Back to School at Every Age! How to Tackle the 2022-23 School Year

mom handing daughter stuffed animal

As your kids go through the yearly back-to-school routine come autumn, my first-born, 2.5-year-old daughter will also head to school. It’s a big deal for our family.

Sure, she’s practiced going to school, like when she attended a six-week summer camp. But it still feels monumental that for five days a week for an entire school year, she’ll begin a learning journey that will continue through her early twenties. 

This life event also means I get to be a class mom. And that’s a big deal for me. Birthing not just one but two babies during the COVID-19 pandemic made it challenging, at times, to make mom friends. I was lucky that I had three months of maternity leave before the world essentially shut down in March 2020. 

Having new mom friends was a lifeline for me while going through the early stages of motherhood. They texted with me at 3 a.m. when we were up feeding our infants, calmed my nerves before my baby’s first flu vaccine, and listened to me vent when my daughter wouldn’t sleep through the night. 

Then, people moved away, began lengthy quarantines, and new parent support groups shut down. As our happy hours at the park dwindled, I lost my sense of community. It felt isolating—everyone working from home, weekends at home, school at home, working out at home, playtime at home, etc. 

Being part of a school program for the first time opens doors for not only my toddler to make lifelong friends, but also for my husband and I to join a local community.

I’m not alone. Many other new parents who entered this new life stage has similar experiences. Some of my friends birthed during the height of the pandemic and didn’t mix indoors with other groups for months (if not years). 

This year feels different. It seems like a “return” in a lot of ways—but it’s not a return to anything we’ve known before. Maybe it’s the “new normal,” and maybe it’s something entirely else.

COVID vaccines are available for anyone over six months old, and new(ish) parents affected by the pandemic can hopefully feel more comfortable socializing again. Being part of a school program for the first time opens doors for not only my toddler to make lifelong friends, but also for my husband and I to join a local community. We can all come together to rally around my daughter’s class, attend events, and participate in holiday celebrations. The classroom can hopefully consistently be in the classroom again.

We don’t know what the future holds, and if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that the future is impossible to predict. But we are here now—and we encourage you to make the most of the 2022–2023 school year. (That’s what my family plans to do!)

No matter what stage of the school journey you’re in—be it, toddlers or teens—we have packaged content for your family. This back-to-school guide features everything from creating new rituals to calming kindergarten anxiety and optimizing a homework routine. We also have content on hot topics including COVID in the classroom and dealing with an over-programmed schedule. If you’ve got school styling on your mind, don’t miss these fresh hairstyle ideas, personalized gear, and the ultimate shopping list.

Wishing you the best school year yet!

Sincerely,

Lauren Levinson

Editorial Director, Verywell Family