How to Spark It

Tue, 25 Apr, 2017

How to set your child up for success in the new academic year?

A new academic year is starting soon. The countdown has begun for a new term, a fresh year, and a fresh start! For each student, it holds a different value. As a student, I use to love the fact that I can start with new books! I loved the smell of the freshly printed textbooks. The fact that I can start again a new notebook with the best of my handwriting and the least amount of errors excited me. I endeavored to do so till the last page of my new notebook!

Starting a new school year can also be quite unnerving for many students, and failing to get off on the right foot can set the tone for the rest of the academic year. From catching the early morning school bus to adjusting to new faces at class, meeting homework deadlines and bracing for tests children have to step up on their performance quotient and ensure they do not have frequent absenteeism due to poor physical or mental health. 

Parents must ensure their kids take the right steps and are prepared to tackle the new academic challenges with the right habits and routines.

Unlike the summer break, the spring break is not for more than a month and a half, but at the same time a refreshing one as there is no pressure from the homework and no stress to finish any projects! This is the perfect setting for parents to prepare their kids for the daunting new academic year that will start and help them to make it a successful one.

7 smart tips to help your kids start the school year strong

Talk to them

Parents need to ask questions and be aware of what fears and shortcomings their child has for the new term. Find out what are their learning goals for the new class and help them plan out the right path to achieve those goals realistically.

Understand their potential

Find out the subjects your child excels in and the areas where he is lacking. If you know what your child does best and what are his weaknesses, you will know his potential and this will put you in a strong position to help them wisely.

Follow the two-week rule

Since there is no kind of academic workload in the spring break, students often tend to fall in the laid back daily routine. Morning wake up timings are often late, and sleeping timings go way past their usual bed timings. Children do what they feel like, play whenever they feel and don’t follow any routine.

It is necessary for parents to help kids ease into the school routine at least two weeks before the school starts. It will help the kids wake up on time for their first day a lot easier and help them be attentive and active in the class. So, let them enjoy a few initial late nights and late mornings, but try not to break the healthy routine of early to bed early to rise for school.

Extracurricular activities

This is the best time to introduce your kid to any extracurricular activity. As the kid is free from any kind of academic stress, they can pursue any activity with an open mind. Introduction of an activity such as a sport will inculcate the habit of indulging in regular physical activity. If the kids hook on to the activity and find it interesting it will be hard to leave it even after the school starts.

So, don’t ditch the good habits

If you and your child have established a good learning routine with interesting activities and new hobbies like reading or sports, when school starts try not to forsake all of the fun reading, writing and art activities that kept your child engaged all throughout the holidays. 

It holds true for habits gained during the school days too, which should be maintained in the holidays. Like good personal hygiene, washing of hands and brushing teeth twice a day etc., are important for the child to maintain immunity and stay away from allergies and illnesses. Children, who come back from holidays, are susceptible to colds and other common allergies, which they catch from other students in school. Such habits should be maintained and kept a check on by parents.

Meal times

During holidays, kids often tend to grab snacks at odd hours and miss the important three meals a day routine. It’s important for kids to be on a back-to-school mode. These habits need to be regulated carefully, as nutrition is an important factor in academic performance, and eating a healthy, balanced breakfast and lunch keeps kids alert throughout the day. 

Physical and mentally prepared

Putting your kids in some physical activity or sports is a no-brainer. It will not only help them develop the love for being active and outdoors, but also keep them away from TV, and gadgets. Also prepare them mentally, by being there for them when they need an emotional support. Try not to increase their stress levels by indulging in comparisons with other children. Try to invite their friends over and make homework a fun activity for them. Take them for a short holiday to give them a nice break from all the studies and rejuvenate them for the new beginning! 

Lastly, focus on developing life skills in your children such as self-confidence, time management, and social skills. Have healthy and open conversations at home to nurture the child’s emotional intelligence. Teach them to be disciplined and diligent by building your child’s sense of resilience, a key element to help them cope with the challenges in school.

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