10 Back-to-School Tips for Your Best Year Yet
Do you like the whole back-to-school routine?
It can be like a scavenger hunt through the aisles.
#2 Pencils here, folders two rows over. And where do you find those binder dividers with tabs? Was that supposed to be liquid glue or a stick? Kleenex boxes, Clorox wipes – now we’re off to the races!
Moments are stressful; others are exciting as you and your children anticipate the upcoming new grade. A fresh backpack and new shoes put the final touches on school prep.
But we all know as moms, shopping is only the first challenge, and it’s just one ingredient towards success for your students. Make sure you are ready to tackle these 10 back-to-school tips for your best year yet!
Tip #1: Start Each Day with Patriotic Flair
It can be as simple as praying for our leaders and nation when you give thanks at breakfast and saying the pledge of allegiance with a flag displayed in your kitchen.
Or, your morning patriotic practice could be spiced up by a short story about a hero from American history as your kids gobble oatmeal.
Whatever you decide, starting each day with patriotic flair will help your kids grow their respect and love of country. It also can provide a level of inoculation against anti-American rhetoric they could encounter at school. Try some of the ideas from our blog on the topic and transform school mornings from the same old – same old to a tradition that will strengthen their foundation.
Tip #2: Pray For and With Your Kids
Prayer is no joke.
You may not always see the result up front (though often you will!), but your mama-prayers are potent. The Bible confirms, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16). That’s talking about you, mama!
There are so many ways to support your kid’s education through prayer. Lift them up to the Lord while they’re at school and before they start their day. Pray for and with your kids; it can impact their school year for the better in powerful ways.
If you drive them to school, use some car time to pray with them, and thank God for the day and their teachers. Remember any needs your children express regarding tests or challenges ahead for the day. As a bonus, when your kids regularly pray at the start of their day, they will likely take this habit of God-dependence into adulthood.
Tip #3 Be Involved with Curriculum and Keep a Watchful Eye
When textbooks come home, be sure to look through them. If you spot anything concerning, take note. As a parent, it’s vital to be involved with curriculum and keep a watchful eye; you will catch more than you think. Remember, as a mom, you have every right to know what is taught.
If you identify concerns, like critical race theory creeping in, fluid pronouns, or gender identity indoctrination for your 6-year-old, do more research on the book – then be prepared to contact your school.
Your voice matters, mama. When the school hears from parents, it makes a difference. If you have friends who share your concern, encourage them to be involved too. If schools are contacted by multiple families, they begin to feel that pressure mount.
Pro tip: Volunteer if the school administration offers the opportunity to review new curriculum. As a mom, you can help be a gatekeeper who protects her kids – and the community!
Tip #4 Decide Which School Type is Best for Your Children
You are not bound by any status quo. Consider the pros and cons of each schooling option.
Public School: Is public school right for your family? It may be. If so, we hope these back-to-school tips for your best year yet will enhance your choice.
We hear from some moms who don’t like what they see in their local schools but don’t feel they have an out. If that’s you, be sure to read our blog about how to pull your child out of public school.
Charter School: These are public schools but independently governed, meaning they can sometimes offer a specific experience like classical education, a STEM, or even arts emphasis. If you want to investigate this option, check out the charter schools in your area. Ask questions until you feel confident about the offerings there.
Online Public School: There’s a growing trend of online options through public education. It’s still free and public, but if you go this route, ensure the screen time hours work for your child. Did they do well with zoom classes during the pandemic?
Private School: More private schools are becoming available in answer to parents being dissatisfied with public school systems, their erratic Covid policies, and their publicly adopted ideologies. If you can make it work financially for your family, do some investigating in your area. Be sure to interview other parents from any school you are considering.
Homeschool: Has that ever crossed your radar? It can be an amazing option for many and is growing in popularity. Though there are many misconceptions about this option – from moms who assume they aren’t qualified to those who fear their kids will be social outcasts. You may be surprised at the truth. We debunked eight myths about homeschooling in a recent blog post.
It’s worth mentioning that stats show a sharp rise in homeschooling because of the growing chaos of other school options. In 2020 and 2021, school shut-downs, zoom isolation, CRT, and gender ideology curriculum made schools a minefield of concerns.
The great news is that more and more tools are at your disposal because of its growing popularity. You can choose from a wide range of curricula and local homeschool community groups called “co-ops.” You are the best teacher your child could ever have, and your child will thrive in a school tailored to his or her needs and learning style.
When you do your homework to decide which school type is best for your children, remember that you are never locked in.
You are the mom. You always have options.
