Summer is coming to a close and despite your child’s best effort to avoid that reality, any trip to the store is sure to showcase Back-to-School displays of supplies. Yep. School is definitely about to start.
Are there things you can do to make this year better than last? Absolutely!
- Help your child set goals. Take the time to write goals down together. Agree on how often you will check in on their progress based on what is developmentally appropriate (every week, month, or semester). Consider setting process goals in addition to end result goals (e.g., “I will study 30 minutes every day.” or “I will strive to improve my progress on each test.”).
- Plan for successful homework and studying. Set aside a regular time and place for homework to be done. Make sure the location has everything they might need (paper, pens, calculators, computer, etc.) Make sure the location is well lit and free from distraction.
- Establish a plan for challenging subjects. If your child has already been in school, you probably know the subject areas that may require more assistance. Identify teachers or potential tutors before classes start. Knowing where help is and how to find it helps them to feel confident. It will also free you from the panic of trying to find someone at the last minute.
- Insist on good sleep habits. It is never too late to start. Adolescents often struggle with good sleep habit. Their workload is typically heavier, resulting in more late nights, and their sleep patterns can shift during puberty. Keep trying to enforce reasonable bedtimes and a regular nighttime routine to improve sleep hygiene.
- Establish electronics guidelines. Sleep patterns can change due to biological development, but an increasing source of interruption is the mobile device. Try shutting down electronics for everyone (that includes caretakers)! If the family can agree that screens should be unavailable after a certain time, this rule may be much easier to enforce.
A new school year is a great opportunity to establish new priorities and habits. Help your child to be successful. With a little forethought, you can continue to help your child improve their school experiences.