As the 2013-14 school year begins, it will be worth taking a
moment to pause and prepare for what lies ahead. Likely, your children are involved in
numerous activities—music lessons, sports, after school clubs, and of
course—social circles! By planning ahead
a bit now for the craziness in schedules that is bound to ensue, you can
ensure, or at least mitigate, the stress, chaos and frantic pace of typical
Here are 3 simple steps to launch your year in the right direction:
Have a quiet, designated area specifically for homework and study purposes. Ensure that all materials generally required for completion of most assignments are within well-lit and immediate access, including pencils, pens, dictionary (or frequently used word books), calculator, erasers, rulers, and perhaps a computer. This reduces time away from the task and the frustration of trying to locate items in the moment of a challenging academic task.
You know your child better than anyone, and even within families, different children have different needs when it comes to learning. Some kids need to race off the bus and either engage in physical activity or have some type of “down time” prior to engaging into academic tasks. Some kids may need to begin tasks right away, so they don’t extend into their night hours, and then begin a cycle of sleep deprivation. Either way, by having an established “plan of attack” for homework after school, and a set approximate “lights out”, settling into a routine and maintaining the structure of it provides a comfort level when some of the daily schedule can feel out of control. Furthermore, by establishing a routine based on what works for each child, he or she will develop a life-long skill of organized awareness of how to approach collegiate assignments, and ultimately, those of a career!
Of course, we all want our kids to do well in school, turn in assignments on time, and move forward in their learning. By clearly stating to your child what you expect for academic expectations and following up with checking student planners, teacher assignment postings on the school website, and conversations with your child on a daily basis (i.e. see #2!), you are showing your child that he or she is important. You, as a parent, know the level of support you may need to provide in helping encourage your child in this lifelong skill of learning. Ultimately, you’ll want to reduce the level of support required and transfer that ownership to your child, but in the short term, celebrate the milestones with dinner at his or her favorite restaurant, a family movie night, or something new that neither of you have tried before!
We hope you have a fabulous school year, filled with much SUCCESS!
Photo credit: Andy Dean | Photos.com