As summer vacation winds down, youngsters and parents alike will be preparing for the first day of school. Whether this is a brand new experience or another new year in your child’s educational journey, following these steps will help to prepare the entire family for the academic year ahead.
Mental Game Plan
Get excited! Showing enthusiasm and speaking about the first day of school in a positive way paints a picture of wonderful expectation. Good thoughts about school can help to alleviate feelings of stress or anxiety about going into the “unknown.”
Along with planting positive thoughts to put your child in the right frame of mind, students also need essential items to begin the school year. Check ups, immunizations, visits to the dentist, school supplies, clothes, uniforms, new shoes, backpacks, haircuts, a new computer, and more are all things you may want to consider.
A successful school year depends heavily on organization. Study time, dinner, homework, extra-curricular activities, TV and computer time; story time, bath, bedtime, wake-up time, breakfast, and departure should be determined before school opens. Then, stick with the plan and times established. Sometimes it may be necessary to deviate, but get back on track as soon as possible to keep the flow smooth and consistent.
Attending Open House at the beginning of the school year allows you to establish communication as well as provides an opportunity to build a strong relationship with your child’s teacher and administration. It shows your interest in working with the teacher and principal to ensure your child’s academic success. At Open House, you will become familiar with teacher and school policies. You will learn what will be expected of your youngster academically and how you can assist in meeting their needs.
Ask questions. After school, take a few minutes to inquire about your little one’s day. Make questions specific, such as, “Did you learn addition in math today?” Or, “Tell me about the story you read in school. Who were the main characters? What happened? How did the story end?”
Contribute time at your child’s school. The benefits are plenty: you get to meet other parents; you become familiar with the school and staff; they get to know you (and your child); and you have an opportunity to make a positive contribution. Also, perhaps one of the best reasons of all-you get to be close to your kid.
Observe your child in class. This is a great way to see learning in action. You can watch the way your child interacts with the teacher and students. If the teacher permits, make an appointment to sit in on a lesson or activity.
Keep the bridge to the school, teacher, and administration connected. After Open House, attend Parent Teacher Association/Organization meetings to stay informed and make a difference.
Are you a working mom? Busy at home caring for younger siblings, elderly family members, or have other responsibilities? An occasional quick note, email, or phone call to the teacher just to see how your youngster is doing can keep you informed. And, the teacher will be glad to hear from you!
Surprise your child by showing up for lunch one day! That is, if the school says it’s OK. You will brighten your little one’s day plus put a smile on their face.
I always believed in the power of words. Pop a short and sweet note of love and encouragement in your youngster’s backpack or lunch box. My daughters loved these, especially if they were having a challenging day. You never know what a difference a few words can make. Oh, try adding a smiley face, too!
My kids were usually hungry when they arrived from school. So, I had a light snack prepared. Make it filling enough to energize them for after school activities and completing homework. However, you don’t want to make them sleepy or interfere with dinner.
Review and Motivate
Look over graded class work to check your child’s performance and progress. Check for announcements or teacher/school correspondence. Words of praise for their accomplishments as well as words of encouragement when they fall short of their goals are strong motivational tools. Discuss the class work. Let them talk about the graded assignments. Together, suggest ways they can do better. Reviewing class work is a good way to determine if you may need to schedule a conference with the teacher.
A very important component of your child’s day is reading. Reading to your child before bedtime enhances their reading skills. Not only that, it helps to develop a love for reading. Another great thing, it relaxes them and makes them sleepy.
Cherry on Top
End the day on a positive note with a kiss and a hug, accompanied by a compliment and topped with the words, “I love you!”
Read more about helping your child to experience a successful school year; just visit here.
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