Here are some easy-to-implement ideas that can help you and all of your children through the school year…
Make a plan for homework and after school activities.
You will quickly learn that I am big on schedules. Why? Because not only do they work, study after study shows that they benefit our kids and our lives. I’m a huge fan of working smarter, not harder, and if routines are a proven win – count me in! Figure out what works best for your family through trial and error and talk it out and write it down. It lets your kids know what to expect and will help your whole household run a bit smoother. Obviously there needs to be wiggle room for changes, but having a go-to routine for your nights and mornings will remove a lot of stress.
Focus on the importance of education.
By having open discussions with your kids about the importance of school and learning, they will grow up realizing the worth of education. Show them the importance by the conversations you have and working with your child’s school and teachers on events. It’s also important to teach them that learning takes place outside of the school building as well. Encourage their curiosity and show them how to find answers to their questions. Bring up new topics and fill their environment with books. Make learning a part of every single day.
This gets harder as they get older as it’s normal to fall into a rut of….
“How was your day?” – “Good.”
“What did you go today?” – “Nothing.”
It’s truly painful. Sometimes asking specific questions can help to open up the dialog. Things such as: Who did you sit with at lunch today? What was the hardest math problem you worked through? What did you do over recess?
Mixing up the questions and topics can help to bring up conversations that would normally not have been discussed and it shows your kids that you are interested in their school day.
Help your child understand their responsibilities.
It’s very easy to step in and help our kids whenever they need it, but as they get older it’s important that they learn what tasks are in their bucket of responsibility. Set clear expectations for them in terms of what they need to do for school and homework. Help them to succeed by making sure they understand the responsibilities they have and support them when they need it without taking over. Sometimes they will make mistakes and that’s okay.
Relax and Enjoy the Ride.
Remember that even the best students will have times when they struggle in school with homework, their teacher or socially. Understand that there may be some struggles along the way, but you can help by showing interest, giving support and setting boundaries for them to learn within.