Where did the summer go? Fall is just around the corner and “back to school” is on many parents minds. The challenge is getting school back on the mind of your “live in” student. If you want your child to hit the ground running academically this school year. Then its time to retrain their brain.
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Its time to retrain your child’s brain
Schools around the globe provide a system of routines for maximizing learning that is specific to each students age and ability. Unfortunately these routines have been breached with approximately 90 days of vacation and they need to be re-established prior to the first day of school. Here are 11 tips to help your student establish routines for a successful year.
1 Re-set sleep patterns-
7 to 10 days prior to the first day of school start the process of regular sleep. Wean the student off of going to bed late and sleeping late. Yes, you’ll probably cave to the “mom its my last weekend before school, why cant I stay up late?” However, sleep patterns are crucial for reaching peak performance during the first class period and maintaining it until the bell rings to go home. Start this process sooner then later and help maintain it all year. Good luck on this one. Be bold, be consistent.
2 Re-set eating habits
Once school begins the eating patterns of the student need to be set so they can maintain a high level of energy throughout the day. The routines of breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and after school snack prior to homework need to be implemented.. In fact, the entire nutrition of the students needs to be well through out 7 – 10 days before school begins. Some one other then the student needs to be the chief family nutritionist!
3 Exercise the brain
Just like the NFL, conditioning and exhibition games that prepare each football player for the upcoming season, your student needs to warm up and begin to hone the basics of math, reading and writing, prior to the school year. To allow your brain to stagnate for 3 months with out reading is a travesty for super learning, and learning itself. Is it too late? It is what it is. But begin now to encourage reading and writing at least 7 – 10 days prior to the first day. In addition, math skills can erode over the summer. Have your student review the previous years math basics before they go to the next level.
4 Set academic goals
Establish well- defined goals is one of the hallmarks of a champion. Each student needs this. Goals with corresponding strategies and tactics for reaching them. Set goals for each class and hold your student accountable.
5 Identify priorities.
Football games, dances, playing video games, watching television, social media, homework, sports, extra curricular participation and friends are all part of each school year. Does academics top the list of priorities? When is homework to be accomplished? Before or after dinner? After school? The homework routine needs to be placed in your students schedule before the school year. Sunday night is a great night to prepare for the upcoming week. This is a routine they can take into adult life.
6 Social media
This activity gets its own mention. I believe smart phones aren’t always smart. This device is your students pipeline to the rest of the world with emphasis on their peer group. Self-discipline and concentration don’t always mesh with the cell phone. No cell phone usage during home work PERIOD. No cell phone usage after certain hours. (you decide the nightly cell phone curfew) as a student, you need to know three things about social media. What is my responsibility? What is my authority? And lastly, what will I be held accountable? Monitor this activity. You don’t need surprises. Keep in mind where and when your students goes on the web and with whom they communicate.
7 Risk and reward
This subject needs to be addressed frequently with your student. Everything they do, or don’t do has a positive, or negative consequence. What is the risk of doing this activity? What is the reward? This talk needs to be given and repeated often.
8 Ask questions
Tell and yell does NOT work as a form of communication. Many of us have been raised with this form of information delivery. In order to turn your student into a viable and responsible decision maker, then great questions will eventually produce great answers and ultimately great actions. Questions that can be answered with a mumbled yes or now are NOT great questions.
9 The peer group
Birds of a feather stick together. Interview research and keep tabs on ALL your students friends during the school year. This definitely includes monitoring ALL social media. If your paying the phone bill, then the phone is yours, not theirs. Your students circle of friends is the main influencer of how they approach homework, speech, dress, music, and any other behavior. Police the peer group. Also meet all the parents of your childs friends. This will tell you alot.
10 Get ready mom and dad.
Yes, as parents we need to prepare to assist our live in students in setting, organizing and managing the best routines for maximum learning. This also pertains to family activities such as dinner, chores, family outings, sibbling behavior, and community service. Of course, your students priorities is preparing for the academic year and maintaining good grades. But do not forget family. Keep them in the loop of all up coming activities.
11 Allow for freedom of choice.
All students need some time to blow off steam. And just hang out with friends. Allow your student time in their busy schedule to do this!