A new school year brings a fresh start… and a fresh set of teachers, students, assignments, stresses, responsibilities, and maybe even schools. At A Grade Ahead, we know the beginning of the school year can be chaotic, exciting, and a million other things. We also know that there are some specific steps you can take to make this school year your child’s best year yet. By following these habits for kids to build for a successful school year, your child can create routines that will help him or her for many years to come! And if you have trouble sticking to habits, the fact that these habits will help your child might just motivate you, too! Keep reading for some ideas to help your child build successful habits.
The Best Habits for Kids to Build for a Successful Year
1. Keep a planner.
Although keeping an updated planner is a great way for students of all ages to stay organized, it’s especially beneficial for ages middle school and up. These students are taking multiple classes at once and must keep track of a ton of due dates. If they try to retain all of this information in their heads, there won’t be any room left for learning! Also, they’re likely to forget at least a couple of assignments here and there, causing their grades to suffer. Purchase a low-maintenance planner for them to fill out when things are assigned and due and remind them to check it daily! Some schools give out planners, but your child may benefit from some extra guidance in how to utilize it. Try getting stickers or using a color-coded marker system.
2. Eat a balanced breakfast.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – so don’t skip it! Eating breakfast is not only good for children’s growth and development, but it also has a major impact on their learning capabilities. When kids eat a good breakfast (sometimes called “brain food”), they are more likely to head into school energized and ready to learn. When brains have enough energy, they are also more likely to remember things! So, don’t wait until test days to eat right. Even on normal school days, waking up just ten minutes earlier to eat breakfast can show some seriously positive results!
3. Pack backpacks before bed.
I cannot even tell you how many times I’ve accidentally left assignments sitting on the counter. This all could have been avoided if I had just packed up my bag before going to bed to keep from forgetting in the morning. Encourage your children to put all of their papers and tools into their backpacks before heading to sleep to avoid that morning rush. Preparation helps your child feel relaxed, confident, and ready for a successful school day!
4. Remember, school comes first.
Believe me, I know how tempting it is to lay down on the couch and watch television after a long school day or sports practice. Be strong! Starting homework as soon as one gets home ensures that everything gets completed before nightfall. Depending on the amount of work to be done, this means that your child will always get enough sleep and have time to play with friends or do fun hobbies! These things can serve as motivation to complete assignments efficiently, as well.
5. Stay active.
Just like food, exercise can liven the brain to be ready to learn and retain more complicated material. Studies have shown that thirty minutes of exercise a day has a major, positive impact on your child’s happiness and grades in school. Not to mention, exercise does wonders for children’s health! Block off a time during the day to encourage your children to play a sport or head to the local park – you won’t regret it!
6. Establish a study space.
Having a quiet and comfortable place to do homework and study is extremely important for students to remain focused and active in their learning. I know it might be tempting to check in on them to make sure they’re really working, but it’s normally best to leave them alone for at least an hour or two to learn without distractions. A study space can look many different ways: a bean bag chair, a desk, or even on the swings outside! Find out what kind of study environment works best for your child and create a space that he or she is excited to use.
7. Start long-term projects early.
Maybe your child waited until the last minute to start his or her project again. We’ve all been there! It’s always a good idea to get started on these projects sooner rather than later because doing so allows for a more developed learning process and less stress! One of the best habits for kids to build is avoiding procrastination. If your child gets assigned a project or paper to write, encourage him or her to sit down for about thirty minutes a day until it gets completed. This way, the student can take several looks at the rubric, think critically about the information, and as a result, get better grades!
8. Consider an enrichment program.
If you find that your child is struggling in a particular subject or that he or she is ready for more difficult material than a class offers, you might consider enrolling your child in an after-school enrichment program! Enrichment programs in math, English, and science allow students to brush up on old, useful skills that they may not have used in a while. These programs expose children to material that they will learn in the future to be better prepared and ahead of the game! Some programs even present opportunities for students to practice for standardized tests, attend camps, or complete the program at home.
[Psst… If joining an enrichment program intrigues you at all, I’ve got a pretty good one in mind… click me!]
Do you implement any of these habits? Do you have any other habits for kids to build that have worked well for your children? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Author: Morgan Leopold, Curriculum Writer at A Grade Ahead
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