55 Best Back-to-School Articles for Parents

Parents, are you ready for back-to-school? Teachers, would you like to share some great parenting articles with students’ families? 

This popular list of back-to-school articles is updated each year. It contains some of the latest thinking and research on learning, achievement, family well-being, parent engagement, special needs children, youth sports, media, technology, discipline, homework, bullying — all the things parents think about at back-to-school time. These articles also support the development of core abilities every child should have — curiosity, sociability, resilience, self-awareness, integrity, resourcefulness, creativity, and empathy (The Compass Advantage). The list is divided by parenting topic, with a short summary of what you will find in each article.

For “big picture” thinking about education and child development, check out my free eBook Reframing Success: Helping Children & Teens Grow from the Inside Out. It shows how grades and test scores are only one aspect of success and how we all nurture vital skills and abilities in young people. For the beginning of the 2016 school year, we’ve added a new section of RESOURCES and free downloads at Roots of Action, including the very popular Parenting Promise, and a handout on the Compass Advantage framework, showing how parents and schools impact eight core abilities in youth.

Please read the articles below that pique your interest now and bookmark others for later. And if you like particular authors, be sure to follow their articles throughout the school year by signing up for their newsletters. I’ve also included links to their Twitter accounts and Facebook pages to make following your favorites easy.

I guarantee you’ll find some meaningful food for thought here – whether it’s back-to-school time or anytime! You’ll also meet some great people who support children’s positive growth and well-being. Happy reading!

Back-to-School Basics: Learning & Achievement

  1. Learning to Be Human by Sophie Gilbert in The Atlantic. Why the humanities are in decline and why they’re more vital than ever. Twitter

2. Educating an Original Thinker by Jessica Lahey in The Atlantic. How teachers and parents can identify and cultivate children who think creatively and unconventionally. Twitter; Facebook

3. Teaching Beyond the Transmission of Knowledge by Miguel Angel Escotet, Ph.D. A call to action for teachers: Why teaching to the test inflicts a cost on students. Twitter

4. The Developmental Psychologists’ Back-to-School Shopping List by Gabrielle Principe, Ph.D., at Psychology Today. Five ways to improve children’s learning at all ages, grounded in scientific research.

5. The Key to Success in Within Your Child’s Developing Mind by Michele Borba, Ed.D., at Roots of Action. Changing the way your child thinks about empathy positively affects their life long relationships and success. Twitter; Facebook

6. A Link Between Relatedness and Academic Achievement by Ugo Uche, LPC, at Psychology Today. The key to student success relies not just with the teacher’s attitude toward the student, but also with the student’s attitude towards the teacher. Parents help develop these attitudes! Twitter

7. Parents & Teachers: 6 Ways to Inspire the Teen Brain by Sandra Bond Chapman Ph.D., at Psychology Today. Get tips to stimulate the teen brain from findings in neuroscience. Twitter

8. Seven Ways to Encourage Reluctant Readers by Steve Reifman, M.Ed.  A teacher’s strategies can turn your child from a reluctant to a willing reader. Try them out! Twitter; Facebook

9. The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt in The Atlantic. Will your children become good critical thinkers? A look at the trend to protect children from feeling uncomfortable. Gregg’s Twitter; Jonathan’s Twitter

10. The Success Myth by Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D., at Psychology Today. Rethink your ideas of what makes us succeed, then apply them to your parenting. Twitter

Family Well-Being

11. Positive Parenting: Six Tips for Channeling Calm So You Don’t Yell at Your Kids by Rebecca Eanes at Positive Parenting. Controlling anger is important work for parents. Learn your triggers before you react. Twitter; Facebook

12. Managing Screen Time Increases Family Joy by Rachel Macy Stafford at Roots of Action. Modeling the healthy use of technology can increase the well-being of your entire family. This article describes six small changes that have big impacts! Twitter; Facebook

13. Beginning Family Meetings by Jody McVittie, M.D., at SoundDiscipline. Back-to-school time is perfect for planning regular family meetings. TwitterFacebook

family well-being14. 11 Ways to Raise a Child Who is Entitled and Rude by Christine Carter, Ph.D. at Positively Positive. A great list of what NOT to do with your children! TwitterFacebook

