Parents of Middle Schoolers: Why You Need to Start Planning for College Now

planning for college

As your child finally moves up from elementary school into middle school you help them to celebrate what you both likely feel is quite a momentous occasion. They are growing up and becoming more independent than ever, and you may feel that early adulthood is certainly looming large in the distance. But that’s just the point–early adulthood is still distant. That means that planning for college is also distant, right? Actually, there are some very good reasons why you should start planning now when your child is just entering middle school.

Looking to the Future and College

It’s true that a student should wait until high school before they begin picking up college brochures or going on tours, but there are many other ways they can begin preparing for college while in middle school so as to smooth the more detailed preparations that are yet to come. Specifically, beginning to plan for college while your child is a middle schooler means you are:

1. Helping to ensure they are receiving a solid foundation. The core academic basics of reading, writing, and math are absolutely essential to a child’s college career and future. If they are weak in these areas, they may very well struggle not only through high school but also through college courses. Planning for college while they are in middle school means ensuring they are receiving a solid foundation in academic basics, and aiding them where necessary to address any weaknesses they have.

2. Helping to ensure they have a good GPA. When deciding whether to admit a student and certainly when deciding whether to give out scholarships, colleges take a close look at that student’s GPA. If your child is currently struggling with any subjects, chances are that their grades in that subject are on the lower side. Unfortunately, they may very well remain low in high school, when their GPA does really matter as regards their college admittance unless they are addressed and handled now.

3. Helping to make a plan for their standardized testing. There are many tests your child should take to help them in the college application process, including the PSAT, SAT, ACT, and more. If you assist your child in preparing for these tests as early as possible and prudent, you can help them move through these tests more smoothly and easily, and even open the door to potential scholarships. The PSAT qualifies students for the National Merit Scholarship, and SAT subject tests can help to prove that a student is truly dedicated to learning in a particular subject field. This knowledge can help you ensure that your child has the best possible chance to present a great application to the college or colleges of his choice.

4. Figuring out ahead of time how to fund their college education. Whether you plan to pay for their college tuition, help them set up a student loan or connect with excellent scholarship opportunities, it will be less stressful to figure out how to fund your child’s college education if you start early, rather than waiting.

5. Helping them build an amazing resume. If your child participates in a great amount of community service and projects while in middle school and in high school, their college and scholarship resume will be all the more impressive. Furthermore, by starting early on their resume activities your child will not have to scramble later in order to fill out their resume more completely.

Your child may have only just started middle school, but it’s not too early to begin thinking about their future and their college career. Doing so now can help to ensure a smoother path to the college of their choice and far less stress and worry for you later. If your child attends private school, be sure to ask their college and career counselor for advice and guidance.

Tampa Private School

When looking for private schools in Tampa, you need to look no further than Delphi. Delphi has one of the top private middle schools in Tampa, with a focus on independent, self-driven learning. For more information, contact us today.

5 Ways Summer Camp Provides Long-Term Social and Emotional Benefits for Kids

summer camp

Kids look forward to summertime for a variety of reasons–not the least of which is the opportunity for many wonderful outdoor activities and time with friends. Many parents believe that summertime is highly beneficial for kids because they get a break from school and a chance to do other things. It’s true that kids who can try new experiences during the summer benefit immensely, but it’s also true that kids who aren’t participating in very specific educational activities are missing out on the long-term social and emotional benefits that are available to them through an organized summer camp.

Educational Summer Activities

Summer learning for kids does not mean long, boring hours in a classroom. There are actually many fun summer learning activities available through summer camps–activities that can feed a child’s interests and even help to strengthen their weaknesses so they are better prepared for the coming school year. Furthermore, these summer learning activities can actually provide many long-term social and emotional benefits to kids.

Here are just five ways summer camp can benefit kids socially and emotionally:

1. It provides a different environment. During the normal school year, kids can enjoy interacting with a close circle of friends and experiencing a fairly invariable routine on a daily basis. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this, but the fact is that their comfort in this close circle of friends and regular routine can prevent them from expanding their social skills. During summer camp, kids are introduced to new friends and exposed to new routines and activities. This can help them to grow their social skills and become more confident in their ability to make new friends and try new things–skills that will aid them wonderfully in the future.

