Category Archives: Back to School

6 Ways to Get Organized for Back to School

Putting the following strategies into action now will save a lot of time and anxiety later.

  1. Shift your schedules. The lazy, unstructured days of summer are ending, and so is your child’s freedom to sleep in and eat erratically. Ease them back into a school schedule by shifting their bedtime back to a school-day bedtime and waking them closer to the hour they’ll need to rise.
  2. Have a morning routine run-through. The week before school starts, start getting your child up, dressed, and fed at the same times as you would on a school day. Both you and your child will benefit from a few practice runs to smooth out trouble spots and get comfortable with the routine.
  3. Clean house. Go through your child’s clothes, and get rid of anything they have outgrown or worn threadbare. It’ll be easier to choose outfits if there’s less clutter. Do a thorough cleaning of their room and study area as well.
  4. Stock up on supplies. After you and your child are through cleaning, make a list of everything they’ll need for the coming year, from socks to crayons. Ask their teacher or the school for a list of supplies, and check what’s missing. Buy extras of essential items and store them for later.
  5. Get papers in order. While you’re calling the school, ask what paperwork your child will need to start. Take care of any missing vaccinations or forms ASAP, then gather all the papers in a large, clearly marked envelope or file and photocopy everything.
  6. Create calendar and file central. Set up an area with a large calendar so everyone in your family can see everyone else’s plans for that month. For added organization, color-code each family member and keep colored markers nearby so everyone can easily mark plans. Pen in after-school activities, lessons, play-dates, and family time. Nearby, set up file baskets or bins marked “To Be Signed,” “From School,” and “To School,” so your child can deposit papers you need to see in a regular place right after school and pick up things to go “To School” each morning.

Omega Learning® Center is AdvancED accredited nationwide and provides tutoring and test preparation services for grades K-12. To find a learning center near you, visit


School Fun Facts Around the World

There are many differences in the various school systems. The date school starts, the age at which the kids start, grading systems, approach and teaching philosophy – the variation is huge. Here are 15 exciting and fun facts about schools around the world.

1.In Germany, school kids are given a school cone (Schultüte) on their first day of school. It can be filled with sweets, snacks, art supplies, lunch boxes, little books and small gifts. They can only open it at school. Children don’t have to be able to write their names on entering schools- although they must be able to hold a pen properly. School readiness is decided on not only physical development but also social skills.

2. Russian children always start school on September 12st even if it’s a holiday, or the weekend. This is referred as Knowledge Day (День Знаний)- and marks both the first day of school and the first day of autumn. Most kids bring a change of shoes to school. Elementary school through high school are usually in the same building.

3. Dutch children go to school on their fourth birthday. This results in some chaos as new kids are added to the class throughout the year during the first year (called groep 1 or kleuterklas). The kids get to play and learn social skills and only start “real school” when they’re 6 (groep 3). However, school is not compulsory until the kids are 5 years old.

4. Polish kids have to wear strój galowy- a formal costume– usually a white blouse with navy blue pants or skirts for the girls and suits for the boys for the first day of school and school ceremonies. There’s also an opening ceremony where the kids are sworn in as students of the first class.

5. On April Fool’s Day 2015, it was announced that Canada was to introduce a year-round school by 2017. It’s not true! However, school kids in Canada are offered many bilingual (English and French) options.

6. Singaporean schools have recently enjoyed their 5 minutes of fame and al because of a math problem. It went viral, causing a stir and even a hashtag on its very own- #WhenIsCherylsBirthday. it came from a test for students gifted in math and stirred a discussion about school quality around the world. Here’s the problem– can you solve it?

7. Finnish schools are considered the best in the world. They’re also very hands-off: no grades until year three. There are no national tests until the 12th year and subsequently much less pressure on teachers as school results cannot be compared. Teachers are trusted and respected and they have a lot of autonomy.

8. Japanese kids are expected to go to school by themselves and they also clean have to the classroom. There is no canteen; children are expected to bring packed lunches to school. They’re often very beautifully arranged into so called bento boxes. It is customary for the grandparents to buy the school bag calledrandoseru.

9. French kids are served a 3-course meal for lunch. The French education system has been made famous by Karen le Billon in her book (French Kids Eat Everything) that described the French approach to eating (did you know that schools hire nutritionists and special chefs to cook for the kids?) On the other side, the system is very rigid and strict.

10. The school year in Kenya is divided into trimesters (the academic year is divided into three parts, not two) not semesters. The parents are expected to pay for the children’s school. Most students attend school even though they don’t have to.

11. In Taiwan, children attending elementary schools would wear new uniform, carry new school bag, have a new pencil box (yes, pencil box, that is always a very fun shopping trip) and carry a home lunch box (optional).

