7 Smart Strategies for a Successful Start
The start of the new school year is an exciting time for both parents and children with shopping for new clothes and school supplies and the anticipation of reuniting with friends. Going back to school means preparing for success both inside and outside of the classroom. Here are a few tips to make this time together both productive and fun:
1. PARENT AS TEACHER: Parents can find fun ways to help develop their child’s skills. Sorting the laundry and cooking are ways to bring in math skills for different levels. Reading at home and asking open-ended questions helps children to think and develop language skills.
2. TALK ABOUT IT: Explain to first-time school kids what the school day will be like, emphasize all the activities and give them a time-frame they can understand. i.e. “Daddy will take you to school on his way to work and I’ll pick you up at lunchtime.” For older students, brainstorm coping strategies: Will he need a tutor for algebra? Offer assistance with organization to get the year off to a positive start.
3. GET READY, GET SET: Get back into the school year routine before school actually starts. Get to bed earlier and get up with sufficient time to get to school. Organize all the necessary school supplies and have them handy. Figure out the homework logistics, where and when. Pack up backpacks the night before.
4. FAMILIARIZE: Whenever possible, tour the campus, meet the teachers, arrange play dates with classmates before the school year starts. Maintain contact with the teacher all during the school year through voice mail and e-mail.
5. RESPECT THE STUDENT’S CHOICES: Kids have their own ideas about what is fashionable and they usually want to blend in with what’s popular. Allow your child to make choices when it comes to clothes and school supplies that will allow him to feel more comfortable in the school environment.
6. BE INVOLVED: You don’t have to be president of the PTA, but get out your calendar and incorporate as many school activities as you can into your busy schedule. Research indicates that children whose parents are active members of the school community are inspired to do well and have stronger academic records.
7. REWARD EFFORT AS WELL AS ACHIEVEMENT: Have confidence in your child and his abilities and applaud his efforts and he is more likely to succeed and feel successful.