#FallBacktoSchool: Follett's Top Tips for Parents

Dusting off the back to school routine – or breaking it out for the first time - can be as challenging for parents as it is for kids! As parents, there’s a lot on your plate (and maybe not enough in their lunch boxes), and making sure their rides are secured and their backpacks are stocked with the right tools is only half the battle.

You also need to ensure that you and your kids have the right emotional tools to set you up for a happy and productive school year! To help you and your kids #fallbacktoschool the right way, check out Follett’s pointers for parents.


Start Smart: Top Tips for Parents this New School Year

Whether you’re a newbie sending your kids to kindergarten or a grizzled veteran parent of a high school senior, back-to-school season can be an emotional time. Here’s a quick list of things you can do to ensure a stress-free first day of school.

10. Plan Lunches
If you are buying school lunch, check the online menu to see what they’re serving. If you’re making lunch, have your kids help you plan a few in advance — they’ll like what they’re eating and feel involved in the process.

9. Watch for Bullying
Many kids don’t want to admit they’re being bullied, so parents have to ask the right questions. Asking “How was your day?” usually elicits the “fine” default response. Instead, ask questions like “Who did you sit next to at lunch today?” Specific questions require more detailed answers, which gives you a clearer idea of how they are faring.

8. Visit Your School/Teacher Beforehand
Most schools have a “Back to School Night” for students and parents in the weeks leading up to the first day of classes. If not, call the school and set something up. Your kids will feel more comfortable in a setting they’ve already navigated and you’ll have peace of mind knowing their teacher.

7. Handwashing Is Key
The good news - your kids will be drinking from the cup of knowledge. The bad news? All the other kids are drinking from the same cup. Your best defense? Teach your kids to wash their hands frequently and cough into their elbows instead of their hands.

6. Find At Least One Friend Before School Starts
Everyone has Facebook, so use it to ask other parents who have a child in the same grade which class their son or daughter is attending. This will alleviate the stress your child feels walking into class without knowing anyone.

5. Create a Checklist
Organization is a challenge, especially in the morning. Create a checklist of items (lunch, backpack, books, homework) and place it by the door; you and your child will be less likely to forget things.

4. Buy the Right School Supplies
Most schools send precise lists of what kids need for each new grade level. If you don’t have this list, ask the teacher. Bonus tip — buy some extra supplies on the list for the classroom. Many teachers spend their own money on school supplies, so they GREATLY appreciate when parents ease their burden with donated items.

3. Get Into A Routine
Start a week beforehand to get back into the school routine. Begin by setting a specific bedtime, eating breakfast early and getting your child dressed in a fixed amount of time — they’ll be calm and on-time for the first day of school.

2. Set the Tone
It is understandable for parents to be stressed on the first day of school. But while it’s perfectly natural to be upset, try not to let your kids see your angst. They take their cues from you, so if you’re emotional and anxious about the start of school, they’ll follow suit. You can cry after they get on the bus, which brings us to...

1. Get a Box of Tissues
If your child is young, you might need tissues after shedding tears about how fast they grew up. Parents of that second child might be using the tissues to dry their tears of joy at the thought of having a little bit of free time during the day

Nobody sees education quite like we do.