Don’t Go Back to School Without Doing These 10 Things

Summer is coming to an end – are you ready for a new academic year? If not, don’t fret. Get organized for back to school with these tips from online tutor Natalie S

Back-to-school prep is upon us! The summer is drawing to a close, and it will soon be time to get ready to begin a new school year. We know it can be overwhelming when you start to think about the long list of things to do in order to prepare for school, so here are some steps to help you get organized for back to school and start the year off on a successful note!

1) Write down your goals

write down goals

A new year is beginning and that means opportunities for a whole new set of experiences. Take a few minutes to write down five goals that you hope to accomplish this year, and think about how you can make this year better than the last one. Do you want to improve your knowledge of a specific subject, to prepare yourself for AP classes later on? Or maybe take on a new hobby, like photography or learning how to play an instrument? Get excited about what’s in store!

2) Get one step ahead of everyone else


If you know who your teachers are and you can easily contact them, consider sending an email asking for the class syllabus. Most teachers generally stick to the same schedule each year, so they can give you an idea of what books you might be reading or what concepts you might be working on in the first few weeks of school. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can begin to read ahead or study some of those concepts on your own. This will help lighten your workload later in the semester when you have less time!

3) Review last year’s math concepts


This is especially important if you’re advancing into a higher consecutive math class, like Algebra I to Algebra II, or Pre-Calculus to Calculus. Spend 20 minutes each day reviewing the concepts that you learned last year, and attempt to get ahead by reading over the first chapter or two for the new, more advanced course.

4) Form a study group

study group

Are you and a few of your friends taking the same class? Make a commitment to study together! Even if you all have different teachers, the core material will be the same. Set up a plan before school starts, so everyone builds it into their schedule from the beginning of the year.

5) Write


Most students take an entire summer off from stringing eloquent arguments together, and because of this, their early semester essays suffer. Take 20 minutes each day and practice writing short introductory paragraphs. You may also want to get ahead by working with a writing tutor, or at least lining one up for when you need help with your first writing assignment.

6) Review last year’s foreign language notes

spanish words

If you’re taking Spanish, French, or any other foreign language, review the vocabulary and grammar rules before school begins. Most foreign language classes hit the ground running with very little review, so make sure you take the time to look through your old notes and books.

7) Identify the course you are least excited to take this year


Maybe you really hate learning new math concepts, or perhaps biology just doesn’t interest you at all. Regardless of the reason, figure out which subject might be the most challenging for you and start preparing for that class now. Do some online research, find a tutor through TakeLessons, and really dedicate some time to learning more about this subject. Even though it may not be fun, this will help a ton!

8) Purchase a daily planner

day planner

This is perhaps the most important item to buy before the school year starts. It’s been proven time and time again that people are more effective when they write down their goals, plan out their days, and give themselves deadlines for projects and assignments. This is a great habit to get into at a young age, and it is a huge part of what makes people successful. Be disciplined, make yourself stick to a consistent schedule, and write down the top five things you want to accomplish each day. You will stay motivated and be more productive. Most importantly, you’ll be creating healthy habits that will facilitate success in your future endeavors.

9) Organize your study time before school starts

study plan

Create a study chart depicting when you’ll study for each subject, and hold yourself accountable to making the time to study for those classes. Make sure you plan for some flexibility in case one subject needs more attention than another.

10) Seek out a tutor now


It’s important to enter the new school year feeling confident in your abilities, so if you foresee any issues, don’t wait to find a tutor! Your workload is only going to become tougher and more intense as the year goes on. Be proactive and get the help you need, before you’re really struggling.

Follow these steps to get organized for back to school and you’ll be ready to start off the new year with confidence and a plan for success. Each year brings the possibility to learn, grow, and be more inspired than you were the year before. Enjoy the ride and embrace all of these newfound opportunities that will soon arise for you!

Natalie S.Natalie S. tutors online in English, ESL, History, Phonics, Reading, and Test Prep. She received her BA in English Education at the University of Delaware, and her MA in English Literature at San Diego State University. Learn more about Natalie here!



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Photos by Rick Payette, Mario Mancuso, Francisco Martins, Concordia University, Nathan Congleton, Alexa Clark, Christian Jensen, Sara Grajeda, Jimmie, Utah State Librarycomedy_nose

1 reply
  1. Ivy Baker
    Ivy Baker says:

    I liked that you pointed out that you should know that you should check the math concepts before starting your next year. My sister is thinking about getting her son into a Christian private school. It does seem like it would be smart for him to review his previous school years stuff. That way, he won’t fall behind in school.


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