School is just around the corner! Where did summer go?
Going back to school brings many new opportunities and challenges. Parents and students need to be prepared. Don’t “cross your fingers” and hope that this year will be better than last.
Be proactive, not reactive! Teach your kids to advocate for themselves this year. Let’s start this school year off with a bang!
Back To School Success Plan
Start the school year with a “4 week massive attack!” This means never miss class, take great notes, go out of your way to introduce yourself to the teacher(s), participate in class, and complete all assignments.
If your child allows it, go through their binders together every day, figuring out what needs to be done and creating a “to do list” on a phone, planner, or a piece of paper. Here is my direction for a Back Pack Dump that may help.
It takes 30 days to create a habit, so get good habits right out of the gate. Tell your child that, if they work with you for 4 weeks, then you will back off. Independence is the goal.
Online Grading Systems
You and your kids also need to sit down together to figure out the online grading system that your school uses. There will also be an online system which lists upcoming work, provides calendaring tools, and allows the student to communicate with the teacher.
Finally, many textbooks are online, so make sure you have all of the sign in information.
Make sure your child gets “disclosures” from teachers which you must read and sign. Look carefully at specific classroom supplies that each teacher requires. Go shopping and get binders/backpacks organized and stocked.
Make sure your child turns in those disclosures promptly to the teacher. They are the first things to go onto the gradebook.
504 or IEP Plan
If your child has a 504 or an IEP plan, don’t assume that teachers will automatically remember that. “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Creating an IEP Binder can also help you and your student stay on track.
Remind teachers often about the accommodation plan. You need to be assertive but not aggressive. Don’t hover over the teacher too much, but make sure they are fulfilling their end of the plan.
You and your child will also have responsibilities on the plan, so make sure you are keeping your end of the bargain.
Executive Functioning Skills
Kids are constantly learning executive functioning skills every year, and they need your help to do that.
Just like we taught our child how to cross the street properly, we also can teach them how to plan and prioritize, organize their belongings, control their emotions, initiate tasks, self-monitor tasks, and evaluate their own performance.
Here is a blog post that identifies and explains executive functioning skills. Order the book Smart but Scattered or Smart but Scattered Teens to learn specific parenting skills in order to help your child.
Be prepared, be proactive, be involved, and be supportive! Your kids grades, and your sanity, depends on these things.