A new school year can be an exciting time, or a dreaded time. It just depends on the way you look at it. Here are some things that I have noticed (from a teacher’s perspective) that can help you and your child have a very successful school year.
1. Have a positive attitude.
So many times students go into the new school year worried. So do parents. I say no matter what you have heard about a particular teacher, go in with a positive attitude. Rumors are rumors. Until you actually work with a teacher you won’t really know if they are going to be a good fit for your child. But I can guarantee if you go in with a negative attitude, struggles are bound to happen.
2. Be prepared.
Start the year off right by having everything your child is going to need to be successful for school. This doesn’t mean that it has to be high end, brand new, name brand merchandise. Just make sure they have good fitting clothes and shoes, school supplies, and a great place to study set aside at home.
3. Be a team.
Communication between parents and teachers is huge! Don’t let your child be the messenger in between the two of you. Make sure that if you have a question you send your child’s teacher an email, or give her a phone call. If parents and teachers present a united front, it does amazing things for your child’s education. (Just like playing parent against parent, kids are very good at playing parents against teacher.) Sometimes you may need to talk with your child’s teacher about something that you do not agree with. Do this with tact. Most teachers are willing to do what is necessary to make your child’s school year the best it can be.
4. Have an established routine.
Get up the same time each day. Do things in the same order each day.
Everyday– Get up, eat breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, make lunch, walk to school, come home, eat a snack, do homework, put it back in my backpack, play outside, watch TV, get in jammies, brush teeth, pick out tomorrows outfit, read in bed, lights out. (Insert chores where needed :D)
5. Eat healthy.
Studies show that students who eat healthy regular meals are better able to focus and get good grades.
6. Keep your child in charge of their education.
Expect your child to do well in school. Help them find solutions to their own problems by asking questions. NEVER do your child’s homework for them. Instead, ask questions such as: Where can you begin? What do you already know? What do you know about ______ already? What questions do you need to ask your teacher tomorrow to help you better understand __________? Have them write their questions down on their homework so that they remember what they are the next day.
Make sure your child is getting 8-12 hours of sleep depending on their age and need. Sleep and healthy eating are so important to getting a good education and having controlled behavior in class.
Make sure that your child is moving at least 1/2 hour every afternoon. They’ve been cooped up all day and really need to get those wiggles out.
9. Follow the rule of halves.
Only believe half of what your child says about their teacher. She’ll probably promise to only believe half of what your child says about you 😀
I don’t know how many times kids have told their parents the most outrageous things about me, and what they don’t understand is that I am getting really outrageous stories on my end as well. Nasty divorces, moving in the middle of the night, dad’s a drug runner, mom has “boyfriends” but she’s married. I mean yikes. I promise I don’t believe those stories, and I always ask parents for clarification if I feel something doesn’t sound right. (Remember a child’s vocabulary is still growing, so what they actually hear and what they repeat… might just be different.)
10. Have fun.
Most teachers are in their line of work because they love it and they have fun every day. (I know I do.) Learning should be fun! Help your child at home by extending their learning in fun ways. Trips to the library, museums, etc. Your love of learning will be contageous. Read to your child every day and let your child catch you reading great books of your own. Then share!
With that, I wish everyone the best school year ever!