The New School Year is a time of change, stress and anxiety for kids. On the flip side, it also provides a brand new start toward making this year one of school success, parent support and an opportunity to "turn over a new leaf" from last year issues and conflicts.
One way to relieve the stress of a new school year is to be prepared. It might be tempting to leave everything to the last minute, but as kids transition from the flexible schedules and rules of summertime to the orderly structure of school the more prepared you all are, the easier it will be--for you and for them!
About your kids' new teachers
1. Find out when your child's new teacher is available for a visit--don't just drop in. When teachers know your care about them and their schedules AND that they have an ally in you they'll be more likely to keep you informed.
2. You may get faster and more convenient feedback with email communication--so check with your kids' teachers and get their school email addresses.
3. Be available--Make sure your teachers can reach you if they need to. Teachers may be reluctant to call in the evening so a work number or cell number might be helpful for day-time calls.
At "Meet the Teacher" night
4. Don't miss any back-to-school nights or orientation meetings. It demonstrates your interest, commitment and involvement in your child's school experience. Don't try to have a "private" conversation on parent's night--schedule a special appointment if you have issues that must be discussed.
5. Be a good role model--Demonstrate your respect for their teachers at home and at school--kids will follow your lead
Preparing your kids for success
6. Have a special notebook or calendar to keep track of special events. A day-time planner works great because they can write down a "to-do" list that includes what they need at school and at home--and when.
7. Monitor your kids' homework. Ask them what their homework is about and if they need any special help or information. (This is better than asking "if" they have homework because it requires more than a Yes or No,)
Establish and communicate practical and valid at home "rules"
--These are better discussed before school begins; and often if they are written down and posted on the fridge there won't be "misunderstandings" later
8. Manage your child's television time and set aside time to read together.
9. Discuss school rules about cell phone use. Many schools don't allow kids to use them at school at all; some allow cell phone calls at lunch or afterschool only; and some prohibit cell phones) out of backbacks/purses and will confiscate them on first infraction. They aren't kidding!!! Make certain your child understands his/her school's rules and the consequences for mis-use. Remember, you can always call the office in an emergency.
10. Establish a specific bed-time limit. "Lights out at ____" and then enforce it. Kids need enough rest to be awake and alert at school.
For more ideas about what you can do to make this year "the best", please visit: http://www.HomeworkSuccessNetwork.com You'll find lots of ideas and resources to help your child find success at school and how you can support his/her education challenges.