Back To School Means Back To Basics
It’s hard to believe when the school vacation is over. Where did the time go? It just seems like school was breaking up a few weeks ago, and all of a sudden it’s time to get ready for your kids to go back again.
The kids may be excited about going back to school and seeing their friends and favorite teachers again. On the other hand, there’s a good chance that they are moping around with long faces, wondering why life is so unfair. Don’t worry if they do – they will get over it, but it’s your job to make sure they get the most out of the school year.
The first thing to keep in mind is that while it’s okay if your kids don’t have a regular routine during their vacation, this just won’t work once they are back at school. For young children, you need to make sure that you send them to bed at the same time each night so that they get enough sleep – don’t give in to them wanting to stay up for that special program on TV. With teens, it’s a bit harder, but they need their sleep too. Agree a time with them for school nights, and insist that they are home in time to eat dinner and do their homework before they go to bed.
When it comes to homework, you need to give your children a good place to work. Make sure that wherever you choose is quiet and well lit, and that there are no distractions such as the TV to get in the way. For teens, this also includes distractions such as mobile phones and video games that could draw them away from their work. You may be able to trust your teen to go do their homework in their bedroom, but there’s no point in surrounding them with all sorts of temptations.
They will also need the right supplies for school. Pencils, pens, rulers and calculators can all be expensive, so look for cheap school supplies online or in back-to-school sales to bring the cost down. For young children, you will need to do the shopping, but older children can probably shop for their own supplies, provided that you agree both a list to buy and a budget.
Also remember that children work better when they have enough exercise and the right food to eat. If you give them school lunches, try to include fresh fruit and vegetables in their lunchbox and avoid high-fat or high-sugar items such as potato chips and soft drinks. They may complain to start with, but they’ll soon get used to it – especially if you provide some variety. Similarly, they may get exercise at school, but it’s also a good idea to get them to play sports – even if they’re not very good at it, they will enjoy it if you encourage them and aren’t critical of their performance. Going for family walks and hikes is also a good idea, as it gives them the opportunity to both exercise and to talk to you about how things are going at school.
You can make all the difference when it comes to how your kids do at school and whether they enjoy it or not. With a little planning and lots of support, you can give your kids a lifelong love of learning. It’s more than worth the investment.