Map Out your Education Goals with Back-to-School Ideas


By Marisela Garza

What a wonderful summer it’s been! Our library branches have been filled with families spending time together reading, doing crafts and enjoying exciting live events. But as much as we adore our Michigan summers, those long days will soon come to an end.

I love this time of year because returning to the old routines of school, meal planning and getting kids back on track for earlier bedtimes promotes familiarity. Kids look forward to reconnecting with old friends and teachers at school. But a new school year means a new schedule, so it’s a perfect time to start mapping out some new educational goals and habits.

For example, most parents have probably heard that reading aloud for at least 20-30 minutes every day is the secret sauce for helping kids succeed in school and in life. But what if your evening routine gets too hectic for all that reading?

Try breaking up those reading minutes into shorter blocks. Slipping in a 10-minute reading time at the breakfast table could be a way to help your family accomplish your reading goals. Read from a joke book, a book about animals or some topic you may not usually read about. If your kids are under age 6, find reading ideas at For kids in kindergarten and first grade, check out the Family Literacy Calendar at, or pick up a copy at any Capital Area District Libraries branch.

Teens and adults also benefit from setting some education goals. CADL members can take advantage of our subscription to, an online tool for learning new skills at your own pace. Want to become an Excel 2013 Microsoft Office specialist? Your CADL card unlocks access to hours of expert video tutorials. I recently improved my HTML coding skills with a course. You also can access language learning, test preparation, subscriptions to valuable databases and much more, all without spending a dime!

CADL’s educational and lifelong learning resources can help you and your family reach your educational goals — and they’re only a click away. Get your CADL card at and get started at

Social Media