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Our children will be returning to school soon and I know a lot of parents are materially and mentally prepared for the resumption. Some of us are even elated to see them return to school…….. God bless all of our teachers indeed. But just before we send the children to school with a relaxed body and a renewed energy, I want to chip in some important things we can do to keep the children safe, proactive and focused during the school year.
Prayers cannot be over emphasized for our children as we send them back to school. There are too many ills out there and believe me, you do not want your children to experience such. Take out time to pray with them daily before they leave for school and help them to cultivate the habit of praying at all times. Close to this is to take out time to pray for our children’s teacher bearing in mind that they are also human and they need all the support they can get to help us carry out what we hope to do with our children.
HELP THEM TO SET CLEAR GOALS
It is very important for the children to set clear goals before they return to school, it will help them to have something tangible to look forward to and keep them focused on the academic pursuit. A lot of our kids go to school without any expectation and so they just pass through school without the school passing through them. I recommend to discuss possible goes with younger children that cannot read or write, but from ages 6 upwards, they should be able to pen their goals down. Ask them to tell you or write the things they hope to do in the new school year, then do review every month end or whatever time suit you, to go over the goals, how far they have gone and what challenges they may be experiencing or if they are on track. Once all the goals discussed or written had been met, have them write a new set of goals and then the process continues. Goal setting also helps them to THINK about their life and future and therefore ACT. To help them to set SMART clear goal, teach them using these steps;
SPECIFIC: Be clear about what you want to do, by being detailed.
MEASURABLE: Decide how you’ll know when you’ve reached your goal.
ACTION ORIENTED: Know the steps you’ll need to take to reach your goal
REALISTIC: Make sure your goal is possible.
TIMELY: Know when you want to have finished your goal.
Acting to make sure that their goal is met will help them to spend their time wisely and make every minute count.
HAVE A ROUTINE
Create a routine for the children if you have not already done so. This is one of the blessings of surviving motherhood. This is what a routine looks like. Feel free to create what works best for you and your children.
♥ Wake time
♥ Prayer time
♥ Bathe and dress up time
♥ Breakfast time
♥ Drop off time
♥ Pick up time
♥ Lunch time
♥ Rest time/Play time
♥ Review time
♥ homework time
♥ Dinner time
♥ Book reading time
♥ Prayer time
♥ Sleep time
BACKPACKS AND LUNCH BOXES
Ensure their book bag, snacks and clothes/uniforms are packed and arranged the night before to make sure there’s a smooth flow of things in the morning. Easy but healthy breakfast would also be a great option. And please make sure they eat something before leaving even if they take school breakfast. Music is another good thing that helps us get through most morning successfully. My girl’s favorite song now is SPARROWS by JASON GRAY. We will be using this song for a while every morning because they are so stuck on it.
REVIEW SCHOOL WORK DAILY
Create time to check in on your children’s school work. This is quite different from the homework given. Ask them about what they were taught in school and how they understand it, then chip in your own knowledge on the topic before making them do their homework. This method has proven more result oriented and it helps what was taught to stick better. Moreover, make sure you choose a quiet area or room for your child to be free from distractions when doing their homework. Invest in a proper table and chair to help do this.
REDUCE SCREEN TIME
During the school week, try to cut the time your children spend in front of the screen. It does more harm than good. Instead, substitute with board games, puzzles, and outdoor play, during their play time. I’ve tried both ways and so we do away with tv watching during the school week except on weekends. Their Kindle is used only for their school online homework.
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CHILDS TEACHER
Tell your child’s teacher your concerns and expectations so you both can be on the same page about the best way to help your child to excel. The concerns you will definitely get from the daily reviews if any. And the expectation will be the goal you have as a parent for your child. So if you don’t have one, think through by using the SMART model listed up and get your goals going.
We wish you and your children a peaceful, rewarding, stress-free and beautiful school year.
see also BACK TO SCHOOL OR BULLYING