Thank you to Groza Learning Center for allowing us to share some back to school tips!
I always love this time of year. As an educator I love all parts of the school year but I especially love the beginning. For students, parents and educators it is like New Years Day full of goal setting and new routines. For many this is also a time of great anxiety as kiddos go to a new grade, meet new friends, new teachers with new expectations. If you are one of the many that need some guidance to help ease back into the school year here are some tips to get you started:
Start a new routine early
It is not uncommon to let kiddos stay up late and sleep in during the summer or maybe even slack off on chores as we allow them to just be kids. If you know that your child is going to need to get up at 6am for the school day but currently they get up at 11am then start setting that alarm clock back a little each day. One hour increments are not too difficult to adjust to and make a plan for what they need to do when they get up or otherwise you may find your young teenager asleep on the couch defeating the purpose of setting the clock. Late night battles are difficult, especially for teenagers, but as an educator I can 100% say that students that go to bed at a reasonable hour (say no later than 10:30 pm) do better in the classroom. Shut the technology off and do something as a family like play a quick board game to get your kiddos ready to go to bed. I also highly suggest keeping technology with social media access out of the bedroom as this will prevent a plethora of problems from occurring throughout the school year.
Discuss expectations and set goals
Each year more is required of students as they progress through school. It could be more reading at home or more time doing homework. If your child is overloaded with extracurricular to the point that they are not doing well in school then what is the plan? I have seen so many parents and children battle it out as the parent wants to remove their child from an extracurricular activity because of a low report card grade. Have that conversation now so that the student knows how how the stakes are when they choose not to do their homework. Additionally, when student handbooks and teacher handouts come home during open house night read the information with your child so that both of you are clear about the expectations for things like dress code and absences.
Set some long term goals as well. I realize it sounds a bit premature to be preparing for college in middle school but it is the reality. I think of it like making a big purchase, you don't just wait until you want to buy a house and buy one in a day or so. You do your research in a particular area, make a list of what you want, get approved for a loan, etc. Similarly with college you, should help your student begin to explore their interest more to get an idea of what field they may enjoy. Also look at high school course requirements for colleges that your student or family may be interested in and it is never too early to look at scholarships. Even if your child is only a freshman in high school and doesn't qualify yet they can start to make a list of scholarships that they will want to apply to. Many scholarships have very little competition and you would be surprised at how easy they are to apply to. Scholarships like this Education Scholarship from Groza Learning Center is worth $1000 and only requires an essay less than 500 words about a particular theme, which changes each entry year.
If your child struggles with a particular subject then start looking now why you have a few weeks (or days for some) before summer is over to get some additional help. Reach out to your child's classroom teacher before they start to struggle or look for places in your area like the Groza Learning Center where your child can get specialized tutoring, test prep, reading and homeschool assistance tailored just for them.
How do your prep for the Back to School season?