2. It allows one to work through social challenges. During summer camp, kids are encouraged to interact with other individuals and with groups, which can help them to experience and overcome social challenges. For example, they can learn how to present themselves well to others, how to influence others and how to show empathy and concern for others instead of just focusing on self and one’s personal thoughts and feelings. This skill is essential for any individual who will be working and interacting with others in the future.

3. It presents opportunities for one to experience emotional challenges. Perhaps one of the most difficult things for kids to learn is that a failure is an opportunity to learn and improve. It can be emotionally difficult for kids to experience failures, as they strive to always do their best. Summer camp can present safe opportunities for kids to experience emotional challenges and build resilience, such as when their team loses a game, or when they feel nervous, excited and sad, without requiring adults to step in and make things better or okay.

4. It is the perfect chance to discover what one really likes. Summer camps tend to have a vast array of interesting activities that allow an individual to try many new things. They can discover what they are passionate about, and build their self-confidence in their ability and willingness to pursue these interests.

5. It keeps one engaged and busy with others. There are numerous benefits in leaving kids alone to use their imaginations and entertain themselves, but if this is a constant state that they deal with for many weeks or even several months at a time, they may become focused more exclusively on self, and it can be difficult for them to transition back into a social group where they must consider others as well. Summer camp is a fun way to help smooth this area, providing plenty of opportunities for the individual to use their imagination and focus on self while also providing plenty of opportunities for them to be social with others.

For more information about Delphi Florida’s unique summer camp program, contact us today!

Personalized Learning Proven to Increase Student Engagement

personalized learning

No one is precisely like anyone else–a fact that is actually quite essential to the growth of our world. After all, it is the unique thoughts of different individuals that lead to wonderful new ideas and changes that we all benefit from. In fact, we should encourage individuals to recognize and embrace their uniqueness, since this is how our world can continue to grow and change in ways that benefit us. Such recognition should begin during a child’s education–with personalized learning.

Delphi Alternative School

If you take a moment to consider current educational programs, there is a wide use of “one-size-fits-all” learning systems. There may once have been a time when this approach to education worked well enough, but this was also a time when children often learned far more at home, with their parents and families, than is customary today and it was a time when career demands may not have been quite as challenging for young adults as they are now.

A one-size-fits-all learning system can present several significant problems. Firstly, it fails to sufficiently recognize the uniqueness of each individual student, as well as their strengths and weaknesses and what must be done to address these. Also, it tends to force students who understand certain principles to continue to sit through lessons on these principles because their classmates need to learn them. Finally, it pushes ahead students who need more time to understand and learn principles that their classmates have mastered. Personalized learning provided at alternative schools not only resolves these issues, it has been proven to increase student engagement. This is exactly what the Delphi program provides.

Delphi Learning

A student in a traditional school system can quickly discover that they can simply memorize and recite back the information that they are taught and they will move right along with the crowd. This allows them to remain somewhat disengaged from the learning process. With the personalized learning provided at Delphi, students take an active role in their education, learning at their own pace. They work closely with their teachers to design their educational programs and set goals that align with their specific interests and help address their weaknesses. This results in far more student engagement, as they cannot progress in their education simply by drifting along with the group, but rather must take charge of their education and set the pace of their progress.

Another unique and valuable aspect of the personalized learning delivered through the Delphi program is the fact that students are not subjected to lectures given by teachers who are an authority on the subject. Instead, teachers at Delphi act more like guides, showing students the general path they need to follow for their education and helping the student learn how to find answers and solutions to their own questions and problems. This can work to further increase student engagement simply because children are innately hungry for knowledge, and are far more likely to receive and retain information that they feel they have sought out and can understand rather than information that they feel has been shoved down their throat.

