As a new school year dawns, parents and students alike look forward to new beginnings. So how can we assure that our children work toward their personal best this year?
Set Goals – Have your child write down a few goals he or she would like to accomplish this school year. Earning straight A’s, making the varsity team, or simply getting out of bed on time are just a few examples. By writing down each goal, your child has a visual to remind him or her of what it is they hope to achieve this year.
Develop a Plan of Action – Goals are useless unless we do a little something each day to reach them. Sit down with your child to discuss steps he or she could take each day in order to meet those goals. Write out this plan of action, and post it in a spot where your child can be reminded of it daily.
Organization – Students who learn how to manage the flow of information and materials from school to home experience higher levels of academic achievement. Each week any papers, not currently in use at school, should be removed from the backpack and binder and transferred to the file crate. (Hanging files or standard egg crates will work just fine)As the end of the first semester approaches, older students will need access to past assignments as they begin to study for their exams. Students should have their own space in which to study.
Communication – As a former school teacher, I understand firsthand the importance of communication with parents. I encourage you to meet your child’s teacher. Get involved in school activities. Most schools offer online information regarding homework, student progress, school happenings, and so forth. Log on frequently.
Celebrate Success – Even the tiniest success is cause for celebration. If your child’s average rose from a C to a B, recognize him for his efforts, and continue to encourage him to work to his highest potential.
Play to Their Strengths – I truly believe every child excels in something. If you were the lead cheerleader on your high school squad, don’t take offense if your daughter has no interest in cheering. Encourage her in the activities that interest her. She is her own person, after all.
Daily Family Time – Sure, our hectic schedules can get in the way, but nothing will strengthen the bond you share with your children like spending quality time together. Turn off the TV and go for a walk. Insist that every member of the family enjoy dinner together a few times a week. Let your children know they matter by spending time with them.
As parents, you have a wondrous opportunity to assist your child in making this school year the most fabulous one yet!