New Year’s goals for families
It’s a new year and what a great time to assess our current goals and start planning for new challenges. For parents, you’ll want to help your children develop the skills they’re going to need to be successful in school and in life
Here are my top 5 tips on how to help your child keep focused on school for the second half of the school year:
1. MAKE TIME MAKE SENSE
Help your children become aware of time.
For little ones you can help ease them into this by introducing time statements into your day. For example, instead of saying, “It’s bath time” You can say, “It’s 7 o’clock time for your bath”.
For older children get them into the habit of timing their daily homework assignments and that way they can learn how to manage their time and they’ll be able to get all of their homework finished on schedule. (And here’s a tip for parents: Take a look at your child’s report card and look for comments like “incomplete work” “late or missing assignments” and you’ll want to take action now to ensure that your child has a strong finish for the school year!)
2. CREATE AN IN-HOME STUDY CORNER
If you don’t already have one, it’s is a great idea to have a designated study space for your child. This could be at the kitchen table, or at a desk in the child’s bedroom. But whichever the family decides, it should be consistent.
And keep distractions to a minimum, this means the TV is off and the laptop’s shut unless it’s needed to complete a homework assignment.
3. USE A FAMILY PLANNING CALENDAR
Post a calendar in your kitchen or family room and include all of your families’ academic and extracurricular activities so everyone knows what’s going on.
Make it a habit of adding things into the calendar and discussing what’s coming up, and pretty soon your kids will learn to do it on their own.
Or, some families may want to use online or cell phone calendars
4. GIVE YOUR KIDS A VOICE
Kids are people and they get stressed out just like the rest of us. This can make it more difficult to get things like homework done efficiently.
If your child is struggling to focus, try asking them to share their concerns. Feeling heard can lessen the anxiety they may be experiencing and help them to be more productive.
And you can also reach out to your child’s teacher or school principal and find out if there is anything happening at school that should you should be aware of and that way you’ll get the support that your child needs.
5. SET A BEDTIME
There are 2 key things parents need to know about sleep:
#1 is how much sleep children need: According to The Sleep Foundation, children ages 6 to 13 need between 9 and 11 hours of sleep per day – hopefully all at once!
It makes sense that a well-rested child can focus better than a sleepy one. So try your best to set a bedtime and stick to it.
And #2 is to getting ready to sleep: So prior to sleep, we want our brains to deactivate and in order to do that you need to put away the devices, power off the tech and try something relaxing like reading a book or writing in a journal.