How to Create an Exciting Back-to-School Plan for Students

5 min to read
A mom and daughter are sitting at a table working on a laptop on an online class at Connections Academy

Your K–12 student may dread the start of another school year because, after all, it’s tough to get back on a schedule and to be held accountable for work. For some parents, however, this is truly the most wonderful time of the year!

So how do you turn your enthusiasm for the new school year into a back-to-school plan that will help your student learn and thrive in school? Check out the suggested back-to-school activities below to help your child get in a positive and proactive headspace for the upcoming school year. 

6 Ways to Get Your Child Excited to Go Back to School

Get a jump start on planning back-to-school activities with these six ideas to help your child feel mentally and physically ready to start the school year. 

  1. Prepare a dedicated learning space or study area
  2. Set a school schedule
  3. Get involved in your student’s education
  4. Meet with the teacher before the school year starts
  5. Attend school orientation sessionsSet goals and milestones for the year ahead
  6. Set goals and milestones for the year ahead

1. Prepare a dedicated learning space or study area

You don’t need to have a whole room set aside for your student’s study needs, but you should dedicate a specific spot that is quiet, organized, and stocked with school supplies. This is one of the best back-to-school activities to get students enthusiastic for the school year ahead because they can take pride and ownership in creating a space that they love.

In terms of location, the study area can be in your dining room, living room, or your student’s bedroom, but be sure to remove or turn off distractions like cell phones or TVs so your student can concentrate on their work.

Young female student with her father Learning Coach working on an online assignment.

2. Set a school schedule

The importance of creating an ideal school schedule as part of your child’s back-to-school plan cannot be understated. Schedules and routines have been proven time and time again to help improve student performance in the classroom and at home. Your student’s online school schedule should include time for work, play, and rest. This is important even for teens! If your student attends a traditional school outside of the home, they likely will have homework that needs to be completed. If your child is an online school student, you will need to schedule your student’s daily coursework, leaving time for extracurricular activities like sports, music, etc.

In addition, just like you schedule a distraction-free time for academics, you should schedule sleep for your student. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, teens should get 8–10 hours of sleep each night and younger children should get even more.

3. Get involved in your student’s education

You don’t have to be a helicopter or a bulldozer parent to be involved. You can join the Parent-Teacher Association, volunteer in a classroom or on a field trip, or advocate for local school issues in your community. For many working families who may not be able to be physically present during the school day, being involved in homework, nightly reading, and staying on top of progress and grades are fundamental ways of showing up for your student’s education.

For online school students, having a parent or Learning Coach intimately involved with the day-to-day coursework offers the loving support that many students need to do their best work. Learning Coaches get to monitor their children’s progress, participate in hands-on projects, check in with teachers, and check lesson comprehension. As part of your back-to-school plan, watch the Learning Coach Role at-a-Glance video below to see what a typical day is like for parents of online students in grades K–12!

The Learning Coach Role: At-A-Glance

4. Meet with your student’s teacher before the year starts

Before the school year starts, you will find out your student’s teacher assignment, and that teacher will normally have to be back in the classroom prepping for the start of the year at least one week before students are back in their seats. While this is a busy time for teachers, you can request a meeting or phone conference, or even exchange emails to talk about your student’s needs for the year. This is especially true for students who have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), special learning, or medical needs that could impact them in the classroom.

5. Attend school orientation sessions

Regardless of whether your student attends a traditional brick-and-mortar institution or an online school, you will want to attend your school’s back-to-school night or orientation meeting. 

Connections Academy parents and Learning Coaches can attend the Getting Started in Virtual School series. The Learning Coach webinars are presented several times a month on a wide range of topics and last approximately 30–45 minutes.

6. Set goals and milestones for the year ahead

The act of setting goals is proven to be motivating, and can help improve confidence, empowerment, and excitement. This is why sitting down with your student to set some goals for the year ahead—whether they be school-related or personal—is one of the best back-to-school activities you can engage in to build enthusiasm for the school year. 

The work you do for planning to go back to school begins can help your student transition back into the year and also help you set him or her up for success throughout the year!

To learn how you can be more involved in your child’s education with more opportunities to provide meaningful input, visit the website for Connections Academy online public school. Or to learn about online private school, visit Pearson Online Academy ’s website.

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