Last year the kids had homework woes, stress related to last minute assignment completions, and midnight runs to the store for project supplies. Was it fun? I think not. Make good use of your more relaxed summer schedule by buying and making an “At Home Study-Space Plan” and making school preparation a priority.
Materials Needed for a Home Study Area
Even without knowing the list of courses in advance of scheduling classes, there are certain supplies that will always be necessary: pencils, pens, highlighters, markers, map pencils, pencil sharpener, ruler, notebook paper, timer, lamp, dictionary, thesaurus, stapler, paperclips, scissors, index cards, hole punch, and large calendars for each child.
Try to think of other subject-specific needs and have those on hand, too, such as materials for math (compass, protractor, graph paper?) or foreign language classes(dictionary/translator?).
Was something left off this list that immediately, or after a bit, comes to your mind? Get that, too (and let me know what I omitted)!
All of the supplies should be organized in the area where children will be completing assignments. No one should have to run around the house looking for supplies, or ask a parent to make a last-time trip to the store, in order to complete an assignment.
Consider Technology Guidelines
Now is the time to start reviewing how often technology is used in your home, and if you believe it is being used appropriately. If you suspect overuse or misuse, address the issue. Some questions to consider are:
- What technology are students allowed to use when they are studying?
- Are there clearly defined guidelines that your children are expected to follow in order to continue using the technology?
- Does technology keeps children up long after bedtime?
Start the conversation and devise a plan, including both parents and children, so the plan is in place before school begins.
General Expectations for the Family
Families seem to be swept up by beginning-of-school-year activities. Over-scheduling extracurricular activities leads to students who get behind in schoolwork, don’t get enough sleep at night, and whose performance and social skills end up suffering. Instead, consider the goals you and your children are hoping to accomplish and limit participation in activities based on those goals; if activities do not help accomplish those goals, you may need to revisit participating in those activities.
Another area for consideration is a review of what will be going on in the household while children are studying; it is very difficult to study if televisions are on, music is blaring, younger children are running through the house, and people are speaking loudly on phones in the same area as the studying should be taking place. Think about your household activities, list any issues, and be prepared to brainstorm solutions with all your family members before school begins.
With just a little advanced thinking, and involvement of the entire family, many potential problems will be avoided. Start with these ideas or, better yet, enroll in my class, Create a Home Environment that Fosters Student Success; classes are scheduled in July and August, or contact me to arrange a date for your particular group.
Hope to see you there!