Going back to school is an exciting time. Kids get to see their friends, have a new year of field trips to look forward to and, with any luck, get the teachers your neighbors rave about. However, with homework and extracurricular activities, going back to school can be stress-inducing for both parents and children. Here are some tips to keep calm, cool, and collected.
- Consolidate school-related items: Have a space in your home, such as a section in your mudroom or home office, that is just for hanging backpacks and storing school supplies. This will help you and your kids know where everything is during the morning scramble to catch the bus.
- Keep a calendar handy: Between soccer practices, ballet lessons and art classes, it can be hard to keep a schedule straight. Keep a monthly desk calendar with your children's activities in a central area so that you are all on the same page. The fridge or a bulletin board are great options. A magnetic dry-erase version makes it easy to update when plans change.
- Have low-stress mornings: Helping your kids get ready for school while you're getting ready for work can be a challenge. Formulate a routine that both you and your children are comfortable with to take the chaos out of mornings.
And a few tips to share with your kids:
- Write things down: During the school day, a million things can happen. Recording due dates and taking notes on the specifics of an assignment will help you forego the stress of forgetfulness and earn a higher grade. On the bright side? Doodling in your notes has been shown to help with memory and focus. Sharpen your pencil!
- Do the reading: Pop quizzes are the worst. Avoid anxiety by staying current on your reading assignments. Reading a couple chapters at a time, as your teacher assigns, is much easier than trying to tackle the Odyssey the night before a test.
- Keep everything together: Stay organized with a folder or binder for each class with all of your notes and the handouts given. Adding a date to the top of your pages and keeping them in order will be helpful when it comes time to prepare for a test.
- Don't accept bullying: Bullying can occur at any age but is never acceptable and should not be tolerated. Let your teacher or an adult you trust know if you are being mistreated or teased by your classmates. This will definitely save you stress, and will help you focus and feel safe in school.
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