15. The Benefits of Play are “Oh, so Big!” by Katie Hurley at Roots of Action. Why parents should make time for lots of unstructured play time at home. TwitterFacebook

16. Relationships are the Key to Performance not Ability by Rick Ackerly at the Genius in Children. Learn why family and school relationships have the most impact in helping  kids develop well-being and learning to succeed in life. Twitter

17. Positive Parenting: How to Follow Through With Limits by Ariadne Brill at Positive Parenting Connection. Excellent advice on why and how parents should set limits, particularly with young children. TwitterFacebook

18. 4 Surprising Ways to Support a Child’s Self-Regulation & Avoid Melt Down by Lindsey Lieneck. A great article on mindful strategies that brings kids’ awareness to their bodies and help them manage their emotions. Twitter; Facebook

19. It Isn’t Easy Being a Parent by the Search Institute. Nine strategies every parent should know based on fostering developmental assets in children. Twitter; Facebook

20. Healthy Parenting after the Marriage Ends by Kevin D. Arnold, Ph.D., at Psychology Today.  How to support your children’s social, emotional and intellectual health after divorce. Twitter

21. Sibling Rivalry: Helping Children Learn to Work Through Conflicts by Laura Markham, PhD, at Roots of Action. Should parents intervene when siblings fight with one another? What’s the best way to help kids learn to work things out for themselves? Twitter; Facebook

Parent-Readiness and Engagement

back-to-school: parent readiness and family engagement

22. Parent Involvement: The Missing Key to Student Achievement by James Norwood, Ph.D., at Teaching in the Middle. Learn why developing a partnership with school is one of the most important things you can do to help your child. Twitter

23. 9 Tips for Parents if Your Child is Changing Schools by Meryl Ain, Ed.D., at Your Education Doctor. Must-read tips for parents to help children get comfortable in a new school.  Twitter; Facebook

24. The Unique Power of Afterschool Learning by Leah Levy at Edudemic. Learn how afterschool programs impacts child development and what to look for in programs that “get it right.” Twitter

25. The Case for Dedicated Dads by Jessica Lahey at The Atlantic. Research shows that fathers play a critical role in their children’s education. Twitter

26. Developing Belief Systems About Education: It Takes a Village by Nicole Rivera, Ed.D., at Psychology Today. Children develop beliefs about education through what their parents believe.

27. Top 10 Pinterest Boards for Parents by Cathy James at the NurtureStore. If you are looking for educational projects to do with preschool and elementary school-age children at home, Pinterest is the place to be! TwitterFacebook

Back-to-School Anxiety

Back-to-school Anxiety28. Back-To-School Worries by Eileen Kennedy-Moore, Ph.D., at Psychology Today. How to help children cope with starting a new school year. Twitter; Facebook

29. Ease Back-to-School Stress by Christine McLaughlin at SchoolFamily. How to help your child switch from the laid-back fun of summer to homework and routine. TwitterFacebook

Children with Special Needs, Abilities & Personalities

30. Escaping the Disability Trap by Alia Wong at The Atlantic. A compelling read on how to prepare special needs students for the workforce. Twitter

special needs children31. Parenting Children with ADHD by Cindy Goldrich, Ed.M., at Roots of Action. Good advice on how to help children focus more, be better organized, and curb their impulsive behavior.  TwitterFacebook

32. Five Ways to Help Your Child Transition Back to School by Chynna Laird at Special-Ism. Mom of a child with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) talks about creating a transition plan for supporting special needs children. Twitter; Facebook

33. The Need to Believe in the Ability of Disability by Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D. and Kevin McGrew at HuffPost Education. How our beliefs help or hinder children with disabilities. Twitter

34. The 200 Best Special Education Apps by Eric Sailers at Edudemic. Great apps for teachers and parents who work with special needs children. Twitter

35. From Perfection to Personal Bests: 7 Ways to Nurture Your Gifted Child by Signe Whitson at HuffPost Parents. How to develop a growth mindset in your high-ability child. Twitter; Facebook

