A Teacher’s 5 Tips to Prepare Older Kids for School


Transitioning from summer mode to school mode can be difficult for everyone. This year it’s harder than ever. Many kids have been remote and may be going back in person for the first time in over a year. That can be really hard. I’m a middle school teacher and a mom to teens. I have to get myself prepared for school as well as my kids! It’s a lot. Make it easier by doing a few simple things to prepare older kids for school.

  1. Read the supply list. Most teachers and grade level teams put out a very specific supply list. You can usually find it on the school’s website or they email it during the summer. Having all the supplies your child needs can make life at school go much smoother. If you have any financial difficulties, most schools can help out.
  2. Charge your Chromebooks. Most classrooms don’t have enough outlets for kids to charge their Chromebooks at school. I have my son plug his in and leave his Chromebook in his backpack near the outlet. That way he won’t forget it in the morning.
  3. Pack snacks. School breakfast and lunch are free in most schools again this year but some kids still don’t eat at school. I have some students who just don’t like the food or don’t like to eat until they get home. That’s too long to go without food to think and maintain emotional balance.  Pack a few things you know they like in their bag.
  4. Get back into a routine. Having a predictable routine at home for dinner, homework, and bed time, even for teens. It makes a huge difference for regulating emotions and maintaining focus at school.  
  5. Organize a work space. Create an organized work space for each child in your home.  Even if your kids don’t have desks, there are lots of clever ideas for making a portable work space.  It’s easy to bring to a counter or table in the kitchen so they can be near you.
  6. Teach your child how to write an email.  Most students, even elementary, used email to communicate with their teachers last year. It’s a great way to help them form positive relationships with their teachers and take more responsibility. Show them how to write an email with a subject, salutation and formal writing etiquette.

Hopefully this school year will be better than last year. Help you kids get off to a good start by supporting them at home.

girl walking down road with yellow backpack

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Hi, my name is Heidi. I was born and raised on the Seacoast of New Hampshire and I still believe I’m a mermaid. If I’m not in the water or on the water, I’m wishing I was. I’m a single mom with three kids who are twenty-three, twelve and I’m a foster mom to my soon to be adopted sixteen year old. I’ve been widowed, divorced, and have found there is life and happiness after tragedy. I’ve learned to thrive with my children thanks to the support of my family, friends, and community. As a middle school science teacher, I love to inspire my kids and get them excited about science. I’m also a science curriculum developer, and love to use my twisted humor to write about my crazy beautiful life.