As the new school year gets under way, we know parents are busy getting kids back on schedule and adjusted to their new classroom. So we asked one former school counselor to weigh in with her thoughts on ways to make the school year a success. Not only does your role as a parent help to build your child’s educational foundation, but parents hold the invaluable key to inspire their children to succeed, thus helping to build their self-esteem and desire to become better learners.
Start the day with organization
The morning routine can be much less stressful when you have a game plan in place. Decide what rules you will live by in the morning to ensure everyone gets off to school on time. Here are a few ideas that can help make mornings run smoother.
• Get your children to bed 10 minutes earlier and get them up 10 minutes earlier. • Select clothes the night before and make sure uniforms are clean. • No TV on school mornings. (Sorry kids!) • Have all homework assignments, special school projects, and lunches laid out and ready to go. • Walk to school or the bus stop with another child who is always on time.
Feed your child a nutrious breakfast
Studies have shown that eating breakfast will significantly improve a child’s strength and endurance. Furthermore, students have a better attitude toward schools when tummies are full. Breakfast helps to restock the blood glucose levels, something that is very important for the brain itself, which cannot reserve glucose.
Why is breakfast so important? Studies show that this morning meal greatly increases a child’s attention span and positively impacts behavior, thus allowing the child to focus on learning, according to the American Dietetic Association. Additionally, pediatrician Lillian Beard believes that routinely eating breakfast can, in fact, prevent childhood obesity.
For the child who won’t eat breakfast? Well, my nephew was not an early morning breakfast person. Nevertheless, thanks to my sister’s ingenious thinking, my nephew munched on dried cereals, raisins, and nuts. So as he marched off to school, he had received his protein and fiber, preparing his body for success.
Get your child to school on time
Because attendance is especially important in education, students should be in their classroom and seated on time every day. It’s much easier for your child to start his day if he’s already in his seat with his school materials put away, rather than rushing into the classroom at the last minute.
Remember, any student entering school after the designated time will be marked tardy. Additionally, excessive tardies can lead to negative consequences, including in-school suspension or suspension from school. Always check with the school to obtain the arrival and dismissal times for your student. Under certain circumstances, a written valid excuse from the parent or guardian will excuse a tardy.
Send along the necessary school supplies
Your classroom teacher will post his or her list of school supplies for the new school year. Basic supplies might include: Notebooks, paper, folders, writing tables, crayons, pencils, and ink pens. Make sure your child has the supplies he needs to start each day. Many stores have sales on school materials, so stock up for the entire year. Send your child to school ready to learn.
Help your child make new friends
All it takes to boost a child’s self-esteem is to feel well-liked. While some kids have a knack for attracting and keeping friends, others are on the shy side and may need help breaking the ice. You can work on helping your child build social skills by talking about his strengths and interests. Help him identify things he is good at that might be of interest to others.
Come up with conversation starters. If your child wants to get to know a certain classmate but doesn’t know how to go about it, suggest activities the two could work on together, maybe solving a tricky math assignment or teaming up on a class art project. When meeting someone new, suggest he tell the other child something he likes about him, or is good at. It may take time, but being nice to others, sharing, and trying new things may help your wallflower begin to bloom.