In honor of all my friends who are now getting "on their mark" with the Bar/Bat Mitzvah planning, I thought I'd back track to "the starting line." The best place to start is by double checking that the date you were given by the synagogue matches the Torah portion that may have also been noted in the official letter. Mistakes happen. I have a friend that introduced her child to the Torah portion in all of the ways I suggested, only to realize that the wrong Torah portion was written in the letter for the correct date of the Mitzvah.
Take your date and plug it in here: www.hebcal.com/converter - clicking on the button that says "Convert Gregorian to Hebrew Date." Then it will show you the Hebrew date of your Mitzvah as well as the name of the parsha (section or story) from the Torah that will be read on that date.
Next, surf over to the G-dcast Channel on YouTube here: www.youtube.com/g-dcast - in the upper right part of the page you will see a search box for the G-dcast Channel videos. Search using the name of the Torah parsha that you just confirmed at hebcal.com. Check out the short animated video that you find about your specific Torah parsha and share it with your Bar/Bat Mitzvah child!
Those are the top two tips I have for those of you just starting out! Thanks for stopping by!