If the entire purpose of education is to provide an individual with the basic knowledge and skills they will need to thrive in their future career, it follows that their education must be able to predict what knowledge and skills the individual will need. Assuming that all students must participate in the exact same lessons throughout their entire educational career in order to reach their individual goals can be likened to assuming that every restaurant patron at a particular restaurant will want to eat the same dish. Viewing each student as the unique individual they are and presenting them with opportunities for personalized learning will allow them to not only remain more engaged in their education but also truly thrive in their education, and in their future.

4 Ways Public Speaking Courses are Benefiting Students

public speaking

It’s really no surprise that many individuals dread having to speak in public and will do anything to avoid having to speak in public. The reasons for this dread can vary widely–from terror about being the center of so much attention to worrying about accidentally doing or saying something embarrassing to even concerns about one’s voice inflections and everything else in between. In all honesty, it can definitely be rather intimidating to stand up in front of any size group of people and speak confidently on a topic so as to captivate their interest. Fortunately, few people need concern themselves about actually acquiring and perfecting this skill, right? After all, not everyone will need to speak publicly in their future or career, will they? Actually, while it may seem that public speaking is a skill that only a few select individuals will need for their chosen profession, it is actually an incredibly invaluable skill that can benefit anyone and everyone. This is just one reason why Delphi’s high school program includes public speaking exercises.

Public Speaking Activities for High School Students

Regardless of the profession or career one chooses to pursue, there are many skills one should acquire in order to succeed in this profession or career. Public speaking is one of them, as it is a very valuable skill to have. The more one practices public speaking the easier public speaking can become for them. Furthermore, public speaking courses can benefit students by:

1. Improving their communication skills. One could safely argue that the difference between a powerful public speaker and a weak public speaker is their ability to communicate easily and well. A powerful public speaker’s audience understands what he is communicating about, while a weak public speaker’s audience often struggles to understand what is being communicated about and what this topic has to do with them. When students practice public speaking they learn to communicate their ideas clearly and concisely so that they can be easily understood by their audience. This helps the student understand the importance of always delivering clear communication–a skill they can use in all their relations with others.

2. Improving their self-confidence. The world does not thrive on old ideas that never change, it thrives on new ideas that consider current conditions and what must be done to improve them. This means that the world definitely needs individuals who have brave, bold ideas for how to make things better. Unfortunately, many wonderful ideas may never be presented because the individual behind them lacks the confidence necessary to share them with others. By learning how to bravely stand up in front of others, present a topic and argue for a particular point through public speaking exercises, a student can improve their self-confidence and become all the more able to share their valuable ideas with others in the future.

3. Improving their ability to plan. A good public speech requires good advance planning, as one has to decide how they will present their topic and argue a point to persuade their audience into an agreement of some sort. Students can quickly learn that the time spent planning out what to say is well worth the effort, and is yet another skill that will prove very helpful to them in the future.

4. Teaching the power of persuasion. Since the main goal of a speech is to persuade the audience to agree with a particular point, and since few individuals would simply agree with a point that is presented to them, students who practice public speaking must learn how to convincingly persuade their audience. This is yet another valuable leadership skill, as leaders often have to persuade others in a variety of ways.

At Delphi, the speaking activities for high school students are designed to benefit them in better preparing them to be strong, confident leaders in their adult lives. For more information about our high school program, contact us today.

Learning Difficulties: What Parents Can Do to Help Their Child

learning difficulties

By its very nature, school can be challenging–even when a student is eager to learn and learns readily and easily. The sheer amount of information they need to take in and understand during their educational career is amazing, and it is often their curiosity and their hunger for information that helps them through. But what happens when they encounter learning difficulties and begin to struggle in school?

Resolving Learning Difficulties

Oftentimes when a student begins to struggle with learning, their parents begin to struggle with how to help them. Before looking for all manner of unusual and complicated solutions, however, parents should consider some basics:

1. Is your child receiving the time and attention they need to succeed in school? It’s an unfortunate fact that many schools have so many students and so few teachers that classes are over-full and students simply don’t receive the time and attention they need. This is where private schools truly shine–there tend to be fewer students assigned to each teacher, which allows teachers to spend additional time with each student. In many cases, a simple confusion which can lead to learning difficulties is often able to be resolved with more individualized teacher attention.

