7 Simple Ideas to Make Getting Back to School Better

If your children are on their way back to school soon, or if they’ve already started, change is in the air. There is probably a mixture of relief, anxiety and uncertainty in jumping back into a busy routine. This is the best time to establish a few rules or habits to make the school year less stressful and even enjoyable.

7 Simple Back to School Ideas

1. Eat Breakfast Together
A crazy morning leads to a crazy day. Wake up a few minutes early, set the table and sit down for a family breakfast. It’s a quick meal, but so worth the time you put into it.

2. Use Technology to Stay in Touch
Most children have access to phones or email during the day so take advantage of that. I’m not advocating that you disturb them during class, but send a quick text or email to remind them that you are thinking about them or that you can’t wait to spend time together and hear about their day.

3. Cut One Activity
You may have recently signed up for all of the activities that your children enjoy or the ones you heard will make them a successful adult. Drop one and spend time together instead. Create downtime for your kids and for yourself.

4. Write Love Notes
Even when my daughter was a senior in high school, I occasionally dropped little notes in her lunch bag or jacket pocket. I thought she might think it was dorky, but one day when I was in her room, I saw one of my notes pinned to her bulletin board. The little stuff matters.

5. Create a School Announcement Area
Choose one spot for papers that require your attention. Take a look each evening and toss, keep or sign and return accordingly.

6. Play Hooky
Give your kids a day off especially when they seem particularly overwhelmed. For younger kids, it might be a day of fun with you. Older children might need a day to study or catch up. I’m not talking about a day a week here, but one each semester might help to avoid exhaustion or needless stress.

7. Plan to Thank Teachers
Anytime is a good time to thank teachers, but after a parent teacher conference is a particularly good time to send a note in with your student. Let teachers know that you want to work with them and that you are available for feedback. Some teachers spend more time during the day with your children than you do. They need your support and gratitude.

Help your family enjoy the school year by setting boundaries and establishing simple ways of making each day a little lighter for everyone.




  1. says

    Some incredible advice here! Eating together is so important (dinner, too!). We have 2 young ones, so my second favorite is playing hooky. I think it is important to show that family comes first and foremost, and learning is done in many other places than just in school. Wonderful!

  2. says

    All great advice, Courtney. As a former teacher, I have to give a double thumbs up to #7. I can’t tell you how much it means to get a hand-written note from a parent thanking you for working with their child.

  3. says

    Marvelous ideas, Courtney. Just don’t cut the guitar lessons;) But really #6 is an obvious area for many people I know to address. Their kids are exhausted and clearly need a day or two off per week. No need to get them on the 40 hour a week schedule before they even have a chance to know what it is and escape it.

  4. says

    My daughter takes her sandwiches in a container inside her lunch bag. Every day I write a note on the outside of it with a sharpie permanent marker. This could be just ‘have a great day’, or a little reminder for later such as ‘don’t forget you’ve a playdate…’ with some kisses. It’s the little things that count!