July, 31

Back to School Tips from Rally's Director of Education

It’s hard to believe that the summer is coming to an end. While we have to put some of our favorite things on pause until next summer, like those slow weekday mornings, I am looking forward to the start of the school year.

As a former classroom teacher, something about the back to school season is just magical. The freshly sharpened pencils, a brand new stack of post its, unused markers with the tip crisp, inviting an onslaught of ideas and creativity, the endless new materials welcome a year of possibility. While I don’t have a classroom to prep or labels of student’s names to stick to folders and cubbies, I now get to experience the joy of this season as a parent.

Since hearing the title of “mom,” I’ve put some of my tried and true strategies I’ve recommended to parents over the years to the test. These are the Back to School tips that I’ve actually found to be successful.

Set a daily wake-up routine. Start going to bed and waking up earlier a few weeks before school starts. This will allow your kiddos (and you) to naturally adjust to a busier morning routine. By the time school starts, they’ll be fully adjusted and ready to rock on that first day of school!

Involve your kiddos in the prep work. Yes, all the prep work. That means choosing their own snacks, notebooks, supplies, etc. Not only will it be a fun activity for them to participate in, they’ll feel more ownership over their special supplies and will be more likely to take care of them in the long run. *Teacher hack: the more ownership kiddos have, the more they rise to the occasion!

Set a daily routine for what mornings look like. For us that includes breakfast, getting dressed, brushing teeth, and 20 minutes of daily reading. I love Rally Reader for this. It’s built-in dashboard with daily reading goals helps us stack habits and set my kiddos up for success with a predictable routine. If we still have time after reading, we make time for a few minutes of play before we’re off and running!

You guessed it, set that routine for sleep too! When it's time to head up for bed, the kiddos are in charge of a few pieces. Pick out jammies, brush teeth, floss, and then pick 2 books to read together. Sometimes, we read all together, sometimes, we split up for special one on one time. We say good night to our favorite characters, then to each other, and offer a sweet dream till morning.

Know that hiccups will happen. Parents know that even with the best-laid plans, hiccups happen anyway. The best thing you can do is be flexible and let them roll off your shoulder! Even if the morning before the first day of school isn’t perfect, your kiddo won’t remember the little moments of “oops” that happened. All they will remember is how exciting it was to meet their teacher, see their classroom, and get to know new friends.

Deep breaths, you’ve got this!

Elizabeth S., Rally Reader Director of Education


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