Saturday, August 23, 2008

Tips For A Successful School Year

Our family now has one week of school under our belt. It has been an interesting week, youngest son started off great at his new school and then an attack of nervousness and missing Mommy hit him on Wednesday. His teacher called me and said that he was just having a bad morning and I went and picked him up. Thursday he cried all morning and in one of those difficult Mommy moments we must do sometimes, I told him that I could not come get him again that he had to move forward and walked him into school crying. He ended up doing fine! My oldest son who drives to school, locked his keys in his truck one day and had to get the school resource officer to get it open, which thankfully he did. School was let out Friday for Tropical Storm Fay and we will be cooped up in the house all weekend! Through the week, we worked on our morning routine and worked on getting adjusted to school days again.
I ran across some tips for a successful school year and loved them! Hopefully they will be a blessing and encouragement to you and your family as well.
1. Create a Peaceful Home Environment:
Your kids don’t need a perfect home, but to thrive, they need a peaceful one. Kids are at battle all day long at school. They battle peer pressure, body image, academic pressures, relational issues with peers,etc. They need to come home to a place where they can retreat, drop their battle gear at the door and be in a shelter where they can just be themselves. So, even though there will be stress and conflict at home from time to time, do your best not to let the “stuff” of everyday life turn your home into a tense, stressful environment. Make your home a safe, calm haven of escape from the madness going on in the outside world. Perhaps this means starting with the noise level in your home. Turning down the volume of television and music can help. This is a big help for us. Try not to overreact to squabbles between siblings and other situations that come up through the day. A peaceful home instills a calm spirit and some order to the family.
2. Encourage Your Kids to Make Time for God Everyday:
Beginning the day with prayer or devotion can prepare hearts and minds for the day ahead. Lead by example the importance of a daily time with God.
3. Make Physical Needs a Priority:
A good diet, plenty of sleep, regular exercise help keep proper physical balance which helps keep children healthy and functioning at peak performance. Making sure that your kids’ physical needs are being met takes a lot of effort, but kids tend to do better in school when their bodies are well-cared for.
4. Protect the Balance of Scheduling:
There are always tons of things to do with school, homework, extra curricular activities, church activities etc. Parental monitoring can help balance and prioritize these events of our everyday life. Watch out for overload!
5. Keep an Eye on Academics:
There’s no doubt that your kids’ schoolwork is important! It’s wise to take an active role in regularly checking on how your children are doing academically. Don’t just look for the bottom line (grades), but keep an eye on whether or not they are learning disciplined study habits, if they are turning in assignments on time and what areas they might need additional help with.
6. Roll With the Punches!
No young person is exempt from facing at least occasional difficulties associated with school:
Some are just brief “moments” while others are “seasons.” How they respond to the hard times is a key determining factor in whether or not anxiety will wreak havoc in their lives; anxiety that soon begins to affect their school performance. The people who enjoy the highest level of contentment in life are the ones who can stay flexible when the tough times happen – and they are the ones who end up standing when those times have passed. So, teach your kids to roll with the punches: To face difficulties with faith and courage, to get up off the carpet when they fall, to dust themselves off, work to constructively resolve their problems and to move on is a key life lesson they’ll thank you for – for years to come!
These handy tips came from: Jim Burns, Ph.D.

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