A little prevention and preparation will improve your child’s school performance this year.
By the time you read this blog post, school will have started in your community. Fresh school supplies are beginning to show some wear, and once clean backpacks are starting to collect small items portending a favorite place to stuff “things” in a hurry. Luckily, the kids haven’t outgrown their new clothes yet.
September feels like the beginning of a new year as goals are set on a nine-month schedule whether you are in school or not.
For parent’s, this time offers new opportunities to review old goals with your child and teacher. Digging deep for high expectations is a good idea as every day counts towards your child’s future as an adult.
Magic isn’t necessary to have a fantastic year, but the effort is needed. I can offer tips to get you started.
Here is a basic formula for keeping you and your family focused on the next year.
Start with three columns on a sheet of paper or notes on a tablet.
Label each column with one of these three words. Prevent Prepare Perform
List in the Prevent column ideas that can help prevent morning meltdowns and homework headaches.
Here are some suggestions.
1. Start a healthy routine. Early to bed is a must. A well-rested student would have a much better chance of success if well rested.
2. Rein in the technology and TV. Talk with your student about what seems to be the right amount of time for these activities. Chat with them about what getting outdoors, signing up for a unified sports team, or music and arts events. These extracurricular activities are enriching to their school experience.
Of course, there are students with mobility or sensory challenges which might appreciate having a creative outlet or some quiet time. Building in a smart and comfortable structure early in the year and it will prepare your student for their optimal performance.
Stay connected to your student. Keep communication lines open. Actively listening to student and teacher concerns and frustration doesn’t take long. It just takes showing empathy, listening with non-judgment, understanding, and feeling. Hopefully, you already have it. Trust is the secret ingredient for improving accelerating student achievement.
Set goals. Add incentives which are meaningful to your student. Make it fun. Add music to mundane and tedious activities.
Mozart, marching music and any music with a good upbeat will stimulate the brain for higher performance. You can use a song repetitively encourage your student to finish the activity before the end of the song.
Our children tend to respond well to a predictable structure eventually as they learn to manage how much time they have to finish an assignment.
Chart your student’s progress. Visual prompts work well. Check out some of these homework apps.
Also, work with your student’s teachers regarding the accessibility features of Google Classroom. Education expert, Robin Pegg has some excellent ideas to help accommodate various learning abilities improving classroom performance.
Start teaching your student about SMART Goal Setting. Mikelle and I have used this for nearly twenty years. It is short, easy and quite useful. The Kahoot app helps students stay focused using game-playing strategies. This might be great for a student who relates to technology. A recommended app for classroom behavior for teachers is ClassDojo.
I hope these tips on Prevent, Prepare and Perform eliminate those homework headaches (since homework is tied directly to a goal) and manic mornings meltdowns by being prepared the night before!
Best wishes for a great school year.