As the first half of the school year winds down, it’s a good time to start preparing for the second half. Without a good plan in place, dealing with your kids’ schedules, homework, and activities can be overwhelming. My wife and I have worked out a system that keeps us on top of school responsibilities and allows us the flexibility to remain connected as a family.
1. Use tools to help you remain organized – My organizational skills are terrible. If not for my wife’s help, I’d never remember anything. For those times that my wife isn’t around, I use journals, calendars, and digital reminders. Although I have several apps on my phone and iPad to keep me organized, I rely more heavily on my physical tools. The act of writing things down on paper helps me to keep track of things. My kids also have planners that they use to write down homework assignments, test dates, and important events.
2. Make the most of after-school study time – My wife and I keep our kids on a regular after-school schedule. When they get home from school, the kids have a snack, spend a few minutes unwinding, and get busy on homework. We schedule blocks of time for each homework activity – 20 minutes for reading, 30 minutes for instrument practice, and 30-45 minutes to complete the remaining homework assignments. My wife and I get involved by helping them with their subjects – she helps with language arts and social studies and I help with science and math. After the homework is complete, we sign their planners to acknowledge that it was done and we have reviewed it.
3. Remain connected with teachers and school activities – I recently attended my first PTO meeting to get a better idea of what was happening at my son’s school. Hearing the principal discuss her vision for the school was insightful. I also got the opportunity to share some fundraising ideas (I really hate having to sell candy every year). My wife also volunteers at our kids’ schools on a regular basis. She not only remains connected to the staff and teachers, but she also remains connected to our kids. Her presence lets them know how much she values them and their education.
4. Make learning fun – We like to keep things interesting for our kids by integrating learning into everything we do. We play educational games, read together, and take family field trips. All of these things help to foster a love of learning that will last a lifetime.
For more ideas, on surviving the school year, visit the Tyson Any’tizers Snacks School Year Survival Guide.
Question: What are your favorite school year survival tips?