Strategies for Back-to-School Success



Starting the new school year brings a mix of emotion for both parents and kids – from the excitement over the promise of new beginnings to anxiety over the fear of the unknown.  No matter how your child faces the new year, you can help him or her to make the most of the experience.   

Now is a great time for parents and kids to start getting set for success in the classroom. 

EASE INTO A NEW SCHEDULE

Most children spend their summer holidays staying up late and sleeping in, which can make the adjustment to an earlier school schedule a bit of a shock to the system!  Start adjusting early.  By bringing bed times back by half an hour every few days, your child will be better prepared to start the school year on the right foot. 

Children and teens need significantly more sleep than adults to support their rapid mental and physical development.  While every child is slightly different in terms of how much sleep they need, most require the following to be fully rested:-

4-5 years 11-12 hours

6-9 years 10-12 hours

10-13 years 9-11 hours

14-17 years 8-10 hours 

Reading before bedtime, getting enough sleep and having a reliable weekday routine all contribute to a childs readiness to do well in school from day one.

PLAN TO EAT RIGHT

A routine that includes breakfast, smart snacks and family meals helps children sustain their energy throughout a long day to help them achieve success in school and at home.   Eating breakfast significantly improves school performance, providing beneficial effects on everything from memory and creativity to reading, math and problem-solving. 

There is a plethora of scientific evidence suggesting that eating together does much more than make the family more close-knit.  Children who take part in family meals have improved psychological well-being, perform better in school and eat more healthy foods.  As kids get older and extracurricular activities mount, finding time to eat together can be challenging.   Family meals do not need to happen every day to impart positive effect.  Three times a week will have a significant impact on your teens. 

SET UP A HOMEWORK STATION

Setting up the right space for studying in is key for helping your kids concentrate and stay focused on what they’re working on. 

Homework time will go that much more smoothly if all the necessary supplies are right at hand.  Create an area in your home, whether a desk in the bedroom or a space at the kitchen table, where kids have paper, pencils, erasers and other supplies within easy reach.  Once the station is created, use it at the same time every day, establishing a study time after school without any distractions. 

SET UP A STUDY ROUTINE

Never underestimate the value of a routine, especially when it comes to  school work and study time.  A good way to do it is to spend the first 30 minutes to an hour after you arrive home from school doing something you enjoy – this might be playing music, sport, video or games.  Then spend a set amount of time doing homework before dinner.   Spending a little time organising will help keep everything running smoothly. 

 

Taking some time to think about these strategies is an important way to start the school year on the right foot!


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