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Strategies for a Smooth School Year

Children across America are returning to school! Summer vacation is over. Most kids stay up late and sleep a lot later in the morning during the summer months. It is now time to start getting used to an earlier bedtime and wake-up time so your children won’t be sleepy and tired the first few weeks of school. A few changes in daily routines during the school year can make this year go more smoothly.

  • Try to keep school supplies organized and in one area. The supplies should include a planner, which is one of the essentials to keep up with schoolwork and commitments. A desk is nice but not necessary. The kitchen table is a great place to study. Inexpensive plastic shoe boxes work beautifully to hold pencils, pens, markers, glue, and tape. Paper can be stacked on a shelf nearby. Binders and notebooks can be color-coded and stored in a book bag along with any homework just completed.
  • Spend 20 minutes every day getting organized. Some students do this without assistance, but if your child is disorganized, she will need your help with this until it becomes a habit. Before leaving for school, she should check her planner to make sure she is taking everything she needs for the day. Before leaving school in the afternoon, she should check her planner to make sure she is taking the correct books and assignments home. And, just after doing her homework, she should put everything she used back in its place.
  • Monitor your child’s time using electronics. Some parents have an additional plastic shoe box where phones go during homework time and when going to bed. Teens should not sleep with their electronic gear nearby. It is very common for kids to text one another off and on all night (check your child’s messages to see when he is texting). Too much light from the screen can also interfere with the ability to go to sleep.
  • Decide together how many extracurricular activities are appropriate for your family and healthy for your teen. Many teens are so booked with activities that they do not have time to do well in school. My rule of thumb with my own children was that they could play one sport or one have major commitment (such as marching band) each season. Once they made a commitment, they had to stay with it until the end of the season. Parents and children should make this decision together, but keep in mind that there are only so many hours in the day!

In my student support role, the two problems that come up the most with struggling students are time management and organization. Some students can manage this without help, but many need support to learn how. You can provide daily help until your child begins to manage on her own. Making sure your child has what she needs, teaching her how to keep it organized, and monitoring how she spends her time each day can help overcome these issues.

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#3 Anisa 2015-08-23 21:15
I would like to add that as a rule
We , my children and I make sure that
we have have our school bags packed and ready
In the kitchen , lunch and drink , and if there were
Any assignments or projects due they are also ready and packed
Here in South Africa our school children wear school uniforms .
So I have allocated a section in the cupboards for the hanging items and a shelf for the folded items like T shirts & Jerseys.
These also need to be layed out on a chair the night before.
I set the breakfast table with cereals and bowls and mugs for tea or coffee ready too .....this just leaves us for having to boil up some water after a refreshing shower and a relaxed morning to enjoy...until we all are off to school.No rushing no tears no screaming....an d once we all get back home....homewor k given today even though its due for a later date has to be completed today...once homework is done the kids have to bathed and in their PJs before supper. An hour for some TV and the whole routine starts again.... Have fun doing your chores it just makes it so much more pleasant. Put in some nice little notes with their lunch....they are sure to come home with a gorgeous smile.
Sometimes even with some reminders if there were chores that they tasked to do...like maybe polish their school shoes...
Hope I could be of help...
Love your family and every day is special....
Make it fun more than a chore ....
Kind Regards
Anisa Moolla

#2 Livia McCoy 2015-08-22 21:05
Excellent thought, Winston Sieck! Procrastination gets to the best of students.
#1 Winston Sieck 2015-08-19 09:31
Completely agree about the extracurricular activities and time management. It's tough for all of us to manage our time, and students have less practice doing it. Parents can help by teaching their teens ways to avoid procrastination , as well as how to plan and schedule.

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