Back to school tips

Aug 13, 2014 at 4:27 pm

It’s hard to believe the end of summer vacation is already upon us. Once again, it’s time for kids to go back to school and for parents to wave goodbye, dry their tears, and then strip naked, run around the house and make unspeakable use of Reddi-wip. But the start of a new school year can be a stressful time for both students and parents, so we here at LEO Labs have compiled some back-to-school tips to make the transition easier. 

If you’re sending a kindergartner off to school for the first time, it’s important that your child learns to recite his or her full name, phone number, street address and credit score. One way to help your child remember all of that info is to set it to a catchy tune, such as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” “Wrecking Ball” or “Blurred Lines.” For extra comfort and security, you might also want to implant a GPS transponder, tattoo a bar-code tramp stamp or duct-tape a GoPro camera with a live web feed to his or her forehead. 

For elementary school children, it’s good to plan ahead each night for the next day of school. By planning meals, transportation and clothes the night before, you can get all the fighting out of the way so you don’t have to have those nasty arguments in the morning. The elementary-school years are also a good time to begin applying to colleges. 

Parents of older children can also benefit from planning ahead. It’s important to note that older children’s brains are being constantly flooded with hormones, which can make them what scientists call “batshit crazy.” 

Some history is helpful. “Hormones,” which is Latin for “weirdly icky,” were invented in 1896 by Ernest Lee Sadistic, a professor of physiology at University College, London. Before then, teens always did their chores without complaining and never freaked out over a zit because zits, like hormones, had not yet been invented. 

At puberty, the adult hormones estrogen and testosterone begin to attack the adolescent brain, causing the body to go haywire. Just when teens are the most concerned with their appearance, they begin to grow hair in new places, sprout pimples, produce random protuberances and emit an odor from their feet that researchers call “reminiscent of a dumpster full of dead raccoons.” Often these changes are accompanied by an urge to rub up against the washing machine or set loved ones on fire. 

Because of these hormonal changes, educators long ago devised special strategies to educate pubescent children. Specifically, these children should be locked away in special institutions until adolescence passes and they can be safely reintroduced into society. We call these institutions “middle schools.” Middle schools are carefully planned to begin each morning promptly when most children in puberty are approaching the deepest part of REM sleep and to end just when most children are becoming fully awake for the day. 

If you are the parent of a middle-school child, take comfort in the fact that whatever you do or say, you are a complete idiot. Try to refrain from criticizing your child’s clothing, hairstyle or friends, no matter how comically dorky they are. Instead, play the long game and take plenty of photos you can upload to whatever replaces Facebook in ten years. 

Under no circumstances should you do your child’s homework. It is way too hard for you. It is also inappropriate to laugh and point at your child and call him or her “Poindexter” while drinking wine out of a box. If your middle-schooler hasn’t yet gotten accepted by a good college, it might be time to start thinking about exciting opportunities in the fields of longshoreperson, Cambodian English teacher or Internet billionaire. 

By the time your child is in ninth grade, you should get busy measuring his or her bedroom to convert into your own personal Tiki bar or yoga studio after graduation. For students, high school is an exciting time of learning to drive, worrying about prom and studying ten hours per day for the ACT (motto: “Now 10% less painful than childbirth!”). There are also classes. 

Through it all, it’s important for high school students to begin thinking about what they want to do when their academic careers are over. Through hard work, careful planning, a strong GPA, a solid ACT and indefatigable forbearance your child can avoid becoming every parent’s worst nightmare: an alternative-weekly columnist.  Have a great school year!