Lessening Back-to-School Stress: Baylor Expert Offers Five Tips That Can Help the Return to Routine

Help make the start of the new school year less stressful for your children. 

August 11, 2023
5 ways to lesson back to school anxiety.

5 ways to lesson back-to-school anxiety. 

WACO, Texas (Aug. 11, 2023) – As summer comes to an end, parents and children are getting ready for the new school year. For younger children, making the transition from a relaxed summer schedule to the routine of school can be jarring, but a veteran teacher and faculty member at Baylor University’s School of Education offers some ideas to help make the start of the new school year less stressful, especially for younger students.

Gae Connally, M.S.Ed., lecturer and elementary certificate coordinator in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at Baylor,  taught in public schools for 35 years, all but one as a reading specialist. Her other roles included English as a Second Language coordinator and instructor, Reading Recovery teacher, dyslexia specialist and assessor, staff development presenter and leader, and teacher coach and mentor. She has a passion for literacy and helping children become proficient and lifelong readers.

Connally’s five tips for returning from the summer snooze to a back-to-school routine include:

1. Plan Ahead for Busy Mornings

Before going to bed, help your child pick out clothes for the next day and pack their backpack. It will make the morning routine smoother. 

2. A Simple Gesture

When you pack your child's lunch, write a note on the napkin even, if your child is just beginning learning to read. A simple message or “I Love You” can bring so much joy.

3. Break Time

Give your child a break when getting home from school before starting homework. Play, have a snack, rest and then do homework. This can benefit students of all ages. From Pre-K to high school seniors, your child will be more engaged if taking a break before diving into homework.

4. Unwind After a Long Day Together

Read to your child every day. It is a special time between parents and children, especially if it is right before bedtime. Reading to your child every day also makes a huge difference in literacy development. 

5. Ready to Read

Sing songs, read nursery rhymes and play games. These will all help promote oral language development and start your child on the road to becoming a reader.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


For more than 100 years, the School of Education has advanced Baylor’s mission across the globe while preparing students for a range of careers focused on education, leadership, and human development. With more than 60 full-time faculty members, the school’s growing research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. Baylor’s undergraduate program in teacher education has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers deep clinical preparation. Likewise, the School of Education’s graduate programs have attained national recognition for their exemplary preparation of research scholars, educational leaders, innovators, and clinicians. Visit the School of Education website to learn more.