Help your child begin the school year with some simple organizational skills and family routines to encourage school success, right from the start.
Here are five easy ways to help your family keep school priorities on track:
Have one large family calendar for all your school children to utilize. Keep it in a convenient place. Record school notices and important meeting dates. Pencil in when all assignments are due. Write the day of the week for gym class, so your child will be sure to wear her sneakers. Get her in the habit of checking the calendar before starting homework and before leaving for school each morning.
Together, agree on a specific homework spot. It should be a clean, flat surface, with adequate lighting and free of distractions. Do all homework assignments there each afternoon or night. On nights where there is no homework, have your child read, or read to him at least 15 minutes before bed.
Keep homework supplies together in a convenient spot, such as a shelf in the kitchen, or near the homework spot. You can use an empty shoe box or small basket to store pencils, a sharpener, crayons, scissors, and glue sticks.
Keep backpacks and lunch boxes in a designated place, and help your child remember to store them properly, right after school. Empty and inspect backpacks together at the same time each day, such as right off the bus, or right after supper.
Help her remember to put completed homework into her backpack each night before going to bed, so she will get credit for work well done!
With families’ busy lives, simple organizational steps can make for a smooth and stress-free home-school transition.
Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.