The beginning of the new school year marks a fresh start for your child and an opportunity for them to make new social connections, master new academic material, and develop emotionally. You play a crucial role in setting up your child for a successful year, but you may ask, what more can I do? The TMS Student Support Services team offers the following tips to serve as a reminder of simple things that help children thrive at the start of a new year:
Set Up a Dedicated Study Space
Creating a designated area for study can improve productivity and concentration among students. Choose a quiet and well-lit area for your child to engage in study and homework. A dedicated space helps compartmentalize mindsets at home and develop a boundary between work and playtime. Ideally, the area will have as few distractions and temptations as possible and have all the supplies the student may need.
Establish a Routine
Adjusting from summer to school day routines can be challenging for any adult but especially for kids. Like any transition, the start of the change often proves to be the most challenging part, and success usually depends on consistency. Creating a structured schedule alongside your child will help them have predictability with expectation, but more importantly, teach them time-management skills. Emphasize what kids do with their downtime. School schedules are set for them as well as teams and activities. While they should know when these things are occurring, how they use their downtime is a skill they will need to learn to handle their load. Think of college: class time is minimal compared to study time and turning “free time” into productivity is essential. Remember, however, that downtime is needed and should be built into a schedule as well.
Plan Healthy Meals
The connection between body and mind has been proven and preached to exhaustion. High-sugar mornings lead to afternoon crashes while balanced meals improve stamina. School is hard, and paying attention is increasingly hard as well. While we cannot control every aspect of these domains, we can provide healthy brain fuel needed for the cognitive load students endure daily. Habit formation starts at a young age; help your kids create healthy habits.
Set a Weekly Check-In Time
The new classes, new teachers, new classmates, and new schedules are all part of the new school year, and all create new weight to manage. As your child navigates all the newness, don’t assume that the start of this year will mimic the end of the last. Be sure to set a weekly time to check in, even if just for a few minutes. Kids need to know that it is ok to need help, especially during a time of transition. This simple check-in can help regulate study skills, organization, social dynamics, and self-management as well as create healthy communication.
Frontloading routines and skills development at the beginning of the year helps kids meet end-of-year goals. If you have any questions or asks of the school, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the Student Support Team as we are always willing to help in any way we can! Below are a few additional resources surrounding the start of the new school year. Here’s to a great year!
New York Times “How To Help Your Child Succeed At School”
Child Mind Institute
Dean of Counseling, Middle School
- All School
- Student Support Services