10 tips for the best school year yet

by Megan Finley Contributing writer

School is out, and the days are long and warm. Summer vacation is what kids day dream about all year round. It is like a two-month Christmas day! But before we know it, it will once again be time to start waking up early, packing lunches and hitting the books. Here are some tips to ensure your child has the best possible start for a successful school year.

1. Commit to healthy habits

By ensuring children have healthy diets, plenty of sleep, a nutritional breakfast and daily exercise, parents make a strong step in the right direction for a successful school year. Children have the best chance of doing well at school when their bodies and minds are cared for properly.

2. Routine, routine, routine

Most people thrive on structure and routine. Kids are no different. By establishing and committing to a routine, children know what is expected of them, stay organized and are better prepared for the school day. Some days may differ a bit from others in terms of activities and obligations, but keeping to the same overall structure helps both children and parents.

3. Create an organizational space

This space should be designated for shoes, coats, lunch boxes, projects, notes, homework, backpacks and anything else that is going to and from school. This area is the staging zone for every school day. Whatever is needed for school should be neatly organized in this space, all ready to go. This eliminates any last-minute morning panics.

4. Create a work area

Have an area where homework and other school work is completed. This can be a bedroom desk or the dining room table. Make it part of the routine to sit at this place after school each day to review homework, notes and anything else that may need attention.

5. Limit television, video games and computer time

By limiting these activities, students will be less distracted during the school week and more apt to complete homework, attend after-school activities, read or get outside to play. If electronics are an option, try to keep them educational.

6. Encourage reading

Try to have your child read 20 minutes every day. If your child cannot read or has had a particularly hard day, then read to them yourself. Make reading a part of the daily routine.

7. Communicate

Ask your child if they like their classmates, teacher or school. Talk about the good and the bad. Share your previous experiences and explore ways to solve any problems that may present themselves. Share in your child’s excitements as well as their disappointments.

8. Get involved

Show your child you have an interest in their success. Communicate on a regular basis with teachers and discuss any concerns that may arise. Volunteer for special class activities or to help out in the classroom.

9. Keep your home a place of peace

All of us, especially kids, need a place of peace to retreat to after a day of work. Children are not only facing academic pressures but also all kinds of social pressures. Children need a place to hang their hat and feel safe and comfortable, a place where they can be their true self. Children need a place where they can receive total acceptance, support and safety and know they are loved. Respond appropriately to problems that arise and try not to overreact. Problems are meant for solving.

10. Expect success

The best way to ensure a successful school year is to expect success. Get enthusiastic and stay motivated together. Set goals and work to achieve them. Make expectations clear, and your student will rise to the occasion.