Now that summer has come to an end, it is time to ease our children from vacation mode to homework mode. Every one of us wants the school year to be successful for our children, and it’s no surprise that success starts at home*.
The demands of a new school year can be stressful but, with the right mindset and plan, we can help make this year the best for our children. Here are some helpful suggestions:
- Set Goals and Mile markers
Ask your child what their goals are by the end of school year. Would your child like better grades? A role in the school play? Making the school’s basketball team? Create a plan on how they would like to accomplish that (i.e. practicing after school each day, seeking out a tutor). Goal setting will empower your child to achieve self-improvement and good work/study habits.
- Study Zone
Establish with your child set a time and place where homework should be done. Communicate to your child when you will and will not be available for help. Even if there is no homework that day encourage your child to review what they learned that week. Constant reviewing helps instill the information in your child’s brain.
- Put down the controller
Rules might have been lax during the summer, but before school starts set technology rules with your family. Create a media guideline with your child. For example:
- No video games or TV until certain obligations are fulfilled, like homework or chores.
- Even something simple as no phone/electronic usage before bed. The white and blue light emitting from electronic screens prevent our bodies from realizing it is time for bed. This can lead to restlessness, difficulty sleeping, and even insomnia.
- Establish rules about online behavior, such as no bullying or bad language or sharing sexual content.
- Get out of the house!
Get your kids involved in at least 1 extracurricular activity. Find what your child is passionate about and help them pursue that activity. Whether it be a community sport, an acting troupe, Girl/Boy Scouts, or an after-school class. Studies have shown that children will excel in activities they are interested in and develop a love for learning at an early stage.
- Consistency is Key
Keep bedtimes and routines consistent. Start the bedtime routine early (put away toys, brush your teeth, etc.), and keep the order of things the same so your child gets into the sleep mode. Make sure all media is done an hour (Tip #3) prior to going to sleep, as it stimulates the brain and can create stress.