Parenting Tips for Back to School

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September is just around the corner and with it will come many fresh beginnings: new schools, fresh faces, and new experiences, especially for the many kindergarteners entering the school system for the first time.

Here are five ways to start the school year off right and make the transition from vacation to classroom a smooth one.

Establish a consistent homework routine right from the start.

Having a designated reading time each day provides a lovely segue into developing homework time by setting clear expectations for when your child needs to do his or her work. This not only establishes a homework habit, but helps your child understand that homework is a priority in your home.  Having a structure in place promotes disciplined study habits, consistent study, and time management skills.  For the youngest learners, beginning the day reading a story (or two or three or . . .  well you know how it goes) is a wonderful way to connect and have family time before heading off to school.  Not sure of what to read with your preschooler, Kumon Math and Reading Centres offer great suggestions on its recommended reading list (link to: us-en/pdfs/Kumon_Recommended_ Reading_List.pdf please)

Create a distraction-free study area.

To facilitate getting started quickly and maintaining concentration, have your child study in an area removed from distractions. All devices (yes that includes ipads and smart phones) should be put away or turned off. Supplies such as pencils and erasers should be within arm’s reach.  For students using technology for their homework, ensure their study area is easy to monitor to ensure they stay on task.

Connect with your child’s teachers.

Get to know your child’s teachers.  Remember they are busy at the beginning of the day getting ready to teach your child so take advantage of parent teacher nights or email them to set up a mutually convenient time to meet and discuss your child.  It’s good to build rapport and know your child’s teacher’s expectations, especially with the new curriculum mandate in BC as of this 2016 / 2017 school year. Building a relationship with your child’s teacher will help you know how to best facilitate your child’s learning at home.

Limit screen time.

Over the summer break, children usually have more free time which may have meant more time watching TV, especially with the Olympics this past summer!  Screen time also includes video games, surfing the net, candy crush, the list goes on. The new school year offers an opportunity to initiate different habits such as limiting screen time to a certain amount of hours a day or week.

Be enthusiastic and praise effort.

Enthusiasm is contagious!  If you’re excited, your child will be more excited. When you genuinely praise your child’s day-to-day effort, your child will feel proud and be inspired to do more.  When your child does their homework without a reminder that is a good opportunity to praise his or her study habits and independence. Attitudes are infectious and an integral component to success.

Kumon Math and Reading Centres can help.  Contact the Surrey – White Rock location at 778 294 7323 to inquire about the upcoming free worksheet trial.  Register your child before September 8th for the September 16 to 30 offer (first come, first serve, space limited!). Check out their recommended reading list!

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