I hope your school year is off to a great and stress-free start! But if the new routine has you or your child a little overwhelmed, the quick tips I’ll share with you today can help. I recently sat down with NBC to share these 4 secrets to a successful school year. Read on to hear my advice so you can beat the stress and enjoy a strong start to another year!
- Stick to a routine.
Are you already begging or battling with your child to set aside their devices and get their homework done? If so, it may be time to settle into a daily routine.
When you establish a set time for homework every afternoon (and stick to it!), you can often eliminate the daily homework struggle altogether. Elementary school students usually focus best about 30 minutes after getting home. Older kids may prefer to start closer to or even after dinner.
- Know your child’s homework personality.
Should your child do homework in their room? In the kitchen? At a desk? On the couch? Many parents are surprised to find there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It really depends on your child’s personality.
Does your child focus best when surrounded by the hum of activity? Then they may do their best work at the kitchen table while you’re preparing dinner. Is your child easily distracted from the work in front of them? Then they may need a quiet homework space in the dining room, home office, or their room—away from the TV and other distractions—for stress-free, successful studying sessions.
Focus less on figuring out the “right” place to do homework and, instead, work together to figure out what’s best for your child’s personality and routine.
- Use tools that keep you organized.
No matter your child’s personality or executive function skills, organizational systems are critical for keeping papers and deadlines straight without adding to your own mental load as the parent.
Some of my favorite tools include…
- A launching pad by the door where children can stash everything they’ll need for school the next day (from bookbags to sports equipment to musical instruments),
- A whiteboard for writing down a weekly to-do list and tracking daily homework assignments, and
- A hanging accordion folder behind a closet or bedroom door for filing papers neatly and out of the way.
- Use “weird windows” in your child’s busy schedule.
Today’s students are busier than ever, so many have to get creative if they’re going to find time to study or get work done.
Teach your child to maximize their efficiency by using “weird windows” for homework. This means using those snippets of time that might be spent on Instagram or Snapchat (while waiting for the bus to take them to a lacrosse game, for example) to chip away at assignments or study for an upcoming exam.
Learning to make the most of weird windows not only helps students get work done around a busy schedule now, but also strengthens executive function skills that will set them up to excel into adulthood.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Wait to Seek Help
Adjusting to a new school year is hard for students and parents. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember your family doesn’t have to tackle the transition alone!
Whether your child needs subject tutoring to stay on track in a challenging class or executive function coaching to improve their organization and time management skills, we can help. We’ll match your child with their ideal tutor, then send that tutor to your home for private, convenient tutoring sessions.
Don’t wait for a lackluster report card or bad bout of anxiety to give us a call. Contact us today to give your child the gift of a smoother, more successful school year!