School’s Back: Tips for Parents

September 7, 2022

Is it just us or does September seem to roll around quicker each year? If it crept up on you this year and you’ve been running around trying to get everything organised, it’s time to do what this generation of parents does best: consult a blog post about it! 

This back to school period of transition can be challenging for kids. After a sleepy summer of lie-ins, sunbathing and probably a fair amount of Netflix, the school bell rings and just like that textbooks, timetables and seating plans are back. So how can parents help ease their children into their new normal with minimal anxiety?  

Help your child get into a study routine

After a long stretch of structureless summer days, getting back into a rigid daily routine can be a challenge. The further your child progresses through their schooling, the more important an ordered timetable, both in and outside school, becomes. GCSEs and A-levels are no joke and the quicker your child gets used to organising their independent study time into neat chunks, the easier it will be for them to battle the pressure and stress that inevitably pile up during these years.

Start your child on revision timetables early. While it might not score you many points in the popularity stakes initially, in the long run they will be grateful you helped them put the tools in place to keep on top of everything from day one. Alongside this, make sure you’re reminding them of the importance of early bedtimes and consistency in exercise and diet.

Make sure you’re staying on top of everything as well

It’s all very well encouraging your child to maintain razor-sharp levels of organisation, but be careful to practice what you preach, Mum/Dad. We know - easier said than done. Parenting can be a wild ride and juggling the 1001 things you have to think about on a daily basis can be a struggle. But make it easier on yourself by planning ahead. 

Note down all important dates as soon as you receive them, from parents evenings to school plays to exams. Organisation looks different for everyone and you know what’s best for you. Go old-school, gathering everything on the family cork board calendar, or download apps that allow you to stay one step ahead and schedule reminders to your heart’s content - the choice is yours!

Keep track of where your child is academically

An important part of remaining organised when your child is at school is staying in the loop when it comes to their academic activities. This includes their syllabus, what they are learning, the grades they are receiving, etc.. Try to engage them on at least a weekly basis on the topic of their studies. 

Tying down a teenager for long enough to have an in-depth chin wag about school won’t always be an easy task but regular conversations about their course content will help inspire them and maybe even start to give them an idea about what they would like to pursue beyond school. It’s also a great way to detect any academic problems they may be experiencing, allowing you to act early and secure extra help before the issue snowballs. This may come in the form of regular consultations with their teacher or perhaps a private tutor (of which we have no shortage here at Tutor House!).

Check in regularly with your child

As well as ascertaining academic performance, you should also be regularly checking in with your child on a personal level. September can be an overwhelming time for pupils - new teachers, new timetables, maybe even new subjects - and it’s all too easy to start mentally spiralling. Not to mention, we all know how fraught puberty and adolescence can be, which, when added to academic hardship, can produce some pretty intense emotional hurdles.

So make sure you’re regularly opening up the channels for communication, encouraging them to discuss the challenges they may be facing and showing them you’re always there if they need to talk. If you feel there might be something more serious brewing beneath the teen angst, check out our list of top mental health resources for young people.

Plan time around school

As relieved as you may be that with summer over you can put aside activity programme planning for another year, it’s important not to drop the ball here either. Returning to a heavy work schedule can be draining and it’s important to help your child vary up their weeks so they don’t get burnt out. 

Plan weekend activities for your child to look forward to and encourage them to integrate healthy, enjoyable activities, like team sports or yoga, into their routine. Incorporating variety into their weekends will help them stay productive and motivated during the week.

Bonus tip: Bulk buy supplies

The back-to-school shop can seem like a drain on the wallet but you’ll save more in the long run by buying everything you need now and bulk buying on those bitty items that are liable to get lost - think of all those pens, rubbers, etc, that tend to go missing over the course of the year. (You can thank us once the fifth ballpoint of the month mysteriously vanishes and you swoop in to save the day.) 

Let the new term begin!

If the dreaded back to school period has got you wringing your hands, remember: a little organisation goes a long way. Start how you mean to go on is a pretty spectacular mantra for this time of year, so sit down with your child and have a chat about how to make September easier and what to aim for in these early months.

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Ella Burgess

Ella is a content writer at Tutor House and explores a range of education centred topics, having previously spent time teaching English while living abroad. A foreign language enthusiast and lover of text art, she is devoted to words in all their forms. She'll happily immerse herself in anything wordy from conceptual art to vintage murder mysteries.

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