Thursday, August 20, 2009

Three Tips for … Back to School

Thanks to Alana Morales for this great guest post!

Back to school time is quickly approaching – are you ready? I know I am. My kids need a set routine and unfortunately, as hard as I try, I can’t provide enough structure for them. They are ready to be back around their friends and I am ready for them to burn off some energy during the day.

Heading back to school means heading back into the land of homework, morning rituals and killer time management strategies. Here are three tips to help you prepare for the craziness of going back to school.

1. Student readiness. Sit down with your child and come up with some goals for the next school year. Once you decide on a few (I would say no more than 5), find a place to post them (inside of binder, over desk) and then make a plan on how you will reach those goals. Keep these in an easy to reach place as well.

Once this is figured out, try to come up with a school organizational plan. Who will go through the backpack daily? Where? Where will homework be placed? What about field trip notes, class newsletters, etc? Try to have this all figured out before school begins to keep things streamlined.

2. Teacher Readiness. Have you prepared a letter to your student’s teacher? Even if you don’t know who their teacher is, you can still write a draft of a letter or email. Explain your child’s ADHD, explain the accommodations that seem to work best for them and you can even tell about the type of support they can expect from you at home.

Being proactive will let the teacher know that you are ready to be an integral part of your child’s education. Just be sure to approach everything positively so, otherwise the teacher may be worried about what they will be dealing with for the school year.

3. Your Readiness. OK, so I’ve told you how to get your child and your child’s teacher ready for the new school year, but what about you? What have you done for yourself lately? Maybe you could go out for a nice quiet dinner, a pedicure or even a massage before the craziness of the year hits your family. One of the most important factors in your childs success is your attitude and ability to help them. If you are recharged, you will have more patience to deal with the challenges you will undoubtedly face. Don’t think of it as being selfish; think of it as a way to help you run at optimal efficiency. You need to be on your toes so much that you need to remember to take time for yourself as well.
Remember, getting things ready before school starts can make a big difference in preparing your family with as little stress as possible for an ADHD family. Enjoy!

Have a question about your child’s education? You can also follow me on Twitter at for my mom and ADHD tips. More tips available at my online ADHD blog –

Alana Morales is the author of Domestically Challenged: A Working Mom’s Survival Guide to Becoming a Stay at Home Mom. You can learn more about the author at her website,

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