2. Does your child need additional help with one particular subject? Some students do very well in a wide range of subjects but have limited difficulties with just one subject. Where this is the case, the student would likely benefit enormously from tutoring in this subject. A tutor who is knowledgeable about and familiar with the particular subject your child is struggling with can help to fill in holes in their understanding and provide additional practice as needed. In some cases, tutoring is only needed for a brief time, and then the student is able to move smoothly forward in school.

3. Is your child weak on their homework discipline? It can sometimes happen that a student isn’t particularly struggling with any subject, but they do struggle with completing their homework. This can lead to learning difficulties in the long run because while homework does not provide primary instruction in specific subjects, it does provide opportunities to practice what one is learning. Some parents take it upon themselves to provide the structure and support their children need to discipline themselves to complete their homework. In other cases, they find that turning to someone else, like a tutor, can be less stressful for all involved. Either way, it is always a good idea to alert your child’s teacher to the situation, as they may be able to provide additional advice and support.

4. Does your child just need a confidence boost? There are some instances where a student’s learning difficulties stem largely from a lack of confidence. They are, in essence, preventing themselves from truly excelling in a subject because they doubt their own abilities in that subject. Fortunately, this usually can be resolved quite easily by having your child practice their skills and receive your acknowledgment for doing so. Finding out that they are doing something well can increase a child’s willingness to keep doing that thing, and even to improve their skills in that area.

Children are unique in their abilities, interests, and talents, and as such, they need unique educational solutions. A child with learning difficulties is not doomed to struggle through the rest of their education, but rather just needs an alternative solution that works well for them. Delphi Florida is an alternative school, and one of the most elite private schools in Tampa. For more information about our program and how we can help your child succeed in school, contact us today.

Preparing for the Future: The Importance of Teaching Kids Life Skills

kids and life skills

There is no doubt that parents have quite a challenge in their job of raising their kids to be responsible, capable adults. One of the most important parts of this job is to ensure their kids receive a good education–one that provides them with the firm foundation they need in order to succeed in their life.

When it comes to ensuring your kids get a good education it’s easy to focus on academic basics like reading, writing, mathematics, science, and other important subjects. There is certainly no arguing that these basics are extremely valuable–no matter what field your kids choose to enter into in the future. However, beyond these academic basics, your kids also need some basic life skills that will enable them to solve problems they encounter, work well with others, develop stronger communication skills, and much more.

The Value of Life Skills

While there may be many wonderful life skills for kids to learn and practice, there are a few that are particularly important:

1. Problem-solving. Kids need to be able to observe the world around them, analyze data they encounter and solve problems. While you may be accustomed to your kids asking you questions about the world around them, and while their curiosity is wonderful and healthy, there is also a point at which you want them to have the confidence to find the answers to their own questions and the solutions to their own problems. After all, they will not always be able to turn to you throughout their adult life whenever they need answers and solutions.

2. How to interact and work well with others. Great success in life often depends upon an individual’s ability to interact and work well with others so they can cooperate with one another in achieving a common goal. Kids who learn self-control through team activities, how to encourage their teammates, how to help others and how to manage time are better prepared for work environments wherein these skills are absolutely invaluable.

3. Clear communication. There are definitely times when kids rely more on the ability of others to understand what they mean than on their own ability to communicate clearly to others. Unfortunately, this will not help them when they move into the real world and need to communicate easily with others they are working with. Kids who learn how to explain themselves clearly regardless of the situation and who can use these communication skills in order to work well with others are better able to transition into a working environment in the future.

4. Creative imagination. Creativity is absolutely essential to success in today’s world, as it allows someone to think outside the box and create unique solutions for a variety of situations. Working adults encounter a variety of situations where they need to be creative and use their imagination, whether as a businessman trying to develop a better product, a scientist trying to find a better cure for an illness or anything in between. A powerful, creative imagination is an incredibly useful tool for any individual who hopes to contribute to others.

