12 Back to School Tips for a Fantastic First Day!

Today I’m sharing Back to School Tips to get the year started off right!  Who doesn’t want to have an awesome first day?  I’ve got 12 important tips for kids and teens.

12 Back-to-School Tips for a Fantastic First Day! {OneCreativeMommy.com} #backtoschool

12 Back-to-School Tips

Parents, this post is written to kids and teens.  So, read the post, and then please share it with your family!

Remember when school was easy?  When your biggest decision was whether you would jump rope or climb the monkey bars? It’s too bad that that feeling of ease doesn’t last forever.  School gets hard, you have trouble finding friends, your teacher isn’t what you hoped for . . . whatever the reason . . . school can get tough!  I’ve got some great tips to make things a little easier and to get you off on the right track for a great year!

I love the look on Boo’s face in the picture above.  It was the first day of Second Grade, and she was ready to conquer the world! Wouldn’t you love to feel that way every day?

1.  Plan to succeed

Make a conscious decision that you will make this school year a good one.  (Notice that I didn’t say, “Decide that it will be a good year.”  I said, “Decide to make it a good year.) There’s a big difference. Happiness is a choice that you can make.  Plan to succeed, and choose to be happy.  If things aren’t going right, understand that you have the power to make things better.

The words “think positive” may sound like a no-brainer, but really, what you think does make a difference!  I love this quote in Proverbs:

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he

So, success begins by thinking and believing that you can succeed!

If there is something in the upcoming year that you are afraid of, take some time to think seriously about it, and then make a plan to tackle that fear!

12 Back-to-School Tips for a Fantastic First Day! {OneCreativeMommy.com} #backtoschool

(She’s a little young to be afraid, don’t you think?  I wish I had the confidence of a kindergardener when I was in high school!)

RELATED:  Goal Setting:  Helping Kids Turn Short-Term Goals into Long-Term Habits, Super Kids Goal Setting Chart

2. Participate!

This is true for school and for life.  You will get out of school what you put in.  When you’re in class, give it your all.  Listen and raise your hand to answer and ask questions.  The more you participate, the more you will learn.

This goes for recess, lunch and after-school activities, too.  Participate!  Join a club. Try something new.  You just might make a few new friends while you’re at it!

3. Invite Friendship

How to Make Friends at School: Eight tips to make the first day of school great! {OneCreativeMommy.com}

One of the biggest thing that can make or break a school year is friends.  To have a friend, you need to be a friend.  Check out  Back-to-School:  8 Tips for Making Friends  for some great tips on making friends at school.

You can also turn making friends into a game with my Back to School Friend Maker and Back to School Conversation Starter Games.

4.  Step Out of Your Comfort Zone!

Trying new things can be scary, but that’s what life is all about.  When chances come to try something new, take a deep breath and give it a shot!  (Of course, I’m not talking about trying new bad or dangerous things.  I’m talking about trying a new sport, meeting a new friend, reading out loud in class, sitting by someone new at lunch, joining a club . . . you get the picture.)

5. Brush Up on Your Facts Before You Go Back

No one likes to start the school year behind.  A few weeks before school begins, give yourself a refresher on the facts you learned last year.  My kids like to practice addition and multiplication all summer with these fun drills and games:

Fun with Addition Facts Practice for Kids from OneCreativeMommy.comSummer Math Fact Practice Ideas for Kids {Multiplication} from OneCreativeMommy.comDon't Eat Pete Phonograms Game from OneCreativeMommy.com

Fun With Addition (Fact Practice) | Summer Math Fact Practice for Kids (Multiplication) | Phonogram Don’t Eat Pete

My products are all on sale for 15% off from now until August 12th!

Back-to-School Savings! Save 15% off my entire store at Teacher's Notebook!

6. Focus on the Positive

Bad days happen.  Not every day will be perfect.  In fact, I can pretty much guarantee that no day will be perfect!  Focusing on the good things that happen each day will help you forget and move past the not-so-fun stuff.

If you are having trouble finding the good, start a gratitude journal.  Make a notebook that is just for writing down things you are grateful for and good things that happen.  The first day, you might only think of one thing.  (Don’t stop until you’ve written down something!)  The next day, it will get a little bit easier, and soon . . . you’ll recognize the good things without even thinking about it.

7.  Get a Good Night’s Sleep!

Children aged five to 12 need 10-11 hours of sleep!  How much sleep do you get a night?  Start with the time you need to get up for school and count backwards to find out what time you should be going to bed.  

To ensure that you get a good night’s rest:

  • Avoid using electronics within an hour of bedtime.
  • At bedtime, keep your room dark, cool and quiet.
  • Keep TVs, computers, and cell phones out of your bedroom.
  • Avoid caffeine.