Tip #5 Ask Questions
Don’t hesitate to ask questions about anything and everything dealing with your child’s education. You can email anytime, call, or speak in person at a parent conference with any teacher who has contact with your child. As the mom, your questions and concerns matter.
If it is a school-wide issue, don’t hesitate to contact the principal or others in leadership. If it deals with the school district, there are people in your local school administration who should be ready to respond when you get in touch.
It’s good to use a polite and firm approach with kindness. It is your right to ask questions about anything concerning your child or their school. If anyone says outright that it’s not your place to intrude or even implies it – be assured, it is.
Tip #6 Make Dinnertime a Priority
So much “life” can happen around a dinner table.
Gathering for the evening meal is a great time to celebrate successes and discuss problems your child might face at school. As the conversation unfolds, you’ll learn about your kids’ day, their experiences with friends and teachers, and anything that may be bothering them. This special time together where everyone’s free to share can be a cornerstone of family strength and unity.
Statistics show that when families gather for dinner regularly, kids have better grades, emotional health, and stability. They’re also less likely to be involved with drugs or promiscuity.1 Your kids will grow to love and expect this as an encouraging time where they have your ear, so make dinnertime a priority. For more ideas, check out our article “7 Ways to Boost Your Kids’ Confidence Over Dinner.”
Tip #7 Plan a Patriotic Trip Over Christmas break
Is their history class not what you hoped for? You can pick up the slack when you spice up your Christmas holiday with a family adventure.
Visit a patriotic site to give your kids the “hands-on” educational experience at an iconic location in US History. It could be a battlefield where men struggled to win or protect our freedom or a site celebrating American invention and ingenuity. They dot our nation from sea to shining sea!
Unsure where to start? Not a problem – our Liberty Trips Map allows you to select the state you’d like to visit for a list of historical sites and events nationwide. Do you visit grandparents or other family every year? Turn it into a patriotic adventure by selecting one or more day trips for your family to that state’s historic sites.
With more than 1000 points of interest included, plan a patriotic trip over Christmas break; we’ve got tons of options to choose from. These family adventures will impact your kids forever and make memories you’ll all be talking about for years. It might even be something your kids ask to do again next year – a new family tradition!
Tip #8 Join a Cottage Meeting
Cottage Meetings are the perfect place to enjoy and support other like-minded moms. As the school year begins, it’s the ideal time to look into our network of small group meetings across the nation – our Cottage Meetings Project.
Cottage meetings gather in homes to learn and promote the principles of liberty. If issues arise at school, your Cottage Meeting can be a place of support and encouragement. It’s easy to get started – check for groups in your area or consider starting your own, email us for more details.
You are the lifeblood of Moms for America, and you have the power to impact our beloved nation, beginning with your own community when you join a Cottage Meeting.
NEW: We now offer a great collection of resources to kick off your own Cottage Meetings for Kids. They can experience the camaraderie of their own Cottage Meeting – making new friends with other children who are also being raised as young patriots.
Tip #9 Get Involved at Your School
There’s a key to your kids’ success in school: you!
Your presence at school – making you the in-the-know mom will affect your kids’ school experience. If you can volunteer, make a point of getting to know the culture and employees. Then when you approach teachers and leadership as someone truly invested in the school’s success – with any concerns – you’ll likely see results.
When you get involved at your school, you’ll network with other parents and will be able to stay on top of the daily goings on in the halls, classrooms, and assemblies.
Attend school board meetings often and hold that group accountable. If you know things are happening that don’t seem right, make your voice heard. They serve you and your family. We have some tips for how to speak up at a school board meeting that will help.
Better yet, maybe you should consider running for a board position. Food for thought.
Tip #10 Know Your Options
As you enter a new school year- you are equipping your kiddos with all you can to help them navigate an ever-changing school culture. One of the most ill-advised and frankly ridiculous trends has involved school leadership, implying that parents shouldn’t have a say about what’s taught in school.
You and I know – that dog won’t hunt.
You are the parent, and your children are yours, not the state’s.
You’ll feel more empowered when you know your rights as a parent, and that’s why we have created A Mom’s Guide to Parental Rights. This free download will give you the confidence to stand strong for your children.
We hope these back-to-school tips for your best year yet give your family a game plan for success. Don’t forget, though, that you are in charge at the end of the day. You have the right to choose another school option if your school isn’t offering a positive experience for your child at any time and for any reason.
You are your child’s protector and advocate with rights guaranteed by our Constitution – don’t allow anyone to tell you otherwise. So, speak up, and stand up for your children as only you can!