School Time Already!

   Written by on August 10, 2017 at 10:35 am
Cheryl Gowin and Dennis Gowin.  Call us at our counseling practice with your feedback, comments, issues, or questions at 434-808-2637.

Cheryl Gowin and Dennis Gowin.  Call us at our counseling practice with your feedback, comments, issues, or questions at 434-808-2637.

What does this list mean?  August 3rd Buckingham, August 7th Charlotte, August 9th Prince Edward, August 15th Lunenburg, August 28th Cumberland.  Did you guess the first day of school?  If so, you are right.  Are you worried about sending your elementary age kids to school?  Here are several ideas on how to help your kids be ready for elementary school.

The first step is for you get to know the school.  All the schools in our area have great websites that contain a range of information about the school calendar, staff and contact information.  Understanding the school’s layout can help you connect with your child when you talk about the school day.  It’s good to know the location of the main office, school nurse, cafeteria, gym, athletic fields, playgrounds, auditorium, and special classes.

Knowing the school’s student code of conduct can help you explain the rules to your child.  These rules generally include areas that affect all the students like student behavior, dress code, use of electronic devices, attendance, and acceptable language.  The code of conduct will also address issues most parents hope they never have to deal with; such as vandalism, cheating, fighting, bullying, and weapons.  You can help your child know the school’s expectations and just as important, that you support the school rules.

Second step, make sure you send your child to school ready to learn.  A healthy breakfast gets kids ready for the day.  In general, kids who eat breakfast have more energy and do better in school.  Kids also need the right amount of sleep to be ready to learn.  Most school-age kids need 10 to 12 hours of sleep a night.  Homework, sports, after-school activities, TVs, computers, and video games, as well as hectic family schedules, can contribute to kids not getting enough sleep.  It’s important to have a consistent bedtime routine.  Be sure to leave enough time before bed to allow your child to unwind before lights out.

Helping your child develop organizational and study skills provides a strong foundation for success in school.  What does organized at the elementary level mean?  It means having an assignment book and homework folder to keep track of homework and projects deadlines.  Check your child’s folders nightly so you’re familiar with all assignments.  That way, you can help your child keep on track and not fall behind.

Your child’s study skills will pay off with good life-long learning habits.  Studying for a test can be scary for young kids.  Be sure to know the schedule for tests so you can help your child study ahead of time rather than just the night before.  Also, you might need to remind your child to bring home the right study materials, such as notes, study guides, or books.  Teach your child how to break down overall tasks into smaller, manageable chunks so preparing for a test isn’t overwhelming.

Kids, with involved parents, do better in school.  Whether your kids are just starting kindergarten or entering their last year of elementary school, being involved at school is a great way to show your kids you are interested in their education.  Follow your child’s cues to find out how much interaction at school events works.  If your child seems uncomfortable with your presence at the school, consider taking a more behind-the-scenes approach.  Make it clear that you aren’t there to spy; you’re just trying to help the school community.  Even giving a few hours during the school year can make an impression on your child.

The last suggestion is to make time to talk about school.  It’s usually easy to talk with elementary age children about what’s going on at school.  However, it is easy to get busy and forget to ask the simple questions.  These early years of schooling are an important time for you to be informed and supportive about your child’s education.

About Cheryl & Dennis Gowin

Cheryl Gowin, Counselor and Dennis Gowin, Director of Discovery Counseling Center. Contact us with your feedback, comments, issues or questions at 434-808-2426 or dgowin@discoverycounseling.org.

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