By now, schools across the country are back in session. Students and families are establishing new rhythms and navigating new responsibilities. Help your household find their stride with a few back-to-school basics.
Create simple “before school” and “after school” rituals
You may know about the “workday startup” and “workday shutdown” rituals. For a student, school is the workday. They need transitions around their workday, too.
In these rituals, aim for simple. Pack lunches and backpacks the night before so there’s less of a scramble to get out the door. Make sure the morning includes breakfast and try to foster peace. In the afternoon, create clarity around your expectations: “Backpacks in the hall, snack and play for thirty minutes, then homework.”
Experiment to find what works—then do it the same way each day.
Coach your student to capture their work
Writing down responsibilities helps your student develop a sense of ownership. We encourage you to consider buying a planner for your student. (Our Kids’ Planner is on sale for $11.49.)
You can even introduce basic skills around prioritizing and time management by asking questions like, “What do you think is most important?” or “What will take the longest?” Remember to notice their discipline and celebrate their victories. Your words matter.
Build a focused environment
It’s hard to focus in the presence of distractions. Try designating an area for completing homework. Then, help eliminate distractions from this space—involving your students as much as possible. Ask them what might help them focus, and provide a few ideas.
- Keep the area clean and clutter-free.
- Minimize screen exposure and set guidelines for necessary technology use.
- Assign everything a place, purchasing hooks or shelves as necessary.
- Create a “homework” playlist.
- Ask noisy siblings to move to a different space or pick a quiet activity.
Environment matters for focus. Help your students manage theirs.
Focus on fuel
Our brains are heavily impacted by how much we sleep and what we eat. Prioritize helping your students get the sleep they need. And make sure something healthy ends up in their lunch (especially if they get to pack it themselves).
Give extra grace
Transitions are hard. It’s okay if your family is still adjusting. Name the victories, even the small ones. Cut yourself some slack. Ask for help. And remind each other that it’s who we are, not what we do, that matters in the end.
You’re going to be okay. Keep going a day at a time.
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