I don’t have to tell any parent that school is almost back in session! It’s a time of mixed feelings… parents are usually ready and secretly jumping for joy… depending on the child, there is excitement, nervousness, or dread.
No matter how your family feels about a new school year, the fact of the matter is, it’s coming!
So how can you make this school year the best for your child? Apply this one
tip to your household and you’re sure to see a successful school year ahead:
Set a routine! Kids thrive with structure and routines. Kids thrive during the school year in a home that has a routine built to ensure their success in school. Here’s what your household routine should include:
- A Bedtime Routine. Start establishing a routine with your child before the school year even starts. Teachers recommend starting a week or two before the year begins. Have you ever had a late night and tried to focus the next day at work? It sucks! Well, it sucks even more for your child if they don’t come to school well rested. Help set them up for success by giving them a reasonable bed time and sticking to it. Here’s a chart I found from Sleep Sisters with some ideas on appropriate sleep time and amount of sleep your child may need.
- A Homework Routine. Homework is a part of the upcoming school year. Make it easier on your child to complete this requirement by setting up a routine in your house which allows your child to accomplish this. No matter what your feeling on the subject, your child will do better in school and feel happier if he/she comes to school prepared. Things to keep in mind:
- How will your child complete their work if they have other activities after school?
- Does your child need some down time after school before jumping into homework?
- What environment does our child work best in?
Depending on the age of your child, you can ask them these questions and formulate a plan together.
In our house, each child is different. Avery likes to come straight home and do her work, while Chase needs time to burn off steam and prefers to do his work after dinner. Both kids have a hard time focusing if there are distractions, so we work to have a quiet place for them during homework time.
3. An Environment That Promotes Learning. The last element your family routine should make sure to include is an environment that promotes this routine. If you are running your child around each night and not sticking to your routine, then it’s not a routine and you are not helping your child succeed in school (obviously there are times you have to deviate, but I’m talking regularly). If you are having friends over and loudly conversating in the room where your children do homework, that is not a learning environment. You get the idea.
Here in the Peterberry household, that means different things to us. For example, both kids are not self-starters in reading. Now we could sit in front of the TV and say, “go in your room and read,” but that isn’t modeling what we want: a love of reading. So after the baby goes to bed, we ALL read. We have done “family book clubs” so we can have more meaningful discussions about the book. I have also spent time reading individually with the kids in their bed, but we as parents have had to alter our routine to promote this learning.
As parents, it’s our job to promote learning in our household. Our teachers need our partnership and help and more importantly, our children need us to be their teachers as well.
Implement these tips and your child’s school year should be one of success!