Guided By Values

Seven Tips for the Back-to-School Transition

Posted by The Peck School on Sep 5, 2018 3:16:50 PM

Head of The Peck School Andy Delinsky loves the rituals that accompany the opening of a new school year. As Andy explained, “Perhaps it's a trip for the fresh haircut or the outing for new school supplies or purchasing new school shoes. Whatever the ritual, it helps increase excitement for the newness of the year ahead.“

With that being said, the first day of school brings with it an assortment of emotions, ranging from excitement and anticipation to anxiety and nervousness.

first day frame

Peck parent Noelle Kirchner knows the drill. As the proud mother of rising fourth-grader Owen, and rising second-grader Luke, she has had her share of back-to-school orchestrations. Noelle is also a well-known faith and family blogger. Her writing and advice has appeared on sites such as HuffPost Parents, Mamapedia,, and the TODAY Show Parenting Team. She is also the author and host of a cable TV parenting series called Chaos to Calm.

We asked Noelle to create a special blog post for our parent community offering her thoughts and advice as we all go “back to school”. Her words of wisdom will certainly benefit any parent in the coming weeks.

Seven Tips for the Back-to-School Transition

By Noelle Kirchner

Another year brings another round of new experiences for our children. My husband and I value the individualized attention students receive at Peck as they learn and grow. Ultimately, children are not at school to compete with one another, but to more fully discover who they are. They mature at different rates, and their learning arcs vary. As a parent, I want to walk alongside my children’s unique journeys and give them every resource and tool in their own becoming. To that end, here is a checklist of new adventures that I hope Peck children might tick off this year:

  1. Investigate sparks. Discover something interesting about a subject that you didn’t know before which sparks a desire to learn more outside of school.
  2. Get to know someone you’ve never really spent time with before, teacher or student.
  3. Find a special spot on campus. Realize what makes it special to you and return to it.
  4. Embrace character growth. Look out for an example of a sacrifice or tough choice you’ll make but that you feel proud of.
  5. Try a new food. (For some kids, this might be the hardest adventure of all!)
  6. Look for a new leadership opportunity. How can you use what you enjoy or are good at to help others by being a leader?
  7. Set a growth goal for yourself and later demonstrate how you reached it!

As an insightful addendum to Noelle’s back to school advice, Andy Delinsky added, “Talk with your child about how they're feeling and how normal it is to be a mix of excited and anxious. Make the time surrounding the first day special. Whatever it is, be sure to model excitement, which will trickle down to your children.“

The back to school experience will certainly be unique and individual to each family at Peck. We know, however, that after they arrive on the morning of the first day and are greeted by our eighth-8th graders and their new teachers, the rest will be golden!