For more tips and info about kids and sleep, check out The National Sleep Foundation:  Children and Sleep

8. Establish a Morning Routine

Things always go more smoothly when you have a routine.  So, set your alarm to wake up at the same time each morning and develop a schedule that you can stick to.  Ours looks something like this:

  • Get up
  • Get dressed
  • Empty Dishwasher
  • Eat breakfast
  • Brush teeth and hair
  • Family prayer
  • Go to school!

My oldest gets up early enough to add piano practice and a shower into her schedule.

9. Eat a Good Breakfast

Eat foods that will stick with you until snack or lunch time.  Sorry, kids, but sugar cereals are not going to get you through the day.  Eat a breakfast with lots of protein and fiber.  (Oatmeal, bacon and eggs, yogurt, and whole-grain cereals are a great start.)  If you just can’t do without your sugar cereal, add a piece of fruit to give it more staying power.

10. Be Early!

You’ve heard the saying, “The Early Bird Gets the Worm?”  Well, the early kids are better prepared! Make a plan to be at school fifteen minutes early every day — and stick to it!  Arriving early helps you feel relaxed and gives you time to get prepared and set up for the day.  Teachers frequently plan bell work (usually review) for students to complete in between the time they arrive at school and the time the bell rings.   Kids who arrive late miss out on that important extra practice.  Early kids also have a chance to greet their friends and ask the teacher questions they might have had about homework or expectations for the day.

If you have trouble getting out of the house on time, try getting things ready for school the night before.  Set out your clothes, find your shoes, and fill up your backpack.  If it’s a requirement at your school, ask a parent to sign off on your homework before you put it away.

We use our lockers to keep everyone organized for school.  Backpacks and coats/sweaters go on the hooks, and lunch boxes and school shoes go on the shelf.  If that’s ready the night before, there are no scavenger hunts in the morning!

DIY Storage Lockers for Kids -- No Mudroom? No problem! {OneCreativeMommy.com}

DIY Storage Lockers for Kids

11. Do your Homework!

Plan on spending time every day studying or doing homework.  Establish a quiet, clean and comfortable place to work.  We created a family desk for homework, but the kids still love working at the kitchen table.  It must have something to do with proximity to snacks!

Build a Family Computer Desk on a Budget! {I made mine almost completely with second hand materials} OneCreativeMommy.com

DIY Family Computer Station on a Budget

I have an extra special homework tip that I give my kids.  Say a prayer before you begin studying. Guess what?  God loves you, and he wants to help you.  All you have to do is ask!  I used this simple tip in college, and it really helped me to focus and do my best.

12 Back-to-School Tips for a Fantastic First Day! {OneCreativeMommy.com} #backtoschool
12. Ask for Help!

When all else fails, ask for help!  There are some problems that require help from your parents or a trusted adult. If you are experiencing any of the following things, be sure to ask for help!

  • You are being bullied
  • You feel unsafe
  • You are offered drugs, alcohol or cigarettes
  • You are having a hard time keeping up at school
  • You feel discouraged or depressed

Starting a new school year is so exciting!  I wish everyone a fantastic year!  I saw these back-to-school books on Amazon, and I thought you might like them, too!


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Come back soon!



  1. Great ideas!
    Bobbie recently posted…How to Easily Rethread a Serger with PicturesMy Profile

  2. I love the cubbies, adorable! And agree that getting the brain set back into School Mode is so important. Thanks for the tips!
    Lavende & Lemonade recently posted…Slow Cooker Summer Series – Crock-Pot giveaway!My Profile

  3. I can’t believe that we are all talking about this already, but it will be here before you know it. Thanks for the great ideas!
    Jennifer at Making Our Life Matter recently posted…5 Minute Homemaking TasksMy Profile

  4. These are great tips, for school and for life too. I will share this on Facebook. I have some friends who can use this information.
    Kathleen @ Fearlessly Creative Mammas recently posted…Tips and Tricks Link Party 8/5My Profile

  5. Great tips, and so timely with school starting up again! I will review them with my little ones.

  6. I love these tips! We are always late so I am going to try and establish a nightly routine to lay out my daughter’s clothes.
    Heather recently posted…Ice Cream: Don’t Wait for the TruckMy Profile

  7. Thanks again for coming and linking up at The Weekend Social.
    Katerina recently posted…No Machine, no Eggs Chocolate Ice CreamMy Profile

  8. Such good tips Heidi – especially the one about having everything you need ready so you don’t have to worry about being late for school. That works for us adults too!
    Clare recently posted…One whole month of school lunch ideas for kidsMy Profile

  9. Very good tips. Love the summer practice sheets, thankfully my daughter enjoys those. I think organization is key for sure! Thank you for linking up to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I have pinned your post to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest board.
    Carie Spence recently posted…Gluten Free Apple Spice Cake With Vanilla-Honey Cream Cheese FrostingMy Profile

  10. Great tips Heidi, thanks so much for sharing!

  11. Another cute post! Nice tips!

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!
    Jess recently posted…Join Me at 30 Days of Lists!My Profile

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