What’s Top of Mind for Parents During Back-to-School Time?

By Sylvan Learning

Middle School
What Does Back to School Feel Like for Your Family

For many families, the end of summer means saying see you later to the care-free days of slow mornings, relaxed schedules and late nights. Each fall, back-to-school season is a big change, and while change can be stressful, parents and kids also have the chance to “reset” their goals for a new school year full of positivity and possibilities!

We polled 500+ parents in Sylvan Nation and asked them to paint us a picture of what back-to-school time looks like for their family, and here’s what we learned …

What does back-to-school time feel like in your home?

The most popular words and phrases from our 500+ parent survey are in the word cloud below, showcasing a variety of back-to-school feelings! What we learned is this time is not just about academics for parents and kids.


Back to school is about:

  • Buying school supplies
  • Getting new clothes
  • Preparing for early mornings
  • Packing lunches
  • Feeling excited and optimistic
  • Seeing friends

As a parent, you understand that school is about much more than just grades.

  • In fact, 1 out of 5 parents said that their child’s primary concern for next year is making friends or having a good year socially. Parents want their kids to be successful socially and to have a strong group of friends around them.

Here’s what some parents had to say …


“My daughter is hoping to improve her grades but also make more friends going into middle school.”


“I would think she’s having the same academic concerns as me, but she wants to be involved in all social aspects and have a good time.”


We also asked parents to think about the previous school year.


Is there anything that makes you cringe when you remember it? What parts of it do you NOT want to repeat next year?

  • 1 out of 6 parents said their child had a great school year, and there’s nothing that needs to be improved.
  • 25% of parents said they would like homework time to be better in the coming year.

If homework time is a stressful event for you and your child, we’ve got some tips for how to prevent homework procrastination, and some ideas for how to build an efficient everyday homework strategy!

In their own words, parents said these are the things they want to improve on in the coming school year:


“All the tears at homework time.”


“Making sure we have a better schedule set for doing school work and making sure there is time for reading every night. Definitely not giving any free passes when it comes to going outside and working on schoolwork.”


“Trying to work on math with my daughter, but how they teach it is different than when I was in school.”


“Stress of last-minute projects, because my daughter doesn’t tell me when they are assigned. I will check regularly this year to see which projects need my attention.”


You’re not alone

Read more about what other families think about school success!

We know the school year can throw some unexpected curve balls, which is why Sylvan is here for you and your child every step of the way this year!

Check out Sylvan Nation, our FREE resource website, for even more educational tips, tools and surveys. You’ll earn points for reading articles, taking short quizzes and completing other quick activities. Then, you can redeem your points for special Sylvan offers, workbooks, flashcards, checklists and gift cards!

Need some extra support? Our expert tutors are the best at helping your child catch up, keep up and get ahead. Whether your child needs help with a specific concept, or could benefit from better study skills, we have a K-12 program that is right for your family. Reach out to your local Sylvan for more information – we’d love to learn more about your family’s goals!