iced coffee.

At the end of the day, you understand that you have your child’s best interest at heart. Succeeding doesn’t mean getting to school on time every day and making picture-perfect meals. It’s about supporting your child while also supporting yourself. 

7. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Bring them back to a school-appropriate bedtime routine about two weeks before the new year starts. Let them enjoy the last few days of summer vacation while also preparing them to be on track during the academic year. 

Sleep is essential for a growing child’s physical and mental development. According to the Sleep Foundation, school-aged children need anywhere between 9 to 11 hours of sleep per night. So be sure your child has a comfortable mattress that helps them get the recharging rest they need. Find more inspiration for creating the perfect space for your child, click here.

Share your family’s back to school tips and tricks in the comments below. And send us your First Day photos by tagging #MyAshleyHome on Instagram. You might even see your students on our feed. You can also find more inspiration for your child’s space on our Pinterest.