Back-to-school hacks to help get your kids' school year going

ByDonna Tetreault, ABC Parenting Contributor KABC logo
Back-to-School hacks for parents and kids
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Here are a few hacks to make back-to-school fun and easy.

It may still feel like summer, but the school year will soon be upon us. We've rounded up the best advice from teachers, doctors and other parents to help you and your kids head back to school.


Teachers Tips:

Get your kids on a schedule:

The best schedules are the ones your kids create with you. Include time for sleep, homework, dinner, bath, after school activities and free time. Hang the schedule somewhere visible. If you're battling with your child about getting homework or anything else done, use the phrase, "The schedule says ... " This way you're not the bad guy, the schedule is.

Create a homework spot:

Make a special place for homework. Stock it with decorative pencils, a lamp they pick out, anything to make it exciting for your child to focus and learn. Some kids like to stand. Let them. Some kids like to get into a cozy place. Let them.

Set goals for the school year:

Write out a contract with your child. This can be very simple for young children or more specific for older children. Set expectations so kids and parents are on the same page.

Designate a place for school forms:

Find somewhere in your home for your child to place school forms for you to sign. It becomes the child's responsibility to put them in the spot for you to see. It can be a magnet on the fridge, a basket by the door or a clip placed on the front door.


Parent Pointers:

Get back on a sleep routine:

Define a bedtime and then start easing toward it. The best way to do this is to make adjustments in 15 minute increments to allow your child to comfortably make the transition.

Have some fun with academics a few weeks before school starts:

Give kids the opportunity to play fun reading and math games. Even 10 minutes a day can get them back into the school mindset and refresh their reading and math skills.

Involve kids in back-to-school shopping:

Let kids participate and pick what they like. It will get them excited.

Get school outfits organized:

Prepare school clothes/uniforms for at least one week. Label them Monday-Friday. If you can, let the kids pick what they want to wear. This will make for a much easier morning routine.


Doctor Do's:

Schedule enough time for sleep:

Most school-aged children need 10-11 hours a night. A lot parents think 8 hours is enough, but it's not.

Eat a healthy breakfast:

This is a must. Kids who start the day out with a healthy meal can focus better and longer which allows for optimal learning.

Make sure your child is up to date on all vaccinations:

This is imperative for beginning school. Find out what your particular school's policy is.

Incorporate the 20/20/20 rule for healthy eyes:

Every 20 minutes look away from the screen, 20 feet ahead, for 20 seconds. It is important to consistently give eyes a short screen break. This helps in reducing the damaging effects of "blue light" children are exposed to from computer screens and other devices.

Talk about going back-to-school:

Talking to your kids helps them if they might be anxious for the first day of school. This is especially important for kindergarteners and kids who are starting at a new school. Help make your kids comfortable by listening to their fears and letting them know you are there for them. Tell them teachers and other kids are nervous too.