Back-to-School Guide – Tips for Discovery West Parents 

Back-to-school brings a fresh start to a new year full of possibilities. Whether you’ve got kids in elementary, middle or high school, approaching the year with a plan and with intention can make all the difference. 

Ground Rules: Tips for All Families 

Establish a Routine

That first week of early wake-up calls is rough. But focus on setting a consistent daily schedule for wake-up, meals, and bedtime to help everyone adjust smoothly. Life can get wild, but some structure can help avoid morning get-out-the-door chaos.

Create a Homework Space

Summer activities may have overtaken desks and work corners, so it’s time to reclaim the study zone. Designate a quiet, organized, and well-lit space at home for kids to complete homework and study. 

Elementary School: Setting Early Foundations

Our neighborhood kids attend William E. Miller Elementary School in the Bend-LaPine District with teachers who support these early skills. If you have a kinder or a fifth grader, it’s important to create strong foundations early. 

Build Independence

Let’s talk about building your child’s independence – it’s like laying the groundwork for their self-reliance journey. Start with the basics, like showing them how to tie shoelaces, tackle buttoning those tricky clothes, and even getting their backpack organized. These skills boost their confidence and set them up for success in different aspects of life. As they grow, let them spread their wings with new ways to show their independence. 

Foster a Love for Reading

Create a reading-friendly environment at home with age-appropriate books and regular reading time. Our local independent bookstore, Roundabout Books, has a fantastic kids section to find the perfect read for your kid and they even have a book club for kids ages eight and up

Middle School: Communication is Key 

Ah, the tween and early teen years – a rollercoaster of growth and self-discovery! During this exciting time, your kids begin the journey to master the art of communication, not just with you but also with their teachers. Our neighborhood kids get lots of support from the Pacific Crest Middle School teachers and staff.

Stay Informed

Middle School is an exciting time for your kid to explore school events, clubs, and extracurricular activities and find what they love. To make it happen, ensure you’re in the loop with school and community happenings. For example, Bend Parks and Rec is a great way to try out different sports and activities. 

Encourage Independence

Watch your child become a responsible young scholar by encouraging them to take charge of their academic journey. From keeping tabs on assignments to staying on top of deadlines, they’ll soon be navigating the academic world easily and confidently!

High School: Preparing for Launch 

Once your teen takes that leap into high school, it’s as if time hits fast-forward mode. Our high school kids who live in the Discovery West neighborhood enjoy a wealth of opportunities at Summit High School to dive into their passions and forge skills that will last a lifetime.

Discuss Goals

Initiate candid dialogues about your child’s future aspirations, be it college dreams or career goals. Even if it’s something as seemingly small as wanting to try a new hobby, fostering open conversations will show you how best to support them. Making time with your teen over a coffee at Thump Roastery, a pastry at Sparrow Bakery or ice cream at Elly’s can be a great way to start a conversation. 

Promote Time Management

Guide your high schooler in mastering the art of time management. It’s all about striking the balance between coursework, extracurricular pursuits, and college preparations. Easier said than done and it takes practice. This phase often grants them more freedom than ever before, making the ability to harness that freedom a crucial life skill!

Of course, every kid is unique and every school year will bring its own set of challenges and rewards. Discovery West neighbors are lucky to have both great schools and live in a community like Bend that’s full of opportunities for all kids to thrive – whether it’s the kinders in the class of 2036 or the seniors in the class of 2024.