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Start the School Year Strong
Starting the school year strong is one of the most important factors in whether a student ultimately does well in that particular year.
Newton’s first law of motion, that an object at rest tends to stay at rest, and an object in motion tends to stay in motion, applies here.
If your son or daughter can get off to a positive start, that energy is much easier to maintain throughout the year.
Students can’t do homework unless they actualy know what it is! They need an organization system that works for them. It doesn’t need to be perfect, and it just needs to be in place. Be flexi ble.
Whether a conventional binder or notebook, an app for their phone, or a combination of these, they need to find something dependable and reapeatable.
Students need a dedicated space where they do their homework, and this space must be conducive to getting work done. Again, it doesn’t need to be set up in a way that works for you, but in a way that works for them.
Even if it’s just a corner of their room, it needs to be a space that is clearly designated for studying and getting work done.
Establishing a line of communication with teachers is an important skill for your child (and you) to learn.
Don’t wait until something goes wrong to do this. Whether an email letting a teacher know how much they enjoyed class, or to ask a question about a homework assignment, these are important steps in teaching students to advocate for themselves.
And you, as the parent, can do the same. After school has been in session for a week or two, drop the teacher a note, introducing yourself and establishing an initial line of communcation. This can be invaluable down the road, when you may need to contact that teacher.
Getting to know a guidance counselor is not only smart, but incredibly helpful.
They are the people your son or daughter go to see if they’re struggling in a class, need to switch sections, have trouble with a schedule, or need college advice when that time comes. Get to know them because they are there for your child and you!
A recent Stanford University study found that over half of the kids listed homework as the number one stressor in their lives, and that excessive homework was directly connected with higher stress levels, and health problems.
So, what can you do to help with this?
Timing: I know it’s easier said than done, but try to support them in not starting their homework too late. This can be challenging, especially when having to factor in extra curricular activities.
If a student has two or three hours of homework, then getting started at 9:00 is a recipe for disaster. The earlier they can get started, the better for everyone.
Build in Breaks: It may seem counterintuitive, but taking breaks can often times help work get done more effectively.
If they can get used to the idea of utilizing breaks for texting friends, checking Facebook, or watching a little TV, then there is less chance they are doing those things while studying.
Eat: Make sure they are not just snacking, but getting a full meal. It’s very difficult to learn or to operate at our capacity if we aren’t well nourished. Taking the time to eat a good dinner should not be optional. As an added benefit, it is also a great time to connect as a family.
Homework at School: When at all possible, utilize at school time for homework.
Kids often times have a free block at school, an after school program, or some other resource they can utilize. The more work that can be done before they get home, the better for everyone.
Supporting your student with these tasks will set them on the road toward getting results they can be proud of.
These tips, while seeming simple, can be challenging to implement, and need to be adjusted to each students needs. They key is sticking with them, and being consistent.
If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about our approach and our services, you can visit our website by clicking here.
And if you would like to talk with us about potentially working with your son or daughter, you can schedule a complimentary consultation by clicking here.