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The Suburbanite
  • Family Matters: Staying ready for school all year long

  • The start of school brings excitement to children of all ages. Within a few weeks, everyone is back into the routine of things, as long as one has been carved. Here are some tips to keep things running smoothly throughout the year.

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  • The start of school brings excitement to children of all ages. Within a few weeks, everyone is back into the routine of things, as long as one has been carved. Routine is the key to success because once set up, expectations can be met, which minimizes unnecessary chaos, yelling, family distress and academic struggle.
    Here are some tips to keep things running smoothly throughout the year:
    • When picking up school supplies, pick up a few extras to replenish throughout the year. Everyone enjoys a new set of pencils or pens, just because.
    • Create an individualized “homework basket” where all homework supplies are kept. Include scissors, tape, colored pencils, mini stapler, etc. which may be needed for various school projects. Include a stress ball or chewing gum. Add seasonal or holiday pencils or erasers throughout the year for added interest. This promotes organizational skills and eliminates wasted time searching for supplies in junk drawers.
    • Determine the best place for your child to successfully complete homework. Be realistic and be firm. The living room may not be the best location if other family members have the television on. Choose a kitchen or dining room table, or a quiet bedroom where your child can think and complete work to the best of his ability.
    • Schedule a consistent homework time to suit your child after considering team or extra curricular obligations. Some young children may truly need a play break after school, but most are very successful completing homework immediately after school as they enjoy an energizing snack. Then they can play without a care for the remainder of the afternoon.
    • Instill a “work hard, play hard” family value that computer or television time may be earned after homework is complete.
    • Be as available as possible during homework time to provide support, no matter what your child’s age. Do intentional walk-byes, giving a touch, a kiss on the head or a pat on the back for encouragement and a show of your support.
    • If younger children are a distraction and require your attention, involve them at homework time with coloring books, lacing boards, dot-to-dots or other workbook type materials to keep their interest. This will teach them at a tender age that homework is done quietly and that it is done with care.
    • Give everyone their own calendar to hang in their rooms to mark important project due dates, obligations or activities that require preparation. teaching planning and organizational skills.  
    • Provide empathy if your child complains about the workload, but don’t agree with him. Offer support instead.
    • Expect great things and commit to staying involved.
    Diana Boggia, M.Ed. is a local parenting coach and author of “Parenting with a Purpose.” Send your child-rearing questions to Family Matters@cantonrep.com or The Repository, c/o Family Matters, 500 Market Ave. S, Canton OH 44702. Find additional parenting resources, along with links to all of her Repository columns, at Diana Boggia’s website, www.yourperfectchild.com.