The school year is quickly approaching, and a lot of us aren’t quite ready to give up summer. Late nights will turn into early mornings, and pool days with the kids will turn into math classes. While we enjoy a break, it’s important to start the year off on the right foot. With so much to do, and last-minute vacations to be had, we could all use a little preparation. Here are 6 tips for a successful new school year!

1. Sit down and set goals

With a new task at hand, like the new school year, it’s important to determine goals and have specific things to work toward.

Sit down with your student a few days before the first day of school and brainstorm goals for the year. Do they want to make 3 new friends? Try out for a new sport? Make more As than Bs?

Let them determine what they think is a reasonable goal and set timelines for each. Remember, a good goal is measurable and specific!

Display their goals in a place where they see them daily. The refrigerator or by the door are great places. They’ll already be thinking of the year ahead, and how they can improve from last year!

2.  Start cutting back on electronics
Less screen time equals more time for homework and family! As the first day gets closer, gradually start cutting back on your student’s time playing video games, TV time, cell phone use – all the above.

Encourage your student to enjoy time outside before they start classes, put phones away at dinner, or challenge them to spend a few hours without it. To go a step further, determine a time for the kids to give you their phones before bed. The more instances you can find to get rid of electronics, the easier the transition will be when school starts.

3.  Have a back-to-school get together
The end of summer is a great excuse for a party! Allow your student to have friends over and celebrate the new school year. This gives you a chance to meet their friends and see who they’ll be spending time with this year. You could even make a friend yourself by talking to parents!

After not seeing friends daily, the initial hello can make some kids anxious. A get together will allow for friends to reconnect and take on the first day together. Parties are fun – don’t be afraid to go all out!

4.  Craft something together they can bring to school
Making something together is a great excuse to bond with your kids! Tell your student you’d like to make a school supply of their choice – like binder covers, a pencil holder, or locker/cubby décor. The options are endless, and it’s a great way to get their creative wheels turning! It’ll have them thinking about the first day, but with a positive, excited outlook. Your student will be proud to show their friends their awesome, personalized supplies.

5. Plan it all out
Organization is key for the beginning of the year. When going to buy school supplies, encourage your student to pick out their own planner. Explain to them it’s important to keep track of what’s going on in and out of the classroom. No planner is created equal, so look through each and determine which is best suited for your child’s level of organization.

Before the first day of school, sit down with your student, grab the planner and a pencil, and get to it. Help them write down initial dates and appointments – like meet the teacher night, going to the dentist, and more. As the year progresses, ask them what they’ve got coming up in school that they’ve scheduled. Hold them accountable for keeping up with what’s going on. It’ll help you in the long run while giving them responsibility (even if you always know what’s coming up)!

6.  Create a school station
You probably have a designated spot where your student does their homework, but have you considered making a space devoted to all things school? Pick out a space together in your home that works for everyone. Decide what items should be available – you never know what you might need for projects! This is also a great space for you to store graded work and keep up with their assignments.

Your school station can be whatever you envision — plain and out of the way, or bright and on display. No matter what it looks like, it’ll be a great way to keep your school supplies all in one place.

Choose one or all – either way, you’re one step closer to a great school year! We sure are excited for the year to start at The Quest Zone. Thinking about after school care? Head over to our website or Facebook page to see what we’re all about. With our STEM and Homework Zones, our students are sure to have a successful school year.