School in the South has already started! It shouldn’t be a stressful time for parents and children alike, so here are some tips to take some of the stress out of the school year –
1. Plan ahead – No one Expects the Spanish Inquisition, but expect that kids will leave things until the last minute. Create a basket or bulletin board in a common area to hang all permission slips, reports and assignments due.
2. Keep in touch with the Teacher(s) – Make sure your child’s teacher can get in touch with you so that your kid’s ‘last minute’ assignment isn’t actually last minute. If your child knows that his or her teacher is a speed dial or click away, the less likely it is that they will try to get away with something. This also goes for parents of the friends.
3. Have the kids take ownership of their OWN homework. – When I was in school, twenty (cough, cough) plus years ago, homework took forever. I don’t think it has gotten any easier or less stressful for kids to do their assignments. Kids are going to get frustrated, which will result in YOU getting frustrated. Doing their homework for them doesn’t solve their problem, at all. It saves tears and late nights, but it doesn’t solve the problem. There are a lot of apps, and free videos (especially Khan Academy) that can help your students in subjects that even you needed (or still need) help in!
4. Take a break! Taking short breaks throughout homework time lets the body relax a bit and move the blood around, giving you more energy and creativity. Skipping breaks tends to wear you down, because the stress level never really abates. Even if you take time to do self-massage, meditate or have a dance break, all of these will help reduce stress.
These are only a few tips, but I’m sure that you have some great ones! What are your best ways to get the School Year off to a stress free start?