The kids are back to school – are you ready? Lunches, snacks and good nutrition, as well as more free time for parents, homework struggles and organization. Gina of Embracing Imperfect decided to gather a group of bloggers to share their best Healthy Back to School tips with you!
Each year we hope for a smooth and successful school year for our kids (and for us). We want them to learn, have fun, make new friends and enjoy attending school each day. With each school year brings new adventures and new friends as well as new challenges and obstacles. In order to best help ensure a successful school year, we need to put certain measures in place and provide the right tools for our kids.
At Mommy University, we believe that education is a collaborative effort. That means it takes the work of the student, teacher and the parent to ensure a successful school year. Without each person working together towards the same goal, it will be difficult for a child to reach their full potential. In preparing for the upcoming school year as well as to provide a reminder throughout the year, I have put together a list of 5 tips that will lead you and your child towards the path to success!
5 Tips for a Successful School Year
Provide an Organized Learning Space
Many parents believe that kids can just sit at the kitchen table and do their homework while you cook dinner or pay the bills. Now this may work for some kids, but for many this is not conducive for learning. One of the best ways to ensure successful and productive homework completion is to provide your child with clean, organized and clutter-free space to work. If you do choose to use the kitchen table, make sure you remove all plates, cups, center pieces or anything else that can distract your child. Also, make sure they have all the supplies they need to complete their homework such as pencils, paper and a calculator.
For many kids, having their own space can be even more efficient. If possible, designate a section of your child’s room, home office or living room just for homework and projects. Provide them with a small desk or table along with all the supplies they need. You may also want to develop an organizational system where supplies can be kept along with upcoming projects and reading materials. Using labels and color coding can also help with being more organized.
Maintain Ongoing Communication with Your Child’s Teacher
It is so important to maintain ongoing and open communication with your child’s teacher. This is especially helpful for children that are struggling academically and behaviorally. This can be done through a daily written log that goes back and forth between school and home or through email. A daily log can be completed in a notebook or in your child’s agenda book; whatever is easier for the teacher and the parent. It is important for the teacher to know if your child struggles with homework or had a bad morning at home, just as it is equally important for the parent to know if their child had a conflict with a peer or performed poorly on an assignment. By reviewing the ongoing communication log, effective modifications and interventions can be developed and implemented if needed.
Check Your Child’s Homework Every Night
Even if you have absolutely NO IDEA what your child’s homework is about, it is still important to check for completion each night. Homework is an important part of the learning process and should be seen as a priority in the home. One method for younger children is to have the teacher initial the agenda book each day to show the parent that the homework list is correct. Then once the homework is complete, the parent can sign the agenda book telling the teacher the work was done. This gives accountability and responsibility to all parties involved.
For older kids, parents should still check the agenda book. Signing it, however, may make them feel embarrassed. In addition, many middle and high school teachers list the homework online so I recommend becoming familiar and comfortable with checking that information daily and comparing it to what your child has brought home. Make sure your child knows they must finish their homework before playing video games or watching television.
Ask For Help
If you see that your child is struggling academically, behaviorally or socially, ask for help! This is where the communication tip really comes in handy. Check with your child’s teacher to see if they are struggling in school like they are struggling at home. Talk to your child to get their take on the situation. If it is determined that further assistance is needed, then don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most schools after basic skills instruction programs, after school tutoring and special education programs. On the flip side, if your child is not being challenged enough, ask about the advanced and/or gifted and talented programs.
Attend School Functions
Many may not see the importance of this tip, but there are so many reasons why parents and students should attend school functions. Events like Back to School Night and Parent/Teacher Conferences allow parents to learn more about the classroom, teacher, curriculum and how to help their child. School concerts, plays and sporting events help kids and parents feel more a part of the school community. It allows kids to socialize with peers and not feel isolated. Let your child attend the school dance (with rules of course). Not comfortable with the co-ed dance? Then offer to be a chaperone. Kids who feel involved and part of a community often have more confidence and a greater support system. This helps with success in school and in life!
I hope you have found this list helpful. I wish you and your children a wonderful and successful school year!
More Back to School Ideas for 2015:
Need more ideas for this back to school season? Here are more post from my amazing fellow bloggers participating in this Healthy Back to School Event: