It's back to school time and that means some major changes coming for many of us here in the Texas panhandle. Students have to get back into daily routines, get used to doing homework again, and parents, well, they have some of the same challenges too!

What can you do to help get the first few weeks of the new school year off to a great start? Try these 5 tips:

  1. Connect with your child's teachers - go to meet the teacher nights or other welcome events. Make sure to have a conversation with each teacher, introducing yourself, and learning about what they are planning for the upcoming year.
  2. Get back into routines and schedules - there's no doubt after a long summer, that your normal day to day routine will need some work. Start now to make the transition easier. Set waking times, homework times, and stick to them.
  3. Create an online calendar and share it - using tools like Google Calendar can really be useful to keep everyone's activities organized as well as being able to share the calendar with every in the family. This way everyone knows what everyone is up to. And bonus, it is online so you can load it on your phone.
  4. Check the backpack - one of the biggest complaints every year from students is just how much stuff they have to lug around. Once your student has all their books, check their backpack and make sure it doesn't way more than 20% of their body weight. If it is, encourage your child to use their locker as much as possible. No one needs back problems in the 8th grade.
  5. Volunteer at your child's school - ask your child's teachers and school administrators how you can help when time permits. Many times schools can offer more activities and programs, but rely on volunteers. And don't forget about asking the school's PTA.