7 ways to help your child get off to a good start.
While no one can predict exactly what the new school year will bring, a well-prepared student will have the best chance of achieving success in the classroom. Here are some back-to-school tips for students that will help your child start strong, stay motivated, and continue to thrive throughout the school year.
Be organized. A student whose supplies and information are in order and readily accessible on the first day is already ahead of the game. When they’re equipped with what they need, they’re less likely to feel the stress and nervousness that goes along with the start of school. Encourage them to review any important communication – about transportation, schedules, back-to-school activities, etc. – a couple of days before the first day, then lay out what they’ll need the night before so they can sleep well, knowing they’re well-prepared.
Instill healthy habits. This is one of those back-to-school tips that cannot be overstated. Good nutrition, daily exercise, and a solid sleep schedule are not just healthy habits, they’re critical to a student’s ability to learn, process and retain information. But children are not likely to develop these behaviors on their own; parents set the model and instill them in their children over time. And while it’s never too late to make changes toward a healthier lifestyle, the earlier it becomes the norm in a child’s life, the better.
Stay positive. When discussing the return to school with your child, ask if there’s anything they’re concerned or anxious about. They may worry that they’ll struggle in their classes, not make friends, or get on the wrong side of the teacher. Let them know you have confidence in their ability to enjoy school and learn the material. The way you talk about it — using positive and encouraging language — can make a big difference in their attitude as well. Point them towards back-to-school tips for students that will empower them. And try to keep the focus on the learning itself rather than the grades. When a student is able to figure out how they learn and retain information the best and is encouraged to think independently, they develop a self-assuredness and competence that will stay with them long into the future.
Encourage good study habits. A good homework routine can make all the difference in how the school year goes, but it doesn’t just happen naturally. Work with your child to set some goals toward this purpose at the beginning of the new school year. Establish quiet hours in the home, without the distraction of TV and phone use. And be a good model. Let them see you working in an environment that supports focus as well. Not only do good study habits translate into better grades, but the process of setting goals and sticking to them is a life skill that will forever be useful. So when your child achieves one of their goals, be sure to celebrate it just as you would an A on a test.
Make good attendance non-negotiable. A child needs to be in school so they don’t miss out on the consistent learning necessary to develop basic skills. In fact, school attendance is a strong predictor of student success, sometimes even more than test scores are. One of the most important back-to-school tips for students is to avoid missing days so they won’t be in danger of falling behind in fundamental reading and math skills, which can impact future learning. It’s important to establish strict rules and expectations with your child at the outset of the school year. And keep lines of communication open with their teachers, so you can be notified if your child is skipping class.
Don’t let them lose what they learned in school. Studies have shown that children forget some of their academic knowledge over the summer months. In fact, 2-3 months of math skills are typically lost during this time. If your child feels that they’re behind at the start of the school year, get them the help they need right away so they can get back on track and regain their confidence. Enrolling your child in a math tutoring program is a great idea to get a jump on fall, not only as a math warmup for the new school year, but also to get ahead of the game so they can perform at the level they’re capable of.
Keep on top of their progress. With all that’s happening at the beginning of the school year — both in the classroom and with other activities — it’s important to keep track of how your child is doing from the start. This way you’ll know if they need some individual instruction to get them on track for success. There could be some learning gaps that need to be addressed. Or maybe they’re doing OK but not as well as they should be doing. They might also be bored in class and in need of more challenging material. In all of these cases, your child would benefit from a fall supplemental education program designed to help them catch up, keep up, and get ahead.
Mathnasium provides personalized, face-to-face math instruction in an engaging and supportive atmosphere that addresses what each child needs to achieve their potential throughout the school year. They’ll receive a customized learning plan based on a comprehensive assessment that pinpoints their strengths, areas for improvement and any gaps that need to be addressed. So they can accelerate their math skills and take on the rest of the school year with confidence.
To get your child started at Mathnasium, call or visit your local learning center today! http://www.mathnasium.com
Sources: Jessica Lahey, How to Help Your Child Succeed at School, New York Times. Tips for Parents, California State PTA, 2023. Why is School Attendance Important? The Effects of Chronic Absenteeism, American University School of Education, January 14, 2021.