These are just a few of the many life skills that kids need in order to do better when they move into adulthood. Kids who gain these and other life skills often tend to be more confident and competent, which is why it is important to ensure your kids attend a school that delivers a good life skills curriculum. At Delphi Florida, the middle school life skills curriculum is just the beginning, as students develop and use even greater life skills throughout high school as well. With a strong foundation in academic basics and plenty of valuable life skills, children become able young adults who are adequately prepared for a prosperous future.

Guide to Choosing the Best Extracurricular Activities for Your Kids

extracurricular activities

A child’s educational career is a long one, and for good reason. Throughout their education, they are learning the basic, vital skills that will form the foundation for their future, and the strength of this foundation can very well determine the ease with which they transition into adulthood and meet with success in their life. However, when considering what valuable knowledge and skills a child will gain throughout their education, it is easy to focus primarily on the academic side of things. While there is certainly no arguing that academics are of high importance, they alone do not provide a child with the full breadth of knowledge and skills they will need throughout their school years and beyond. Extracurricular activities in school and at home are also very important.

Extracurricular activities can allow children to apply their academic knowledge and also acquire and polish many practical skills and abilities that they will need throughout their life. They allow children to explore the world around them and, through firsthand experiences, improve their skills and cultivate new interests. The only real challenge is staring down the long list of possibilities and choosing the best extracurricular activities for your child.

Choosing the Best Extracurricular Activities

Should you enroll your child in soccer lessons? Dance lessons? Basketball lessons? Piano lessons? The opportunities are literally endless and can be overwhelming to consider and choose from. And choose you must, since your child simply doesn’t have the time to try them all. Fortunately, there are some easy guidelines you can follow to figure out which extracurricular activities will be the best:

1. Decide whether the activity supports important values. For example, soccer, volleyball, and other sports lessons are a great way for children to learn and practice self-discipline, cooperation, perseverance, physical health, and much more. This can make certain types of extracurricular activities more appealing than others, and therefore a better choice.

2. Determine what long-term benefits the activity will provide. If your child seems vastly interested in becoming a fine artist but is only mildly interested in ballet because her friends are taking lessons, it seems likely that art lessons will provide far more long-term benefits than ballet lessons. Of course, this does not mean that children should not explore a range of extracurricular activities that they find to be interesting, but in choosing the best ones you should always consider the long-term benefits.

3. Consider how closely the activity corresponds with your child’s natural talents, abilities, strengths, and interests. Your child may profit enormously from taking horseback riding lessons–not because they intend to have a career in this field but because they love horses and have a wonderful ability to be patient and gentle with animals. Their interest and ability can drive them to persist through challenges they encounter, thereby building valuable skills like self-discipline and cooperation.

4. Find out how often the activity takes place. While extracurricular activities are an important part of your child’s education and life, they should not dominate your child’s schedule and either wear them out or leave little to no time for anything else. That said, there are certain extracurricular activities that are well worth the time they take up, due to their ability to foster interest and long-term benefits. For example, if your child is interested in becoming a professional singer, it is appropriate for their music lessons and performances to gradually take up more and more of their time.

5. Consider the activity’s cost. This can be a fairly major point to consider, especially since the cost of various extracurricular activities can vary widely. You may determine that it isn’t really worth it to invest a veritable fortune in an activity to the exclusion of all other activities.

6. Verify whether the activity’s location is workable. This is a rather obvious point to check, as no matter how wonderful an activity may seem to be, it won’t be workable if it is too far to drive to and from on a regular basis.

Along with all of the above, it is important to keep in mind the fact that children do not have to engage in tons of extracurricular activities in order to be satisfied. Taking the time necessary to select even just one suitable activity can be perfect.

