Being organized is the number one skill that will lead to your children’s academic success in school. You will need to start early to develop organizational skills in your children. A big part of this lies in establishing routines.
What your children do to get themselves ready for school each day and to handle assignments should increase at each level until they are doing everything without any parental reminders.
Here is our list of organizational skills children need to acquire when they first start school:
• Bringing home their school bag daily • Showing parents the contents of their bag • Putting everything being returned to school in their school bag before going to bed (or at a specific time) • Keeping the school bag in the same spot every day • Selecting clothes to be worn the next day with their parents before bedtime
Mulitasking Does Not Mix with School Work
To hear my tweener talk, all of his middle-school friends are multitasking much of the time. In class they text during discussions. When doing homework, they’re also spending time on Facebook or Instagram. Most of them reportedly get good grades. But I believe my son should have homework time be technology-free. He claims I’m not being fair. Your thoughts?
If only our brains had a limitless capacity to process information, think of all the things we could do at the same time. At middle school, a majority of students now seem to be trying to do their schoolwork while staying in frequent contact with their friends electronically. Unfortunately, if kids multitask while studying, they’re not really doing two things simultaneously, but switching back and forth rapidly from task to task.
According to David Pisoni, chancellor’s professor of psychology at Indiana University: “Memory and attention are limited. Students don’t realize that when they study and engage in other activities, that multitasking comes at a price.” That price is not learning as much as they would without multitasking.
Students in middle school need to learn how to balance academics and use social media responsibly. Parents, by setting rules, force kids to manage their study time with limited distractions. What you’ve set up is quality study time, which is far more important than the quantity of studying that you do. In the future, it should become your responsibility to focus on academic tasks without distractions.
Back to School Anxiety
Every year my children and I have a fun summer. Then the first week of school comes, and their anxiety level suddenly rises. How can we avoid this?
You can make back-to-school time less traumatic by clearing your schedule so you can focus on being there for your children. The less you have to do at home and on the job, the more relaxed your kids will be.
Children tend to be especially anxious if they are attending a new school or have had bad experiences the previous year. This is the time for you to be calm, positive, and reassuring. Also, don’t overreact to problems that pop up in the first days. Instead, help your children develop coping strategies. If bullying or teasing was a problem last year, let new teachers know about this early on to stop it from happening again.
Parents also can make the start of school more comfortable for younger children by arranging play dates during the first weeks of school. This helps them rebuild social relationships with classmates.