Author: Deborah Goodkin, Managing Director, Savings Plans, First National Bank of Omaha

As we exit the dog days of summer, and transition into the long-anticipated back to school season, it’s an exciting time for all within the NEST 529 community. From textbooks to new lunch bags and backpacks, to deciding upon extracurricular activities, there’s a lot families can do in advance of the school year to help their child prepare for success.

Read on for NEST 529’s planner to help start the school year off on the right foot:

  • Inventory Items on Hand: From pencils to notebooks, you may find that your child has a plethora of unused or gently used items from previous years. Before making a purchase of new supplies, see what materials you can recycle to help save money.
  • Do a Walk Through: From morning routines to classes to after school activities, help your child better anticipate what’s to come by doing a “dry run” of what his or her first day will entail from start to finish. This can be achieved by visiting the school itself or through creating a detailed itinerary.
  • Establish a Homework Zone: To help your child make studying a priority, create a specific space for him or her to do homework at on a daily basis. Equip the space with snacks, paper, pencils and any other materials to help minimize distractions associated with getting settled.
  • Create Goals: Speak with your child and encourage him or her to create tangible education focused goals for the year (for example, getting an A in a challenging subject, or reading a new book every month). Encourage him or her to identify the steps needed to achieve this goal, and help evaluate his or her progress accordingly.
  • Find a Classroom Buddy: Encourage your child to share contact information with another classmate, so they can reach out to each other with any questions about homework or assignments that may arise.
  • Implement a Bedtime Routine: During the summer, bedtimes can often be more laid back. To make for a more natural transition, have your child start easing into his or her new school year bedtime a week before school begins.
  • Hit the Library: To help instill strong reading habits, encourage your child to visit the local library to select books that are of interest.

As your family embarks upon the new school year, we wish you and your child the best of luck with this exciting new chapter. NEST 529 is here for you every step of the way as you help pave the path to make higher education a reality. If you have any questions for the NEST 529 team, please contact us via email at or at 1-888-993-3746.