Countless parents around the country may be noticing that their lives are suddenly a lot more quiet than usual, and there’s a reason for that: school is back in session. While mornings and afternoons may be calmer for parents than they are during the rush of summer, evenings may be much more hectic as kids settle into new routines of homework, after-school activities and earlier bedtimes.
There’s a checklist to follow to be prepared for the school year, like this one from Care.com, but even after their backpacks have been packed and put by the door and their outfits have been laid out, there’s more to do to ensure that your children make the most out of the year ahead.
For young children, especially those in elementary school, getting ready for school can be quite a challenge, because nothing is worse for a five-year old who just wants to play basketball and watch cartoons than finishing math problems and book reports. Work with your child to make a checklist of their homework assignments so they can see what they need to finish while also teaching them the value of organization.
You can also use timers to show your budding Einstein how long it takes to finish all of their work so they can begin to get a sense of time management.
Today, iPads are the new catcher’s mitts and Barbie Dolls. Studies have shown, according to NPR, that kids are spending more and more time in front of screens and that it may be hurting their social skills. While there are apps and digital resources designed to help students, try to limit your child’s use of smartphones, games, and other devices. Set limits on the amount of time they can be plugged in each day so that they’re focusing on their schoolwork – and getting to know their peers in person rather than online.
Communicate with teachers
When it comes to your child’s education, there’s someone else on the front lines with you: their teachers! They see everything that happens in the classroom and you see everything that happens outside of it, so spending time talking to them can help everyone get a complete picture of your child’s growth. If your schedule permits, try to set regular meetings with them in order to talk about how your child’s progressing and discuss what each of you can do to help them improve. If you don’t have the chance to meet them face-to-face, email can work just as well, and it can be a great resource when you want to reach out to them to talk quickly.