10 Steps to School Year Success
One of the most important aspects of parenting, is ensuring that your child gets a good education. School is a place where your child not only learns skills such as reading and writing; it is also where your child will learn about friendship, responsibility, and fairness. In short, school is a test run for the 'real world', and your child needs your help to navigate this complicated arena. When your child was a baby, you set your life around nap times and diaper changes,
Early in the school year, decide which activities will fit, and which will have to be postponed. One of the biggest areas of concern for modern families is activity overload. Avoid it! Now that you know what activities you will be engaged in, decide where homework fits and set a regular time for it. Whether there are assignments or not, this should be the time of day that your child always does a little extra school work. When will you have dinner? If possible, make it at the same time everyday and expect all family members to attend. Don't eat on the run! If you have to eat in the car in order to make everything fit, then you are doing too much!
Avoid these problems by setting a reasonable bedtime for your children and sticking to it. According to Dr. Jodi Mindell, Ph.D., a member of the National Sleep Foundation, elementary age children need between 10-12 hours of sleep each night. She also recommends allowing an additional 10-20 minutes to that amount in order to account for the time is takes your child to fall asleep. Keeping these times in mind, your child's bedtime should be no later than 8:30pm.
Katie Basson is a parent, teacher, and creator of The BITs Kit Better Behavior Kit for Kids?. Katie teaches seminars on behavior modification techniques, and assists parents through challenging behavioral and educational issues. She serves on the Board of Directors of the YWCA and is an educational advisor to Zoesis, Inc., a children's software company. Katie's expert advice has been sought for articles in The Boston Globe and Parents Magazine. Sign up for her biweekly Parenting Solutions newsletter at www.bitskit.com.
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