Tips to Get Ready for Back to School

What's the best way to prepare your children for the first day of school? How much should parents help with homework? What's the best way to get involved in the classroom?

The start of the school year can bring up a lot of questions for parents. The California State PTA Parent Involvement Commission released some tips for parents as another school year kicks off.

The first day of school

  • Calm their fears: Let children know it's OK for them to be nervous.
  • Focus on positives: Remind them of the friends they'll see everyday, but be sure to maintain realistic expectations.
  • Visit school before it opens: This allows kids to become comfortable with the school before the busy morning rush.
  • Use the buddy system: Travelling to school with a familiar friend can help ease the stress of the first day.
  • Review safety rules: Go over safety measures regarding the traffic and strangers.


  • Talk to your child's teacher about homework policies.
  • Establish a set time for homework each day.
  • Make sure there's a well-lit, quiet place to study.
  • Make sure your child has all the materials he or she needs.
  • Provide guidance, not answers when your child asks for help.
  • Provide breaks.
  • Reward progress and hard work.

Getting involved in school

  • Ask the teacher about the best ways to help out.
  • Visit the classroom to observe a normal day.
  • Attend parent-teacher conferences.
  • Join the PTA or other parent group.
  • Check the school calendar for opportunities to become involved.
  • Maintain regular contact with teachers.

More tips, including advice on the most effective tutoring techniques, can be found on the LAUSD website.

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