With all the chaos of this fall, one thing has occurred we can all agree is a plus. Our children are back in school. It is frustrating with the quarantines and the masks. For every two steps forward it seems there is one step back. But students are back at school and some sense of normalcy is beginning to come around. There is nothing more important in education in my opinion than to have students interacting, using student discourse, and collaborating as they move through the learning process. So, I did some research on how to help out students and parents get the most out of these months of education.
The first tip is that you don't need one study space, but you do need some designated places for just that. And minimal distractions in this spot. Have spacious areas where your kids can spread out and get into a routine of working on wrapping up their day reading, reviewing and practicing with a parent or peer.
Track more than homework in your school planner. I personally have witnessed the success of students who make the most out of their daily planner. Parents who check this planner and students who record all that is going on in the upcoming week. These students develop routines in placing notes and returned papers in them. Parents develop routines checking the agenda to keep up with weekly activities and events.
All children and adults work best with a routine. I cannot count the number of times I have heard an adult say after coming back from a leave, "I am just happy to be back in a routine." Even coming home from a great vacation can give us this sense of pleasure in knowing what is on the list of things to accomplish each day. Children need set routines when adjusting to school hours.
One tip I found was a good one. School supplies alone do not make you organized. But they sure do help. I have fond memories of going with my mother to buy my school clothes and school supplies each year. Sometimes just the smell of crayons sends me back to shopping in these aisles. The pencil box that was made of heavy cardboard, the lunch box that had the Happy Day's characters on it. Glue, scissors, and some strange pointed silver thing for math that I never once used. I was never one to stay organized for long, but beginning each school year proudly packing to school these fresh new supplies always kicked off the year on a positive note.
The best tip I came upon was to prepare mentally and organize your entire home for the busy season. After the year we witnessed leading up to this fall, we can agree that to be mentally prepared for this school year has been a challenge. There are still so many uncertainties about distancing and safety measures. And there are to say the least a variety of opinions in managing these efforts. But at the end of the day our children's education should continue to thrive as they enjoy these learning opportunities.