Going back to school in the fall doesn’t need to be stressful for you or your kids. Here are some tips for your family to get the most out of the coming school year:
Organize a homework and study space
Whether it’s a desk in their room or a corner of the dining table, set a spot that signals to them that it’s time to get focused. Involve them so they’re more likely to respond positively when they have to make use of it.
Be available at homework time if possible
Sending them off to study while you prepare dinner is great time management. However, it doesn’t always work if they are reluctant to settle down or if they need your help. Set a homework schedule that allows you to be available if needed
Have them do age appropriate chores
Doing well in school takes more than just studying hard and turning in assignments on time (yes, that’s important too!). Responsibilities at home will spill over into their school life, so they become more settled to do their own work without needing you to nag.
Extracurricular activities are important
As children get older, it might be tempting to take them out of their extracurricular activities so they can focus on work. But unless the activity is really hampering study time, it’s important to leave kids with an outlet from stress. Physical activity, in particular, will boost their performance.
Teach them to set a measurable goal and help them to track it
Part of success in the adult world is setting and achieving goals. Use the coming school year to help them develop this skill and keep track of their progress as the year goes on. Keep it simple so it doesn’t become more of a problem than a solution.
Set aside daily time for them to ease emotional stress
Home should be the place where your child experiences release from the tensions that build up throughout the day. Being away from you can be stressful for little ones. Even teens need comfort, affection and a listening ear at the end of a hectic school day. This one critical investment of your time will pay off in countless ways for the rest of your child’s life.
Remember that this too shall pass
When the stress seems insurmountable and all you want to do is hide in the basement while the storms blow over, remember that one day they’ll be out of school, making their own way in the world. Then you won’t have to wait until after bedtime to chill with a martini, but you’ll surely miss them.
And it looks like baby brother is enjoying his time home with just his mama!