School is just around the corner, and what can parents do to help children get ready? You can begin by replacing the back to school blues with an environment filled with excitement and a positive attitude along with a plan of action that includes: preparation, planning, and persevering.
Preparation: Begin by starting a positive conversation with your child recalling the things he enjoyed and experienced during the previous school year. Everyone can be involved in learning about the child’s new curriculum, schedule and activities. Continue to talk up these new experiences and expectations that will come with a new school year.
By displaying a sincere interest and excitement for his education, you will be setting the tone and the direction for a successful school year. Work together to create a list of goals you both would like to accomplish or do differently this school year. This list can include such things as: academic goals, new and improved breakfast & lunch menus, joining or participating in new clubs, organizations, after school programs, or sports. Be open to all ideas and suggestions. By taking the time to brainstorm, you will be motivating your child to set new goals and to try new experiences as a fresh start to a new school year. Together is better, and balance in life is important!
Planning: I believe that failing to plan, you plan to fail! Take each item you listed as possible new goals and write down the necessary steps that will be needed to achieve them. Be sure to set a reasonable time limit for successfully achieving each of these goals. This will provide the starting point for moving your ideas into action. Everyone will then be able to work together as a team supporting and encouraging one another.
Children who are in the elementary grades will need to adjust their sleeping and eating patterns before starting the new school year. A week or two prior to school starting should be a sufficient amount of time to implement a new schedule.
It is equally important to spend time reviewing basic math and reading skills prior to starting school. This can be done through playing family board games that focus on specific skills or by using a variety of apps that are available to address these skills. Another simple technique is to set aside a block of time each day when everyone drops everything they are doing to spend time reading. (DEAR time) This sends a strong message that reading and education are important and will be valued in your household.
Parents will need to make sure the child is physically prepared for school as well. A physical check-up should be arranged that includes keeping all required immunizations up to date, checking the child’s vision, hearing, and dental care. If parents do the necessary planning, children will be prepared both mentally and physically to start the new school year.
And let’s not forget about the necessary tools the child will need to be productive. Parents should check the school’s website for recommended materials and supplies along with the calendar of events for each grade level.
Persevering: Start with a win-win mentality. Teach your child the importance of visualizing the goals he has set. Once short-term goals have been achieved, encourage your child to reach for higher goals. This process will help in building a champion mind-set that provides the motivation and momentum to finish strong.
While hope for a brighter future will drive away any blues. In the end, it all comes down to “Champion Parenting and Giving Your Child a Competitive Edge” in order to succeed in school and in life!
*A copy of Champion Parenting: Giving Your Child a Competitive Edge (E-book, Soft -Hard copy) can be found at all major online outlets.