Going Back to School
Photo: Margo Morrison

Summer is over and that means going back to school. Parents, are you ready for success this school year?

Many parents would have been settled now with the going back to school routine. Of course, the back to school preparations for parents started months ago and culminated in “September Morning”.

“September Morning” is the day that schools reopen. For parents, this means that all the planning and execution have paid off. The children are ready for going back to school. Pat yourself on the back. You have received a gold medal in a race that started in early summer.

Now that back to school is in full swing, parents know that being ready for “September Morning” is the first hurdle in a successful school year.

In this article, I present from educators Mrs. Alicia Findlay-Joseph and Mrs. Skeeter Ashman 5 going back to school success strategies for parents.

We all know that school is not just for the children. Parents are heavily involved in every aspect of their children’s school year and are affected in their own way. Also, as the past year has shown, parents became their children’s unofficial teachers during lockdown while also juggling work-from-home. So, for children to thrive, parents need to thrive.

Here are 5 Back-to-School Success Strategies for Parents

1. Self-Care is Health Care

In my last article, I stated that self-care is health care, and I will repeat it here for those in the back!  Far too often, parents, especially mothers, are the last on the list or not on the list at all for care.

Some parents tend to neglect themselves by putting everything and everyone’s needs before theirs. However, this is not a winning strategy because children need parents who are at their best. Self-care is not selfish. Self-care is linked to wellbeing and mental health and practising self-care will benefit you and your family.

2. De-Stress for Back to School Success

Back to school is stressful for both children and parents. However, when you add a global pandemic, online schooling and work-from-home, you have a recipe for parental stress and burn-out.

Research has found that parental stress increased since COVID-19 with parents reporting more difficulties parenting during the pandemic than before. Additionally, the most common stressors for parents included changes to children’s daily routine, worries and anxieties about the pandemic and the demand for children’s online schooling.

Parents can de-stress by practising self-care, engaging in more fun family activities and staying in contact with family and friends. Finding and incorporating strategies that work for you and your family is important.  

3. Plan to Make it Work

Planning is always a winning strategy for success. With children going back to online school and work-from-home orders still in place, parents should take a little extra time out of each day to plan for the next day.

Planning is particularly important if there is a shortage of computers or devices in your household. Taking those extra minutes to plan for the day ahead can help to relieve the stress of navigating who gets to use a device and when.

If multiple people are using one device for school and work, perhaps it will be helpful to set up a schedule for when each person can use the device so that everyone can benefit. This is not only practical, it could go a long way in decreasing conflicts, stress and resentment.

When planning a use-of-device schedule, ensure that you communicate with your children’s school and your place of work if you are currently working from home.

4. You are not Alone

Parents, please rest assured that the pandemic did not spare anyone. Everyone has been impacted by the pandemic. For many, it has increased self-doubt, fear, isolation, stress, and for a lot of parents, guilt.

Research has found that 25% of parents reported feeling guilty about not properly educating their children during home-schooling. Mothers were feeling guilty eight times more per month than fathers.

Parents should avoid feeling guilty if they cannot help their children with every aspect of their school work. Instead, parents should focus on the things they can support their children with and seek help for other things.

Joining parent groups can be a great source of support like a listening ear and additional resources that will help you to better support your children’s needs. Also, speaking to your children’s teachers can be helpful as they can give your strategies and tips to support your children’s learning.

5. Stay on Top of Things

While parents may not be able to help their children with all aspects of their schoolwork, parents can ensure that their children are getting the most out of online learning by staying on top of things. A few simple ways to stay on top of things are:

  1. Encourage your children to treat online learning as if they are in a physical classroom. This means, sitting up in class, paying attention and engaging in class activities.
  2. Ensuring your children are attending to class when online and not engaging in other online activities.
  3. Install parental controls on devices to keep children safe while online.
  4. Check schoolwork and homework for completeness.
  5. Contact teachers if you are unsure of a subject matter or your child needs help understanding the work or what is required.

If you find these strategies helpful, please let me know. If you have others to share, drop me a line in the comments!


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