January: Back to School
… Now, before I begin please note that what follows is just some of what would/could be done in a perfect world. It is a “wish list” of sorts.
Have a look at my suggestions and then be realistic … just do what you can. (You may even be doing most or all of this already!)
Look at the list and decide what may, and may not work for you and your family.
No two families are ever exactly alike, and so no two routines are ever exactly alike.
Again, just find what works for you.
& so with that … read on!
All the best to you and your family in 2010 & beyond!
Back to School Tips & Strategies:
1. An Individual Homework Agenda:
If your child doesn’t have one already, run out and get one! It’s the best thing ever!
If possible have your child come along to choose it with you. After all it belongs to her and you want her to love it and use it daily. For younger children, explain that this is a very special, grown-up thing to have, and that she’s ready for it. She is ready to take charge of recording her daily life!
She will need to record her daily homework, as well as both short term and long term assignments therein. She can record field trips, PD Days, birthdays, etc.
Buy stickers, coloured pencils, whatever makes her happy. This is her book!
Note: Before beginning have your child tell you how and when she is going to record her information. Come up with a routine and a pattern (e.g. If possible colour-coding is a great idea. Math should always be written in blue, parties & birthdays in pink, etc.). As a parent read and initial the book every night.
2. One Super Large Calendar:
Have a large calendar posted in a highly visible area of you home. Record everything: school related, family related (e.g. birthdays, playdates). Refer to it often. Encourage your child to do all/some of the recording. Again, colour coding is useful when possible.
3. The Night Before (when & if possible):
a) What is your child going to wear on the first day? Let her choose. Lay it out. All of it. (Put your foot down if the outfit is inappropriate, otherwise let her express herself.)
b) Have your child pack her school bag. Make sure that she has a small pencil case, paper and her agenda at all times. Leave it by the door.
c) Pack lunch the night before. Don’t forget to pack an extra snack and drink. Also check labels carefully to ensure that no foods were packaged in a facilitate that isn’t nut-free. Another great suggestion is to write little notes and leave them in her lunchbox to find/read when she gets to school. Tell her how much you love her and how proud you are of her. It’s true after all! She’ll love it!
d) Finally, review your family’s morning routine with your child. What time is she getting up? Does she get dressed before or after breakfast? What time do you need to be out the door? This is one area that you need to have control over as the parent. Let her know that this is the way that things are going to be done, and why.
4. Set the Tone:
a) Be enthusiastic! Fake it if you have to! Who cares. Just so long as your child believes that you are excited for her. School is great! She is going to see her friends and teachers. She’s going to be learning new and exciting things, etc. Be specific whenever possible. Does she love Math? Maybe she’s learning long-division! Does she love Science? Maybe she’s going to be doing some amazing hands-on experiments! Does she love Reading? What stories and novels will she be reading this year? Whatever she loves! Whatever makes her happy!
b) Set some goals for the new term. Her goals might be academic, e.g. To write the best speech ever! Her goals might be extra curricular: Join a new sports team, a club, try out for the school play. Her goals might be social: Set up more play dates. Her goals might be personal: Help around the house or the classroom more. She might try to do one good deed a week or be nicer to her siblings.
*Note: Although it seems obvious, make certain that your child sets realistic goals for herself. Make sure that her goals are attainable, and then do whatever you can to set your child up for success!
So, as stated above, this is really just a “wish list” outlining some of the things that you can put into place in order to set your child up for success.
Take from it what you will, and then throw a lot of love and structure into the mix!
Happy New Year!