Some Back-to-School Tips for Grade Schoolers

By the end of the summer, many kids have put school and homework completely out of their heads. With school starting, here are some tips to make the new year run more smoothly for your child.

Develop good homework and study habits:

  • Create an environment that is conducive to doing homework. Youngsters need a permanent work space in their bedroom or another part of the home that is quiet, without distractions, and promotes study.
  • Schedule ample time for homework.
  • Establish a household rule that the TV set stays off during homework time.
  • Supervise computer and Internet use.
  • Be available to answer questions and offer assistance, but never do a child’s homework for her.
  • Take steps to help alleviate eye fatigue, neck fatigue and brain fatigue while studying. It may be helpful to close the books for a few minutes, stretch, and take a break periodically when it will not be too disruptive.
  • If your child is struggling with a particular subject, and you aren’t able to help her yourself, a tutor can be a good solution. Talk it over with your child’s teacher first.

Ease back-to-school stress—Switching from the laid-back fun in the sun of summer to rules, homework, and routines can be a big jump for parents and children alike. Try slowly switching to an earlier bedtime. Remember that children between the ages of 5 and 12 need 10 to 11 hours of sleep. Displaying a calm, positive attitude will also help. If you’re excited for school to start, your children will follow your lead.

Establish routines—Setting up daily routines at home at the start of the school year (or even before) can also help children adjust. Doing this directly benefits their work in the classroom where their day is full of routines.

Let your children know what’s expected of them every day. Creating a checklist or flowchart will help children get organized and stay on schedule, which also eases anxiety. Enlist their help in creating the schedule as a way to get them to buy into it.

Dr. Jane Stewart specializes in helping people of all ages improve their study, reading and cognitive skills at two locations: The Brain Development Center in Novi and Optiminds in Southfield. Contact Dr. Jane Stewart at (248) 496-0150 or email her at: jstewart@optimindsct.com.

You can learn more about the Brain Development Center at: http://novipsych.com/brain_development and Optiminds at: www.optimindsct.com.

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