The Influence Social Skills Have on Student Learning

If asked what you most want your child to achieve in school, either this year or during their entire school career, it’s highly likely that your answer will include wishing that your child gains some amount of academic skill. In fact, a good grasp of academics may be your primary focus. This is certainly understandable, as a strong foundation in academic basics like reading, writing, math and spelling, are definitely vital to any individual’s future success. However, as important as it is for a child to learn their academic basics, it is often their social skills that largely determine their success in school.

Teaching Social Skills in School

What may seem puzzling at first becomes plainly obvious when you take a moment to consider it closely–social skills are critical to an individual’s ability to successfully learn and apply academic basics. Social skills lessons for students help them to learn:

  • When a child lacks confidence they often have great difficulty in interacting with others or pursuing new fields of information. Confidence and high self-esteem is a valuable life skill that will help the child move forward until they are truly competent.
  • It is usually an individual’s curiosity that drives them to learn a wide variety of new things, and to continue to persist along a path of learning even when it becomes difficult. This social skill is is not only useful in school–it’s incredibly useful in life as well.
  • Some children are naturally driven toward being independent, though they may lack certainty on how to be truly independent. Other children feel more comfortable following others, which unfortunately sets them up to have to depend on others continually. Building strong independence is therefore a very useful skill.
  • Self-control. It is usually an easily-observable fact that young children lack good discipline and self-control. However, if they fail to develop these skills you may very well see adults who throw fits when they encounter challenging or frustrating situations. By developing self-control, the child will be better able to use what they know to solve problems they encounter.
  • In order to change and improve things they encounter in life, children will need to be able to empathize with others.
  • Children absolutely must learn how to work well with others in order to succeed in school and in life. Not only will they need support and help from others, but they will also greatly benefit from learning how to support and help others around them.
  • This is an absolutely critical life skill that every individual could benefit enormously from. Being able to express himself and represent his ideas, feelings and knowledge is an ability at the core of all academic basics. Children with strong communication skills are often better able to predict and resolve problems and easily cooperate with others.

Obviously, the social skills curriculum in schools is just as important as the academic curriculum. Play time is actually a form of work time, as the child will grow, learn and investigate the world around him through his play. He will participate in a variety of activities that push him to think, problem-solve and use his imagination in order to plan, focus and work toward a goal. In fact, under his teacher’s guidance, a child can learn valuable academic skills even while they are playing and developing their social skills. This can help them to become enthusiastic about school and about learning, which further drives their hunger to explore and know more. At Delphi, students engage in these important social skills and many, many more–opening the door to a future that can be literally anything they wish it to be.


How to Help Your Child Think More Positively This School Year

School is full of exciting learning opportunities as well as numerous challenges. It absorbs a significant amount of a child’s life, and it can become a source of great stress if it is not well-handled. For example, while it is understandable and totally normal for children to make mistakes throughout the educational process, a child can be fairly tough on himself when he recognizes he has made a mistake, especially if he feels he lacks the support he needs in order to overcome the challenges he faces. Fortunately, this can be protected against if the child has a positive attitude.


How to Teach Positive Thinking


Your child’s attitude in school can have an enormous impact on how well they do in school, so it is very worthwhile to help them cultivate a positive attitude. A child with a positive attitude will not only be better able to face the challenges he encounters in school, he will be better prepared to successfully overcome them. And the truth is that developing positive thinking in children is not actually very difficult, because unless they are taught otherwise or they routinely encounter significant problems and difficulties, most children tend to think positively as a matter of course. That said, there are some ways that you can further encourage this:


  • Teach them to focus their attention on the positive parts of their day. When asked about their day, some children may tend to focus on a negative part that is bothering them. It’s okay to let them tell you about this, but don’t let the discussion end there on that negative part of their day. Instead, encourage them to talk about the positive parts of their day that they enjoyed, which may include a fun story they read (or heard), a friend they enjoyed playing with, a fun project they participated in or some other thing.


