Are You Ready for Back to School?

It seems impossible that summer break is over and that school starts next week here in Georgia. Even though the thermometer outside is reading in the 90’s, make a plan for your budding students to transition from vacation mode into school mode. 

  1. Set the stage for a great experience. 
    •  Keep a positive attitude. Don’t express any worry or doubt you might have about the upcoming year (I know that third grade is tough)but play up the positives (I understand they are teaching a unit on space study this year).
    • Take away the fear of the unknown. If your child is going to a new school, visit it ahead of time. Go to the orientation meetings. Find out schedules and teachers’ names and talk it up in positive terms.
    • Teach by example. Let your child see you enjoy reading, learning, and enjoying new experiences like art exhibits, concerts, or museums.
    • Allow time for morning routines. Plan for extra time in the mornings to get ready. This is easier if bedtime is also earlier.
    • Encourage your child to be self-sufficient. Have him do chores at home, develop checklists, have him prepare his clothes and backpack before going to bed.
  2. Develop good study habits.
    • Set aside a designated study area. This can be in his room, or in the kitchen or dining area. Just keep it consistent. 
    • Plan the best times for schoolwork. Know your child’s peak times for best work and his schedule.
    • Use a calendar. Have one visible to show special activities, appointments, and study times.
    • Chunk up big projects. By breaking down the big projects into smaller parts, the project is not some overwhelming and your student can say “done” more often. 
  3. Organize school materials.
    • Obtain and use a planner. In the beginning check the planner with your student every evening and morning. Then encourage your child to do this on his own.
    • Synch the planner with the calendar. 
    • Organize notebooks, folders, and binders. Have a home for each item so they are easy to use and find. Color coding for different subjects helps.
    • Organize and minimize study supplies. Containerize them so that they are easy to carry to school and use at home. Check the school supply list. Avoid buying “fun” items that are a distraction.
    • Choose the best backpack for your child. Check if the school has any restrictions before buying. Keep in mind what he will be carrying each day.
    • Set up home files. Keep in a file all returned and graded school papers until grades come out. If the grade lines up with what you have, then purge most of the papers only keeping ones that show growth and creativity. 
  4. Individualize study to suit your child.
    • Know your child’s learning style. Is he a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner? Use his strengths to help him learn new material.
    • Make learning real. Use new skills in real life settings. Use math to shop or cook. Use reading to follow directions or enjoy a funny story. Use writing skills to make lists or write a letter.
    • Set up the best study environment for your child. Discover if he works best alone or with others around. Does he work best in a quiet atmosphere or one with background noise.

Just for fun, start a “back to school” family tradition. Have a cookout before the first day of school or have a trip to a favorite restaurant or ice cream shop. Talk about the fun and excitement of the upcoming school year. Have a surprise wrapped up for the children to open when they come home from school on the first day.

Let this school year be the best and most productive ever!

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