How to Ensure Your Child Has a Successful School Year
Children feel a wide range of emotions as the school year starts. They may be excited and ready to connect with friends and learn new things. They may be extremely nervous or unmotivated. Whatever your child feels, there’s a lot you can do to set them up for success beyond the back-to-school shopping list.
Before the school year begins, you can work with your child to understand their personal goals and express your expectations. Together, you can create a game plan and figure out the best way to check their progress. Giving your child the power to set objectives intrinsically motivates them, which is more effective in the long run than external rewards.
However, as powerful as goal-setting can be, it’s beneficial to focus on the process more than the outcome. When you offer praise and guidance to children based on their effort and perseverance, you decrease the pressure children place on the results. They learn from and react positively to mistakes and challenges. As the school year progresses, check in with your children to gauge their feelings towards the goals and reflect on their achievements.
Create a Homework Routine
Consistency is key to maintaining productivity. Homework might be one of the most challenging aspects of school for your child. You can minimize distractions by giving them a designated workspace with set work times.
Sprinkle breaks into homework time. Studies on time management have shown that integrating short, regular breaks into work improves concentration and helps students get projects done faster. They also limit the stakes placed on completing homework. You can also offer your assistance to your kids or look into hiring a tutor if they are open to additional support.
Morning and night routines also help your child get the rest they need and head to school on time.
Improve Focus with Scents
Our sense of smell significantly impacts our moods and energy levels. At different points in the school year, your children will likely struggle with focus and concentration in the classroom and during homework. However, their sense of smell can be a factor in learning how to focus.
Scents trigger receptors located in the nostrils. These receptors send messages to the limbic system, the part of our brain that regulates emotions and reactions. It’s also responsible for turning short-term memories into long-term ones. It’s why the smell of freshly mown grass can bring you right back to childhood soccer games from years ago. With such a strong association to memories, positive or negative, scents affect how we feel.
Certain smells trigger the part of our brain that manages productivity. Essential oils like lemon, atlas cedarwood, bergamot, and peppermint can give your children a calm yet alert focus. You can diffuse these oils in your child’s workspace or place essential oil-infused stickers on their clothes when they go to school to put their minds at ease and help them concentrate on the task at hand.
Work with Your Child and Their Teachers
A successful school year depends on excellent communication between guardians, students, and teachers. Talking to teachers to get a sense of their methodology and beliefs will help you better understand your child’s experiences in the classroom. You may also be able to offer more targeted support on homework assignments and projects. Open dialogue between parents and teachers allows both parties to get a better sense of a child’s behavior and motivations inside and outside of the classroom.
Your child has a critical voice in these conversations and decisions. Actively listening to their hopes, fears, and frustrations concerning school will help you develop effective solutions and validate your child’s feelings. By considering your child’s input as you develop strategies for school success, you can strike a balance between meeting their needs, accommodating their preferences, and maintaining healthy guidelines and boundaries that help them thrive.
Foster Continuous Learning
Your child’s education doesn’t have to stop in the classroom or when homework time is over. You can help your child develop a growth mindset, encouraging their curiosity and desire to try new things. Rather than using grades as the sole indicator of learning, celebrate the skills and knowledge your child cultivates in their free time.
The start of the school year will bring a round of new opportunities and challenges for your child. Whatever they encounter, you can help set them up for success. Compassionately listen to their experiences, establish consistent routines, and experiment with resources like aromatherapy.