Back-to-school tips and tricks

by Kimmarie Cipolla, Ed.D. and LeighAnn McCormack Ph.D.
Posted 8/18/22

And just like that, another summer is coming to an end and back to school excitement is gearing up! 

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Back-to-school tips and tricks


And just like that, another summer is coming to an end and back to school excitement is gearing up!  Even though the sun is shining and the beach still beckons our towels, it is time to start preparing for another school year. This time facing new challenges having gone through a turbulent couple of years, and there are signs that stress and frustration levels remain high. 

To ease that back to school anxiety and keep the excitement up we have made a list of tips and tricks to start the year off strong. Whether it’s your child’s first first year or last, these tips and  tricks will ensure smooth sailing into the new school year.


Ready, set, plan. Work together to establish clear and age-appropriate routines.  Adapting daily routines for your child’s age. Sit down with your child and together make a list of the things that need to be done before leaving for school in the morning.  Decide the order in which they need to be done.  Make a checklist.  Practice going through the routine. How does it take, how much support is needed.  Practice, change as needed and then fade the checklist and reminders.

Improving emotional control in everyday situations

Regulate the environment, by building in consistent routines such as homework, dinner and bedtimes. 

Read stories in which characters exhibit the behaviors you want to see in your child. Give your child a script to follow for problem situations. For example, if your child doesn’t want to do their homework if it appears to be too difficult, you can say  “Here is what I want you to say to yourself before starting this - “I know this will be hard, I’m just not good at it yet but I am going to keep trying hard.  If I get stuck I will ask for help.”

Talk to your child about what to expect in new situations and how the emotions make us feel. 

Addressing children’s anxiety 

Talk to your child about concerns they may have about school, academics or social situations. Having a safe place to share their thoughts and feelings will lead to less stress for them at school and at home. 


Communicate with your child’s teacher or teachers and establish a connection with them, especially if something is going on in your family life, or if your child has specific needs.

Establish routines

Getting into and establishing routines, such as hometime time and place, screen time, and dinner and snack times will help to create a more positive home and school environment. 

School supplies

One of the most exciting things about a new school year is getting new school supplies! 

But before you go out and buy all the new things, hunt around your home and see what you can reuse. Then make a special plan to get sleek new folders, markers and notebooks. Most schools provide a list of required teacher supplies, like facial tissues, glue, and scissors. 

Lastly, celebrate all the good things that come with fall’s arrival: cooler weather, school sports, fine arts shows and performances – even fall foods.  We got this!  

Cipolla and McCormack are co-owners of Beyond the Tutors LLC. For more information go to