Back-to-School Tips


Yes, welcome returning OLG families, and a warm welcome to new families.

We are off and running!

Beginning the school year on a positive note can influence children’s attitude, confidence, and performance socially and academically. As school psychologists Ted Feinberg and Katherine Cowan write in Back–to-School Transitions: Tips for Parents, “Even children who are eager to return to class must adjust to the greater levels of activity, structure, and, for some, pressures associated with school life. The degree of adjustment depends on the child, but parents can help their children (and the rest of the family) manage the increased pace of life by planning ahead, being realistic, and maintaining a positive attitude.”

After the first weeks of school, adjustments may need to be made in transitioning back.

  • What does the morning routine look like? Does everyone have enough time to get up, eat breakfast, and get going without racing into school late? We can’t be on time all the time. But arriving late and in a rush can cause students anxiety, and set the tone for the day.
  • Make sure backpacks, lunches, and band instruments are at the door ready to go, preferably the night before!
  • Clarify with your child, other caregivers, and school staff just what the afterschool plan is each day. Again, less confusion, less anxiety.
  • Organizing helps! Designate a place to do homework. If older students work alone in their rooms, closely monitor computer and cell phone use. Turn off the TV, and limit screen time. Stretching those “focusing muscles” early in the school year will help both homework completion and class participation.
  • Plenty of sleep and proper nutrition are vital ingredients to a successful school day! Growing, active bodies, and developing brains need help getting through long and challenging days.
  • Review your child’s schoolbooks. Talk with them about what they will be learning during the year. Support and encourage your child to be patient and attentive.
  • Get to know school personnel, learn their roles, and how best to access their help. Volunteer in the classroom if possible. Doing so helps children understand that school and family life are connected, and that you care about the learning experience. Maintain open lines of communication with the school.
  • If your child appears to be anxious about school, let them know that it’s natural to be a little nervous when starting something new, but that they will be fine once they become familiar with their new teacher and school routine.
  • Consider extracurricular activities. When doing so, psychologists Feinberg and Cowan point out, “ Go for quality, not quantity. Your child will benefit most from one or two activities that are fun, reinforce social development, and teach new skills. Too much scheduled time can be stressful, especially for young children, and may make it harder to concentrate on schoolwork. When choosing activities, consider your family schedule and personal energy level. Multiple activities per child may be too much to manage, particularly if the activities have overlapping times, distant locations, require your attendance, or disrupt the dinner hour. If your child does not want to participate in organized extracurricular activities, you may want to consider other options to help build interests and social skills…”

Some options may be: local libraries for monthly reading programs; recreation or community centers for drop-in activities; and coordinating play dates with other children and families. Unstructured “down time” can be a greatly needed relief for some families.

The recommendations mentioned here can help in providing a positive school experience for most children. However, some children may display opposition or fear of school, or may be coping with learning difficulties. If your child’s behaviors are of concern, and continue for an extended period of time, please let their teacher know, or contact me, and we can determine how best to move forward and support your child. While kids behaviors can vary greatly, more often than not, time and the use of intervention strategies can be helpful. Most children are resilient, and with your guidance and encouragement working in step with school staff, your child will thrive throughout their school experience.

Lastly, some general reminders…

  • Please return FCE envelopes to school each week
  • Be sure medical forms / medications (if needed) are up to date in the office
  • Please complete and turn in Earthquake Kits to classroom teacher asap
  • Put your child’s name in clothing, backpacks, musical instruments, etc.
  • Check-out the OLG website weekly. Mark your calendars for upcoming events

Wishing you all a wonderful school year! Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

Heidi Ehrenberg

School Counselor