What parents can do to keep kids motivated in school
Now that the newness of the school year has worn off, you may be noticing that your kids are already getting tired of doing their homework.
To set your children up for success at school, parents need to be proactive at home. Experts say providing a positive, organized and scheduled environment will allow your child to grow into a self-directed, successful student.
When the bell rings in Mrs. Shinn's class at Fulbright Elementary, her students know just what to do. After teaching for 21 years, Bridget Shinn knows the value of keeping students on a schedule.
This teacher of the year believes the routine gives her kids a sense of comfort and security. That's something she wants parents to try to implement after school as well.
"Really, the best thing for school-aged children is a routine all day. You know bedtime routine, dinner routine, everything really routine and structured. That is a safety feature for them."
Sticking to a schedule also insures growing minds and bodies get the 8 to 10 hours of sleep school-age kids need each night.
Shinn also suggests parents
-Try to establish a strong and positive relationship with the teacher
- Monitor grades
- Keep in mind all students can have a bad day or two, but if a pattern emerges, find out why
- Don't rescue your kids - when they forget homework or lunch, let them learn from the natural consequences that follow
- Eat dinner together as a family so you can talk to your kids to find out the good and bad parts of their day
- Establish a plan for homework
"Having a homework station, a place where the child that is his or her space to work and it is quiet," said Shinn.
Clarke Delp, a professional organizer with Clutter Bug LLC and mother of two, knows all about creating quiet, organized study spaces. Having everything your child will need to complete their homework in place and ready to go eliminates excuses and delays.
"The last thing I want the child to do is to have to get up, get distracted, go downstairs, search for paper and then you know what he's going to end up watching TV for 10-15 minutes and then I'm going to have to get on him," said Delp. "Once he's up here, I don't want him to have to go back downstairs until his work is done."
Having the pencils already sharpened, good, even lighting, a chair that doesn't move, no toys, no TV, no music - all helps a child keep their focus on their work.
When children are young and need a parent's help more, Delp says doing homework in the kitchen can work, if the surroundings are quiet. The goal is to set up an organized routine and environment that your child carries with them through life.
"You have to let them be the organized student, that's the goal for them and for you to let them become it. It does take some time. It will involve you and eventually you have to pull away and they have to do it on their own."
One thing to keep in mind is that research shows it takes about 21 days to make or break any habit. For more information on ways you can help keep your family organized, click here.