Back-to-School (at Home) Tips for a Memorable Fall

Dated: August 17 2020

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If you thought one semester of “school-at-home” was tricky, get ready for round two.

Whether your child’s program is completely virtual or includes some in-person learning, here are some considerations to make this transition effective and meaningful for any grade.


The first day of school is an exciting event for your littles and most likely, they will be starting off at home. You can still make it special by counting down the last days of summer in a unique way and having a “back-to-school” send-off on the first day of school.

Consider a jar full of 30 pieces of candy and give them one a day. Or, fill that same jar with 30 “things to do” before the summer ends and let them pull one out (and do it) every day.  You can also keep it as simple as a red “X” on your calendar.

On the first day of school, help them dress the part in a new outfit, snap a picture and take a walk around the neighborhood before settling in to their class online.

TIP: Working from home and supervising your elementary school student is a hustle. Here are tips to Finding a Balance: Parenting, Homeschool and Work.

Middle School

At this age, kids love to test boundaries and finding your footing as their parent is tough enough—let alone trying to be their teacher. Step out strong by working with your tween or teen to stock up on school supplies and additional technology that they will need for online learning.

Before the first day of class, shop together for a trendy outfit and design their at-home learning space (since they are missing the fun of decorating their locker) so they are excited to get to work.

On the first day of school, you’ll still want to capture a photo and then give them space to start their day their way. If your schedule allows for it, order in a special lunch to celebrate a successful morning.

TIP: According to Beverly Buffini who home-schooled six children, it’s important to remember that every child is different and that this is a real opportunity for your kids to work within their learning styles. Plan for unexpected interruptions and keep the lines of communication strong.

High School

Kids may lose their last years of school to COVID-19 including sporting events, parties and prom. By high school, most kids have deep friendships and extra-curricular activities that they will certainly miss.

Because of this, yearbooks will be slim. Hire a professional photographer to take senior pictures and do your best to capture the moments that they will want to remember. You can keep them in a digital album or scrapbook that they will (eventually) cherish.

Although your child may not need a lot of supervision to stay on track, they will benefit from your flexibility to trust them to work and learn independently. It’s also important to encourage them to stay active, keep motivated and be happy which may include creative ideas to safely see their friends.

TIP: Make it clear what you expect and how you will keep them accountable. Then, let them do it their way.

Just because classes have gone online, doesn’t mean you need to skip the fanfare to make back-to-school season special. We are for you! 

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