Back to school: Hooray! or Booooo!?

Second-grade teacher Meredith Scaggins writes her name on the board for students on the first day of school at Eanes Elementary School. Teachers want to know what is happening in their student's home life. KATIE URBASZEWSKI/WESTLAKE PICYUNE
Second-grade teacher Meredith Scaggins writes her name on the board for students on the first day of school at Eanes Elementary School. 

There are many parents who couldn’t wait for this day to come. After two long weeks of trying to keep everyone busy or scrambling for child care, kids headed back to classrooms around Central Texas. And then there are those parents, myself included, who dread having to try to wake the sleeping teenagers, who have spent weeks sleeping in and playing video games for hours on end. Now we’re back to the morning grind to get out the door, the afternoon grind to get everyone at their after school activities, and the evening grind to get all the homework done.

Let’s start this semester off right with these basic family principles:

  1. We will not procrastinate. Let’s get the homework done first and not at 8:30 at night.
  2. We will plan ahead. No more late night Walmart trips to get supplies for the project that’s do tomorrow. No more all-nighters for assignments that you knew about weeks ago.
  3. You will be responsible for your stuff. No more calls from school that you forgot something. No more scrambling to find shoes in the morning.
  4. We will try to be more active. Instead of coming home and plopping on the couch, let’s go ride bikes or shoot hoops or play with the dog. It will clear everyone’s head.
  5. We will skip the drive-through and have a meal plan. I’ve got a new Crock Pot and I can’t wait to use it.
  6. We will not sweat the small stuff. That flubbed up homework — let it go. That big test — let’s worry about that.
  7. We will get to bed on time and without electronics.
  8. We will take responsibility for our own actions. We will stop blaming teachers when you don’t understand something or forgot to do something. We will own our grades and we will be proactive when we need help.
  9. We will be honest about what’s going on at school. If you forgot to do your homework, own it. If you didn’t study for a test, own that. If you’ve been mean to someone, own that. If someone’s been mean to you, let it go unless it’s continued bullying and then tell me about it.
  10. We will pray for one good snow day to clear our heads. Everyone deserves a day to unexpectedly get to sleep in

What are your big goals for this semester?

Happy learning.

Author: Nicole Villalpando

Nicole Villalpando writes about families in the Raising Austin blog and the Raising Austin column on Saturdays. She also offers a weekly and monthly family calendar at She tweets at @raisingaustin.

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