Every August, I see a plethora of back to school guides filled with brightly colored school supplies, eco-friendly lunch gear, and the cutest clothes for Kindergarten through 5th grade. If you have high school kids, where is the back to school guide for them? I haven’t seen one, so I created by own.
This year I have not one but TWO high school kids. One is a senior and the other a freshman. As they get older, we have a pretty good idea of what they will need for high school in terms of supplies; pens/pencils, paper, folders, gym gear, etc. In all honestly, I’ve been watching for sales at Target and Staples since summer let out to score top deals on that stuff. Plus they each have their own style and ideas of what they want too.
What My Kids are Loving and Using This School Year
This back to school guide for high school features some of the things they love that go beyond the basics. It also shares a few tips that were given to me by other high school parents and those I’ve learned along the way. Both will serve you well with children in high school.
You can also send them to school with personal size bottles of disinfectant spray homemade with essential oils.
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Back to School Tips for Teens
Start each day with a healthy breakfast. It is hard to think and stay focused on an empty stomach. Start off each morning with protein to stay fuller longer.
- Get into the schedule now – don't try to go from
10amor 1pmwakeups to 6amwhen school starts.
- Stay organized. It is frustrating when you can’t find that paper or homework for a class because things are in disarray. Designate a place for each class
it a notebook, a folder, or a binder. It makes life easier and helps prevent a zero for work not being turned it. be
- Get a planner and use it – Between school, homework, after school activities, sports, work, etc., you will want to keep track of assignments, appointments, deadlines, and schedules. Use a physical planner, digital calendar, or
combinationof whatever works for you. My kids use a travel journal for their planner. Here is a good printable homework planner from Pura Vida Moms.
- Figure out your study schedule – “Ask yourself the following questions. When do you work? When do you volunteer? When do you have sports or other commitments? Do you need to block off an hour right when you get home or later in the evening? Do you have a block of time you can work on things before school starts or during school? Figure out what works for you – but be ready to adjust it as you need to.” Michelle Price
- Discover new interests – High school is a great time to try new activities, join new clubs, and meet new people. Be open to trying new things based on your interests.
- Stay away from drama – It can be easy to be drawn into the drama and negativity at one’s school. It takes the focus away from academics. Choose to be around people that are positive and drama feel.
- Don’t procrastinate – You need to stay on top of things. Start assignments as they are given. Don’t put things off until the last minute.
- Don’t dwell on mistakes – Mistakes do happen. Don’t dwell of what went wrong. Learn from the experience and do better moving forward.
- Drive safely (if you drive yourself to school) – Remember to always drive safely. If you are running late, don’t panic and rush to get there. Accept that you are late and obey the rules of the road.
Get our Healthy Back to School Meal Plan here.
Back to School Tips for Parents
- “Make sure you keep those communication lines open. It's so important in high school and middle school.” Jana Seitzer
- “I had my teen use this back to school password tracker because it helped me access all the different databases for grades, things she needed when she was in class, etc. She's now in college but it works wonders.” Jenne
- “I set up a breakfast schedule and pre-cook breakfast foods on the weekend and set up a breakfast rhythm. SO my kids know that Mon/Wed/Fri they get a hot breakfast. Tues/Thurs
iscold. or whatever works for us. So cooking ahead I'd make roasted potatoes and breakfast sandwich items, then reheat and assemble 3 mornings a week. The other two days are cold cereal, granola, milk, yogurt kind of days. But no matter what I make them hot tea every day because it's our family thing.” Laura Sampson
- “If you are packing a lunch, be sure to provide healthy lunch ideas like these.” Diana Rambles
- “Set your kids up to be responsible for themselves. Guide them and be there for them for guidance and occasional redirection, but let them manage themselves. Just a
coupleexamples: our mornings are very peaceful because my children are fully responsible for getting themselves up and ready for school. After schoolthey have a list of things that they know they are expected to you. I check in with them a few times a week to see how their lists are going, making sure they're accomplishing what they're supposed to do,and occasionally offering reminders of what they can improve and praising what they're doing well.” Amy Thayer
- “More and more teens are struggling to relax, cope, and focus. Getting them started with guided meditations or listening to soothing sounds for better sleep should be an essential back to school hack. I recommend Headspace and Calm for beginners. Insight timer also has a wide variety of interests and free options.” Marisa Hendrickson LMHC
- “It's a great idea to have a family calendar ( on smartphones or on the wall) but everyone can add their activities
A weekly family meeting is a great time to discuss upcoming activities and add them to the calendar.” Amy Thayer