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Master the ABCs of a Successful School Year

Ace this school year with these 26 tips

Pam Molnar

Published on: August 02, 2017

ABC magnets

A successful school year is as easy as learning your ABCs. Check out these 26 simple tips for a happy and healthy school year.

  1. Accept new challenges — Push your child to go outside of his comfort zone. Encourage him to try activities, learn new sports and make new friends. 
  2. Breakfast – We all know breakfast is an important meal. If your child doesn't have time for a sit-down breakfast, provide on-the-go breakfast foods like muffins, fruit or protein bars
  3. Chores — Give your child a few jobs that you expect done each day before or after school such as making her bed or feeding the dog. A little bit of responsibility will go a long way.
  4. Downtime — Be sure to add free time to their schedule. These are the times your child can relax on the couch, play video games or have a last-minute pickup game with friends in the neighborhood.
  5. Exercise — Balance your child’s sedentary school day with plenty of exercise outside after school. Combine unstructured play with friends with a more structured team practice.
  6. Friends — Encourage your child to invite new friends over so you can get to know the person your child is spending time with. It's a great opportunity to meet the friend’s parents, too.
  7. Grab-and-go snacks — Your child will be hungry after school. Instead of grabbing a handful of cookies, provide them with pre-bagged healthy snacks that won’t interfere with the dinner hour. Think veggies and dip or hummus and crackers.
  8. Help your child, but don’t do it for them — We want our children to succeed, but they will never learn if we do it for them. It's OK to give suggestions, but remember that it’s their name on the paper.
  9. Illness — It’s back to school and back to a room full of germs. Stock your child’s backpack or desk with tissues and hand sanitizer. Remind your child to wash their hands and to sneeze into their arm.
  10. Join — Encourage your child to join activities at school. It gives them a sense of belonging and they will be more than just another face in the crowd.
  11. Keep trying — It’s hard to see your child not get the role, position or grade that they hoped for. Encourage your child to pick himself back up and try again. Disappointment builds character and gives them the tools to succeed.
  12. Limitations — Only you know your child’s limitations. While being a part of extracurricular activities is important, sometimes they're overwhelming. It’s OK to say no to invitations and extra practice when you see your child is overwhelmed.
  13. Be mindful of others’ feelings — Think before you say it and apologize if it comes out wrong. Practice “the more the merrier” rule when making plans and include new friends in your group.
  14. Nutrition — Plan healthy meals ahead of time. Stock up on ingredients for quick healthy meals that your family enjoys. Save time by using the crockpot or prepping food ahead of time.
  15. Get organized — Save yourself some sanity in the mornings by organizing things the night before. Lay out clothes, make lunches the night before and put backpacks and shoes in the same place each night.
  16. Provide a good example — While words are important, your actions mean so much more. In other words, practice what you preach.
  17. Quality time — It’s easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of back to school schedules. Try to plan dinners together or have a family game night. It’s important to stay connected and catch up on each other’s day.
  18. Rules — Remind everyone of the school year rules. Reestablish bed times, discuss the when, where and how long for electronics use and what happens when grown-ups aren’t home.
  19. Social media — Reconfirm what social media sites your child belongs to and check all passwords. 
  20. Take time to talk — Open your schedule each day and let your kids know when it’s a good time to come to you with problems and concerns. You will get more out of the discussion if you are both tuned in.
  21. Use their time wisely — As our kids get older, their commitments increase. Teach your child to use their time wisely by prioritizing so they won’t be up at midnight doing homework.
  22. Volunteer — It’s a great way to see what goes on at school, meet the teachers and interact with other parents. Even working parents can get involved by helping at evening and weekend events.
  23. Workspace — Establish where your child will do their homework. Is the kitchen table too distracting? Do they have a desk in their room? Choose a space that is quiet and has all the tools they need.
  24. Xtra help — Get a jump start on finding a tutor for your child. If they struggle in in a subject, look for someone who can keep them on track this year.
  25. Year of... — Help your child set achievable goals this year. Make this the year of straight As, perfect attendance or lead in the school play.
  26. Zzzzzzs — Time to return to the school night bedtimes. It’s hard to adjust to waking up early again so adjust it a little at a time. Listen to your body and go to bed earlier if you need it.

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