The lazy days of summer are coming to a screeching halt. The kids need new routines and a rhythm to fall in place to help them prepare for back to school. Getting to bed on time, knowing when to wake up and what to do after school are essential home habits for school success.
The greatest characteristic for success for anyone is time management, but it’s essential for our kids to learn and practice these habits early on in life. Let’s start this school year day one with great habits.
Oh do I remember that days of winging it with the kids. I also remember being frustrated because I was being a reactive parent rather than proactive.
My own children have experienced better school success in knowing that there is a designated space for them to work and intentional activities to do after school. Now that I’m an entrepreneur I am home when they get off the school bus. I already know they are going to be hungry so if I’m proactive and have their snack ready, everyone’s happy. Next they know it’s time for homework and skills practice. Then they have a little free time and prep for the next day, dinner, bath, bed.
When they first get home I don’t ask my kids “How was school today?” because it doesn’t get me the answer I really want to know anyway. I always ask “What did you learn today and what great questions did you ask?”. This starts the dialogue for learning which is what I really want to know more about. Did you participate? Was something especially hard? Did you showcase your intelligence? Did something spark your interest?
It’s a great segway into the evenings activities and makes for greater personal connection between home and school for all.
If they struggled we practice at home so they have greater confidence for the next day. If they didn’t ask questions I challenge them to ask some the next day by more exposure to the subject at home.
The first step is to create a headquarters area. This is the kids space where they will come afterschool. No need to be extravagant we just have a desk in a corner.
Keep the teachers contact information near headquarters. I guarantee you’ll have a question that you may need to email or text for a response. Having that handy allows for quicker communication.
If you have children who are actively involved in sports or extracurricular activities remind them that tonight you have football or dance practice and what they may need to bring. Having a calendar nearby will also allow the kids to keep up with this themselves and see when they have upcoming tests/quizzes and what nights they need to study certain subjects.
Here are some more preparation tips to for your kids:
Prep the Night Before
- Pack your book bag
- Put signed forms in your backpack.
- Pack a nutritious snack and get it in the fridge in your lunchbox or brown paper bag.
- Lay your socks in your shoes and put them by the exit door.
Once I Wake Up
- Once the alarm goes off it’s time to get up (not hit the snooze button)
- Get something to eat and take your multivitamin.
- Brush your teeth and wash your face.
- Get dressed last so no food is on your clothes.
Once I Get Home
What happens when your child gets home? Where do they sit their stuff? Headquarters is great!
- Leave your folder and any school papers in the hanging basket for mom and dad to review.
- Sit your homework on the table, because you’re going to start it after snack.
- Get a pencil from the presharpened pencil jar
My kids love challenges so if they follow these steps 4/5 days of the week they can earn technology tickets for leisure time. It gives them the motivation to follow the rules and earn a reward.
Whatever you decide please start to collect the tools you’ll need to activate school success.
Back to School Success Tools
- alarm clock
- hanging clock for headquarters
- calendar for headquarters
- pencils, pen, paper, scissors, crayons, tape for headquarters
- print out of standards
- binder of extra assignments
- book basket for 30 minutes of reading
- evening schedule
What are you doing to set up your students for success in your home? Share in the comments below.