Heading back to school can be a bit overwhelming for students starting the new academic year in a new grade level after the long summer break. There are supplies to be bought, teachers to be met, and schedules to be worked out. Parents, or guardians, can help alleviate some of that anxiety with active involvement in the transitioning process, and continued support throughout the school year to assure successful academics.
To help make that transition from summer to school a little easier, the Sylvan Learning Center offers a number of tips for students to remember, with the help of their parents:
- Get back in the routine. Re-establish bedtimes, mealtimes, reading and homework routines. Discuss the importance of routines and how they help ensure your student is not overtired or overly anxious about schoolwork.
- Set education goals. Help your child set goals at the very beginning of the year, whether it is striving for an A in reading or handing in all homework on time.
- Designate a specific time and place for homework. Ensure that study tools are at your child’s fingertips.
- Emphasize organization. Some students benefit from using color-coded binders. Keeping notes organized helps test preparation later in the year.
- Encourage learning at home. To nurture reading skills, spend at least one hour per week – 10 to 15 minutes a day – reading with your child. To enhance math proficiency, try allowing your child to help plan the next family trip by computing miles, cost of gas and expenses.
- As previously noted, parental involvement and support throughout the school year is also important. The National Education Association recommends five ways that will help parents get started in being proactive in that process and remain active in their child’s learning environment:
- Meet the teachers. Tell teachers about your children’s interests and hobbies. Make a date to visit teachers’ classrooms; don’t wait for Back-To-School Night or parent-teacher conferences to open the lines of communication. Provide teachers with your phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
- Get to know all the school employees. Whether it’s the librarian, school counselor, nurse, cafeteria worker or bus driver, education support professionals generally know all of the students in the school, and their relationships with your child will continue from year to year as your child moves from one grade to the next.
- Join the PTA or other parent groups. As a group, participate in school events and see how you can help the school reach its goals.
- Check in daily with your children. Review what they learned in school, determine set times for homework and reserve time to read with them-even if it’s just for fun.
- Check the school’s Web site regularly. Make sure your children are learning what they need to know to meet the standards set for their grade level. Many schools offer class schedules and homework materials online for parents to view.