It’s hard to believe another school year is upon us. As I’m regrouping with students after the summer, this is a great time to talk about how to make school less stressful and more enjoyable. Here are some strategies to help your student as they start junior high or high school. Setting up routines and consistent habits are the best way to help your student be successful this school year. Here’s to new beginnings and a refresh!
- Planners: Writing things down and making checklists are key to remembering when assignments are due prioritizing what needs to get done. When students can visually see what is on their plate, including commitments outside of school, they get a better sense of what they have to do and can take ownership of their work. I like a planner that has space for daily and weekly projects and I recommend writing down assignments, homework, activities and outside commitments and checking this once a week.
- Goal setting: This is a big part of what I do with all my students. Kids need to be asked what their goals are so they are intrinsically motivated to succeed. Do you want to make a team this year? Get a part in a play? What are the steps that are needed to get there. Often this gets really granular with kids so they can take actionable steps to achieve their goals.
- Organization: Back to school shopping, who doesn’t love this?! I recommend having 1” binders with dividers for each class as most students I see have different teachers for each subject. Dividers for homework, notes, handouts, tests, and paper. Reinforced binder paper is also key so you don’t have papers constantly falling out of your binder!
- Time Management: Where is your student doing their homework? Do they have time scheduled each day to get assignments and work done? If not, this is the time to start planning. I think bedrooms are too distracting to get homework done and I recommend working at a kitchen or dining room table with phones put away!
- Social Media: This is such a tough thing for kids (and adults) to manage. When I meet with students and ask what their biggest distractions are, 99% of the time they say their phones. I think it’s important to encourage kids to take ownership of their time and be aware of how much they are using their phones. Often times, when students actually look at their screen time usage, they are surprised. Awareness and discussion around social media habits are the foundation for managing this; and empowering your child to manage this is key. This spring, I was talking to one of my students about strategies to combat procrastination; he decided to delete his social media apps for the weeks leading up to finals because they were too distracting for him. Each kid is different, but communication is key.