The first week of school is around the corner but it doesn’t have to throw you off course.
Start early and you can carve a path that will set your kids up for school success.
It might sound counter intuitive when you are trying to get through the first week of school, but start with the end in mind. Ask your child if and how they want to succeed at school. You may want to sweeten the pot and offer an incentive. Last term, I offered my eight-year-old twins $10 for each “exceeding expectations” mark achieved. They quickly calculated how much they could make and were immediately motivated. Teaching children to work towards goals is one of the most valuable lessons in life.
The next step is to collaborate with the teacher at the beginning of the year. Share your goals and ask what actions your child could take to show they are working towards their goals. Set up a checklist and/or create a vision board with your child. Do a daily or weekly check to keep them accountable. Reward and celebrate at the end of each term. Tip: Be sure to set new goals at the end of each term.
Develop your child’s organization skills and have them pre-select their outfits on Sunday for the week ahead. Create your own or use blank dividers and label them with the days of the week. Use the dividers to hang outfits in day order in the closet.
Another option for older kids is to purchase an over-the door-valet hook and have them line up their week’s outfits. Check the thickness of the door to ensure the hook fits snuggly without damaging the doorframe. Standard doors are usually 1½ inches but custom doors can be thicker so be sure to measure it to save time. Tip: Practise this same organizational tip for yourself and enjoy a smoother morning routine.
Kids are notorious for avoiding homework and chores. Getting homework done is non-negotiable and chores help you get more done.
Good or bad, the best incentive today is electronics. Make them earn tech time; get 30-60 minutes on electronics for completing their homework or for completing chores like making their own lunches.
Use small increments of time and clever apps to fast track kids skills. My kids have been practising math using a math website for five minutes a day for a year and the results have been outstanding.
They do the same for typing and are well on their way to over 30 words a minute in less than six months by practicing for five minutes a day. Tip: No electronics before bed.
Marie Potter is a North Shore mother of twins, a trained professional organizer and serves on the board for Professional Organizers in Canada. For more tips and information visit her website at mariepotter.ca.