Back to School: 3 Tips for a Successful Start


I can’t believe we are finally on a journey to a new school year – back to the future!


The past few years will be listed as the “COVID-19 School Year,” where things were unprecedented, and the entire world had to pivot. I now have three elementary-age children and a middle schooler finishing up his final year in middle school. We had to shift between remote learning, hybrid, and a little bit of in-person throughout the past two years, it was a challenge, but we did it. Now it is all behind us, and this year will be … normal? With school on a less than a month countdown, here are a few tips we are implementing in our home to help us make this a wonderful year.



I am literally the relaxed cool mom in the summertime. They still had limits, but I will admit some days, we just made them up as we went, especially for my older children. Getting back into the earlier wake-up time and long days takes time to adjust back to. We are slowly starting to build up that routine, and it will be in full effect the week before school starts. It’s always funny to me to say to my boys we have to ‘practice’ our school year routine, but practice makes perfect, and I don’t want the first day of school to be a surprise or chaotic. So going to bed at an appropriate time, waking up early and getting ready; dressed, eating breakfast, and ready to leave out the door. 



The social-emotional support and preparing children for the upcoming transitions is extremely important and will help prepare them to adjust to new expectations, settings, and people. Knowing your child(ren) social-emotional needs is key! I work hard to incorporate this naturally into our daily routines. We communicate about feelings and being able to navigate through conflict (4 boys) while learning to calm down. We’ve been talking about the new year, setting short-term goals, and discussing any fears. You also have to just sit back and listen to your child. Being able to hear what makes them happy, sad, angry, etc. is helpful when teaching them how to navigate in school. 



As a parent, I always try to do a better job at the limitations of screens. With four boys, some days look like video game marathons, and extended periods of screen time. Most devices have screen time settings where you can set downtimes, app limits, communication limits, etc. It helps establish a healthy balance of time off the electronics. Limiting screen time also helps to ensure good sleep. During school days, less is better! Limiting screen times also has many more benefits. 



Hopefully, these three important tips will help you and your scholars get off to a great school year. Working on them now leading up to the first day of school will make the transition much easier. 


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Rika Tyler was born and raised in St. Louis, and she is a soon to be wife to Antoine. Together they have 4 boys: Aj, Dj, Paxton and Santana. Rika takes pride in being a BOY MAMA! Rika has a Degree in Political Science and planning for her Master's in Public Health. She organizes within the Nonprofit world specifically around Gun Violence, Electoral work, and youth programming centering black and brown people. She currently is a Director of Organizing for a Faith Based Nonprofit for the state of Missouri. Rika and her family reside in the North County area and enjoy their community and the Hazelwood School District. In Rika's spare time, she is the President of the elementary school 2 of her sons attend, she and her fiancé spend a lot of time exploring St. Louis with their boys and giving back to their community. As a young mother, it is important to Rika to balance self-care in between being a spouse and a mama. Rika is excited to share her thoughts on many different topics and to bring a vast amount of diversity and non-traditional motherhood to the platform. She hopes you all will enjoy and be open to learn and discuss as well. Enjoy :)


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