It might be too early to start thinking about the beginning of the school year, but perhaps everyone(including students) is eager to return to their classroom, their friends, and their routines. The happy feeling of returning might last only a few weeks or a few days, but it is up to you and your student to think positively about the new school year, the challenges, and the rewards. There are many students that struggle at the beginning of the year due to the changes to their sleep, the new class schedule, and the new teachers and students they will have contact with throughout the year. There are many ways you can help your child or teen student adapt to the new school year, and perhaps thrive in it. Every student is different and has different needs, therefore it is important for the parent to assess and find solutions for their particular student.
These are 8 easy to follow suggestions to help your child succeed in the new school year.
- Bed Time-Set up a bedtime hour for all your students at home, including your teenage children. Tired students are cranky and unable to pay attention. Lack of sleep will make learning more difficult, and grasping difficult concepts will elude them if they cannot concentrate in class.
- Breakfast-Giving them a healthy breakfast before going to school allows students to pay attention in class and not at their growling bellies. Avoid sugary breakfasts that won’t last till lunchtime.
- Healthy Foods After School-Instead of grabbing a cookie or other sugary treats at home, encourage them to have an apple, orange, or other fruits they like. Ask them to wait till dinner when they can have dessert after having a nutritious dinner with plenty of vegetables.
- Homework-Right after school, and after a healthy snack, ask them to do their homework. Math homework might still be fresh in their minds and can do it easier than waiting till they are more tired.
- Help-It is important for them to know they can have your help if they need it. If you cannot give them the help they need with difficult subjects, arrange a tutor or some knowledgeable person to help them.
- Consistency-Stress the importance of working on a difficult subject daily to be proficient at it. The more work they give to a subject, the more proficient they become. Math or science is not hard if you work at it daily.
- Gaps in Learning-It is very important the student or parent recognizes the gaps the child or teen has in the student’s education. Moving forward in a class without mastering the basic content is detrimental to the student’s future learning.
- Be positive-Talking negatively about teachers, school administrators, parents, and students reinforces the negative view many students have of school. Avoid such conversations if possible and reinforce the importance education has for their future.
Simple suggestions like sleep and healthy eating might not sound important to some parents. Or they might underestimate the importance sleep plays in students’ learning and their achievements at school. However, researchers have for many years emphasized the importance sleep has in student’s learning, their physical, and mental state.
For the teenage student who wants to stay up and play video games or watch tv, remind them of the many benefits 8 hours of sleep can do to their lives.