12. In Australia, the longest holiday is actually the Christmas holiday! Summer officially lasts from December to February, and therefore includes Christmas and New Year holidays. Typically Christmas summer holiday in Australia last approximately six weeks, usually from mid-December (depending on school year, see below) to late January.

13. Schools in Nigeria start in January and end in December. The academic year is divided into trimesters and there are 2 months off between each one. Nigerian schools are also very strict about dress code – even including hair styles, jewellery and accessories.

14. Parents of kids in Swiss schools have to pick them up for lunch. The children get a lunch break between 12 and 2pm and that’s when they get home to have lunch. As mothers enter the workforce in bigger and bigger numbers, a specialMittagstisch (literally lunch table) is set up for the kids with working parents.

15. In Brazil, schools run from 7am to noon so that the kids can eat lunch with their parents. However, in Brazil there are three sessions per day to meet the demands for space. Kids attend one session per day.


How Omega Can Help Your Student

Back-to-school is here and it can be an exciting (and stressful) time for both parents and students. One of the reasons why parents worry is because they are afraid their child might fall behind in school. One out of five students will have trouble keeping up academically at some point during their school year. No matter what the cause might be for your child, Omega Learning® Center is here to help.

  • Omega helps students who have just begun having difficulty with a subject or combination of subjects. They may have even achieved straight “A’s” all through elementary school. Now their skill gaps are evident through falling grades and confidence.
  • Omega helps students who have always struggled in school and don’t know why. Their grades are inconsistent and they lack confidence. They have never had their child tested and are concerned there may be a learning disability or ADHD.
  • Omega helps students who know they have a learning disability. These students know their deficiencies and respond well to year-round tutoring. They know Omega could never fill all of the skills gaps in all of their academic areas. Our tutors complement their IEP accommodations in school.
  • Omega helps students who want to maintain their good grades through honors classes. They are concerned that, without our extra help, they will fall behind. The Woodcock Johnson may show advanced grade placement or no skill gaps. But our goal is to ease their anxiety throughout the school year with classes as needed.
  • Omega helps students who want to improve a letter grade. This is the average student who just needs that extra help. The student needs us to keep them focused throughout the school year with test preparation, homework help, and study skills.
  • Omega helps students who need the instruction and/or positive reinforcement that a tutor can provide. Some children are very shy and lack self-confidence. They don’t ask questions publicly in school. They do OK with classwork, but freeze on tests and quizzes with performance anxiety.
  • Omega helps students who need homework help because of poor study skills and time management. They need our structured homework environment and study skills instruction (time management, agenda organization, test prep, listening skills, note-taking).

Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school. Find a center near you.

Tutoring K12 Certified Teachers

10 Tips to Kick-Start Back to School

1. Sleep for school. Setting up a regular bedtime and wake-up routine before school starts is a crucial step to prepare your child for class and a practical way to cut down on first-day stress.

2. Look up to learning. If your child is feeling a bit anxious about going back to school, keep a positive attitude. Recall the fun and exciting events, field trips, projects, and so on from years past, and show excitement about the opportunities for learning new things in the upcoming year.

3. Walk through it. Escorting younger children to the classroom can help with the transition. Familiarize your child with key places such as the bathroom, gym, library, and cafeteria — your child will feel more confident knowing where everything is.

4. Suit ’em up. Shopping for school supplies with your child can be a fun way to give a chance with responsibility. Provide parameters, but allow your child to pick out a backpack, lunch box, nap mat, water bottle, new clothes, and some basic school supplies (pencils, crayons, etc).

5. Talk it out. Asking your child about school is important. It shows her that you value her education. Try to avoid general questions, like “How was your day?” These will most likely produce one-word answers. Instead, be specific.

6. Bring it home. Helping your child with his homework is an effective way to show concern for what he learns at school. Displaying your child’s projects around the house also helps to keep learning excitement high.

7. Go farther. Getting involved in school events is a critical aspect of showing support and enthusiasm for your child’s learning experience. Participating in school activities is also a valuable way of connecting to the school community. You can learn a lot about the school just by talking to fellow parents.

8. Keep your eyes (and ears) open. If your child’s eating or sleeping habits have changed drastically, it may be a sign that she’s having difficulty adjusting to her new grade.

9. Read, read, read. Reading with your child is an invaluable way to spend quality time together on a daily basis. In addition to other long-term benefits, reading together can also be a practical way to discern his reading level.

10. Connect. Communicating with your child’s teacher on a regular basis is an essential part of caring for her education. Teachers can alert you to any emotional, social, or academic difficulties they perceive in your child at school. The same works in reverse: notify teachers about changes that might affect your child’s behavior in school. Some examples are illness, divorce, the death of a family member, a recent move, or a parent getting a new job.

Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school. Find a center near you.

Tutoring K12 Certified Teachers