Father walks with student on first day of school.
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Plan Your Operation Back-to-School for Your Military Child

Transition smoothly from summer to school by making a great game plan for the school year with your child. By doing so, you can help your child establish a sense of ownership in the plan to prepare them for – and perhaps even get excited about – going back to school.

Here are other ways to jump-start your plan for Operation Back-to-School:

  • Check the program. Review your child's Individualized Education Program, if your student has one, to refresh yourself on the services your child will receive. Check on your child's services at their new school, making this a priority if you're moving before school starts. If you need backup, your installation EFMP Family Support staff or the Exceptional Family Member Program Resources, Options and Consultations, or EFMP ROC, can help you identify additional resources and tools your child can use to succeed this year.
  • Plan around sales. Ask your favorite retail store when the tax holiday on school supplies will be, and plan accordingly. Look for the supplies list for your child's classes on the school's website or ask for one at local office supply stores. And, remember, every day is a tax holiday at the commissary and exchange.
  • Discuss clothes. Chat with your child about what they want to wear before you buy it. This way, you’ll avoid purchasing and returning clothing your child won’t wear, and these simple decision-making exercises can help children make bigger decisions down the road.
  • Tame their jitters. Talk with your child about the new things to come, such as new routines and new friends. Highlight what's exciting, and frame the challenges as chances for them to grow. Swing by your child's school one day before school begins to let your child take a look around.
  • Adjust the schedule. Tweak your child's daily schedule weeks before the first day of school. Make bedtimes earlier and screen times shorter, for starters. This can help ease their goodbye to summer and energize their hello to the new school year.

You might even throw a party for your child and his or her friends to celebrate both summer and school. And celebrate yourself, too, because you just pulled off a plan that successfully launches your family into the new school year.

More Back-to-School Tips

Want more ways to help your children succeed this school year? Read on to find more tips, tricks and resources available for military families.