by Rynette R. Kjesbo, M.S., CCC-SLP
It’s that time of year again! Summer is over and a new school year is beginning.
Some students look forward to the start of the new school year. Others do not. Here are
some tips you can use to get your children back into the swing of things and ready to
take on the new school year.
Tips For the New School Year
Establish a routine – Children need plenty of sleep to be able to wake up ready for a new
school day. Set a schedule for when your children will go to bed and when they will wake
up, and stick to it! Getting enough sleep each night will ensure that your children are
awake, alert, and ready to learn.
Have a study space – Set aside a workspace in the house where your children will study
and do their homework. Make sure the space is quiet and has plenty of light. Put a
box of supplies in the workspace so your children will have paper, pencils, erasers, etc.
available to them, and they won’t waste valuable work time looking for them.
Create a school calendar – Sit down with your children and mark important school events
for the year on a calendar. Mark parent conference nights, field trips, project due dates,
report card dates, and holidays. This would also be a good time to talk to your children
about what you expect from them (as far as grades, behavior, etc.) during the school
year. Hang the calendar in a location where everyone can see it.
Prepare the night before – Mornings can be a stressful time, especially if you’re not
prepared. Pack backpacks the night before so your children have time to check that they
have all of their books, notebooks, and homework assignments. Set the backpacks by
the door so your children can grab them as they run out the door in the morning. Pack
lunches the night before so they are ready to go in the morning. Let your children lay
out their clothes at night so they know exactly what they’ll put on the next day. Know
what your children will eat for breakfast in the morning. Preparing for the next school
day the night before can save you a lot of time and aggravation in the morning.
Keep in contact – Most schools have some kind of an open house at the beginning of the
year where parents can go meet the teachers. Take advantage of this opportunity! Talk
to your children’s teachers about their expectations, teaching style, discipline, etc. Once
you’ve met their teachers, commit to staying in contact with them throughout the year.
It’s a good idea to keep all communication from the school in one location. If you put
all newsletters, notes, etc. in a notebook or box, you’ll have an easier time finding the
permission slip, due date, or other important information when you need it.
Be a role model – Your children learn from YOU! Show your children that school is
important to you by talking to them about their day. Ask them open-ended questions
(questions that cannot be answered with just a “yes” or a “no” answer) about their
school experiences. Encourage your children to read by reading with them. Praise your
children when they do their best on an assignment, test, or project.