Homework: A Back-to-School Reality

Back-to-School: HomeWork36. Reducing Homework Stress by Lori Lite at Stress Free Kids. Back-to-school and homework go together. Here are 10 tips to help parents, teens, and children with the daily homework routine. Twitter; Facebook

37. Who Takes Responsibility for Homework? What is the Parent’s Role? By Rick Ackerly at The Genius in Children. Helping kids understand the consequences and rewards of homework. Twitter; Facebook

38. Keep Your Middle Schooler Organized by Nancy Darling, Ph.D., at Psychology Today. How to help kids develop organizational skills and relieve the homework struggle. Twitter

Youth Sports

Back-to-school: Youth Sports39. Soccer, Baseball or Karate? Top 10 Reasons to Involve Your Kids in Sports by Signe Whitson at Psychology Today. Reasons why being a sports chauffer can pay big rewards. Twitter; Facebook

40. Emphasize the Internal Rewards by Jeffrey Rhoads at Inside Youth Sports. How to help your child experience the internal rewards of playing sports. TwitterFacebook

41. How to Help Kids Be “Winning” Losers in Youth Sports by Patrick Cohn, Ph.D., at The Ultimate Sports Parent Blog. Learn how losing in sports develops internal skills like perseverance, determination, and the ability to adapt to adversity. Twitter; Facebook

42. Heads Up Concussion In Youth Sports by Shannon Henrici at Stress Free Kids. Learn about concussions and what you can do as a parent. Twitter; Facebook


Back-to-School: Bullying43. Mean Girls: Why Teenage Girls Can Be So Cruel by Chris Hudson at Understanding Teenagers. Learn how gender influences adolescent behavior in friendship groups and why girls have a natural tendency toward social aggression. Twitter; Facebook

44. Bully Proof Your Child by Lori Lite at Stress Free Kids. What parents can do to protect children from bullying. Twitter; Facebook

45. How to Protect Kids from Cyber-Bullying by Michele Borba, Ed.D. How to keep an electronic leash on your child! Twitter; Facebook

46. Bullying Runs Deep: Breaking the Code of Silence that Protects Bullies by Michelle Baker at HuffPost Education. A poignant and personal story with deep insights for parents. Twitter

Media & Technology

Back-to-school: Media and Technology

47. Parenting: Who is More Powerful: Technology or Parents? By Jim Jaylor, Ph.D., at Psychology Today. How are you flexing your parenting muscles against the strength of today’s media? Twitter; Facebook

48. How Much Television is Too Much? Science Weighs In by Todd B. Kashdan, Ph.D., at Psychology Today. Science vs. common-sense parenting. Twitter

49. Effect of Video Games on Child Development by Danielle Dai and Amanda Fry at Vanderbilt University. The positives and negatives of video games, according to research.

50. Teen Sexting: What messages should we be sending our teens about sexting? by Raychelle Cassada Lohmann, M.S., L.P.C., at Psychology Today. Learn about sexting and how to protect your teen. Twitter; Facebook


Back-to-School: Discipline51. Is It Ever Okay to Spank a Child? by Andrea Nair at The Atlantic. Spanking is always a controversial subject. What’s your opinion? Twitter

52. What is in Your Discipline Toolbox? By Jody McVittie, M.D., at WAFCET. How to use kindness and firmness when disciplining children. TwitterFacebook

53. Why Punishment Does Not Make Good Neurological Sense by Meredith White-McMahon, Ed.D., at Development in the Digital Age. How punishment differs from discipline. Twitter

54. Connection before Correction by Jane Nelsen, Ed.D., at Positive Discipline. How positive discipline creates respectful connections with children. TwitterFacebook

55. The Trouble with Time-Outs by Deborah MacNamara, PhD. While time outs have become a popular disciplinary practice, they are not without critics. Learn why time out’s work and why they don’t. Twitter; Facebook

This  article is republished and updated with many new articles each year at RootsofAction.com. Copyright 2012 – 2016 by Marilyn Price-Mitchell. Please see reprint guidelines.

Image Credits: Nuttikit

Published: August 2, 2016

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,