You and your children have already begun a new school year. Take time to evaluate it. Was it smooth or chaotic? Was it happy or sad? Would you judge it as a good beginning for you and your children?

If you remember to make little changes in the next couple weeks to make it a more pleasant experience for your family, the 2019-20 school year may be a good one for all.

Hopefully, your schedule is becoming more routine. Different meal time, bed time and study time are now being tried.

Are you and your children getting things ready at night before you must dash out the door in the morning? Are you checking your children’s back packs daily for needed communication or papers you must sign at this time of year?

Are clothes planned for the next day laid out the night before? Children need to be dressed in time to grab a nutritious snack and their back packs, put on shoes and make the bus or your car on time? Are your children wearing the right shoes for their day’s activities? Sandals are not the right footwear for physical education classes, nor are cute new dresses.

Do your children have the learning tools they need in their backpacks? If they had an assignment to be completed and used their pencils, pens, notebook or laptop, it is their responsibility to make sure these are back in their book bags or back packs along with any papers or homework you needed to sign. Are you making sure you sign their homework as completed by THEM, not you? Even if your children complete their homework in an after-school program, it is your responsibility to check with your children or to look at their work, even if it is on a laptop.

Checking email from the teacher and the parent portal for your school is a necessary form of communication. Have you updated your children’s contact and emergency information? Do you know all important school procedures for your children’s safety? Have you deposited money in their lunch account?

This is the time to check with your children about their time in school — to be attentive to your children’s needs. Having frequent headaches might be a vision problem. Their vision is essential to their success in school. Schools may test your children’s acuity, but your children need their eyes to work together, to focus and track from one place to another in their reading.

This is also the time to see if there is trouble with school or friends that cause an upset stomach.

If your children are forming a consistent pattern for their learning, they are building their own success in school. The ways they study, manage their time, rest, use their leisure time and communicate with you, their siblings, and friends form life-long habits that predict their future achievement. Such websites as and may help you and your children make the transition more smoothly from summer to school.

Southern Arizona resident Bette Mroz is a former teacher, reading specialist and principal. As a mother and grandmother, she continues to help her family learn. She can be contacted at

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