  • Be interested in what they have to say, and acknowledge their positive activities. You can boost a child’s self-confidence enormously by showing them that they are important. How do you show them that they are important? By listening to them and acknowledging their positive activities. When they tell you about their hopes, dreams and accomplishments, really listen to what they have to say and make a point of acknowledging those positive things that you have noticed they are saying or doing.


  • Encourage them to solve their own problems, rather than solving their problems for them. It can be an enormous blow to a child’s self-confidence if they feel that they are not only encountering problems, but they are encountering problems that are beyond their ability to solve. Instead, talk with the child and gently guide the conversation as necessary so that they figure out solutions to their own problems.


  • Consider how you are speaking to your child, and make sure you are presenting them with a wonderful example to follow. Children learn largely through mimicry, so when you speak slowly, calmly and positively to your child you are actually teaching them to be calm and positive. This can be especially helpful when your child feels frustrated or angry, as you are essentially demonstrating that there is a way to approach the situation. This type of attitude can help your child to recognize that you are their friend, which can help them feel more comfortable about coming to you for help when they need it.


  • Show your child that you think positively. While the challenges you encounter in life are definitely markedly different from the challenges your child encounters, you can nonetheless show them that the best way to handle these challenges is through thinking positively. Children are generally extremely observant, and seeing you think positively can help them to understand that this is a wonderful way to work through difficulties.


With a positive attitude, your child can approach school as an exciting adventure, and have an amazing school year.


5 Tips for Getting Kids Excited About Going Back to School

While most children look forward to the summer with great anticipation–with dreams of sleeping in, lazy days and plenty of time outdoors with friends–they often reach a point where they become bored and eager to get back into some sort of routine. That said, they may not necessarily be excited about everything that going back to school entails, such as earlier mornings, harder work and homework-filled evenings. Fortunately, parents who help their children generate excitement about going back to school often find that the transition is easier, and their children are better able to enjoy their return to school.

Back to School for Kids

Back to school tips for parents often have a lot to do with being well-prepared for school to start back up, which includes ensuring children have the proper wardrobe and school supplies. However, another very valuable back to school tip for parents is to help their children become excited about a return to school, as this will greatly reduce the chance of emotional struggles just before or during the first weeks of school.

Consider these five tips for getting kids excited about going back to school:

  1. Arrange get-togethers with other kids in your child’s class. Sometimes a long summer away from peers can make kids feel a bit disconnected when they go back to school in the fall. In addition to the strict new schedule and hard work, they are confronted with strangers–or kids they haven’t seen in so long that they feel like strangers–which can make them feel isolated. Holding a few get-togethers with other kids in your child’s class can allow them to spend time together, socializing and getting to know one another so that they are better prepared to be together in school.
  2. Allow them to decorate their back to school gear. You may not have a lot of leeway when it comes to selecting your child’s basic school supplies, but they may really enjoy using stickers, markers and other decorative elements to add some style to their backpack, notebooks and folders.
  3. Get their help in lunch planning and shopping. Some kids love to be more involved in planning and shopping for lunch supplies, especially since this means that they will have more say in what they end up eating. This can be made into a very fun activity, and you can take it one step further by adding little surprises of your own–like using fun-shaped cookie cutters to cut out their sandwiches.
  4. Create a fun homework nook. Perhaps one of the most difficult parts of going back to school is coming home from a long, tiring day and having to face any amount of homework. By creating a snug, cozy and inviting homework nook you can take the sting out of having to do homework, and make it more of an opportunity to spend some fun time together after school.
  5. Make the first day of school memorable and fun. This can include decorating the breakfast table, serving your child’s favorite breakfast, and maybe even having an ice-cream party after school. This can help to ensure that school is seen as pleasant and exciting, despite the fact that it does include hard work and concentration.

The fact is that many kids are actually excited about going back to school in the fall because it means a predictable schedule, new things to learn, new challenges to face and lots of interaction with friends. That said, they may be a little bit nervous about some parts of the experience, such as meeting loads of new kids and adults and needing to complete more difficult schoolwork. By helping to drive up their excitement you can help them to push away their worries so they can have a wonderful transition back to school.