Family Magazine

Back to School – New Year, New Focus

By Yourfamilysurvivalcoach @shari_brewer

 Back to school – new year, new focus

Back to school – new year, new focus

 The back to school pep talk

For many Australian families next week heralds “Back to School!” – listen carefully and you’ll possibly hear some very loud sighs of relief from holiday-frazzled parents amongst the humming buzz of social excitement as kids are longing to catch up with old mates and make new ones too.

Hopefully you and the kids are all prepared for the 2013 school year and are busting-a-gut to race through those school gates .. yes??

Fresh year, new focus … school’s in

The start of a new school year is always a great time to work with your kids on setting fresh goals and developing productive routines that support success at school because we all want our children to do their best in school, don’t we? Of course we do, but we also need to remember that school isn’t an easy place for every child and that concentrating in the classroom can be difficult for our iGeneration of youngsters.

As parents, there are a number of simple steps that we can take to maximise our kids’ engagement with school and provide them with the best opportunities to succeed. Quite often, the elimination of some distractions and the promotion of some good habits will go a long way to help foster an enjoyment of school and learning plus, hopefully, some improved academic outcomes.

  • Encourage a nutritious breakfast – even though many kids report not being hungry until later in the morning, studies have shown that children who have breakfast and enough to eat during the rest of the day will be better able to concentrate in class.
  • Introduce them to music – learning to play an instrument has shown to have a spin-off effect of increased focus and improved concentration in other areas.
  • Consider a dietary supplement – particularly if they are a fussy eater. Fish Oils have been touted as being good for learning and brain development and there are many formulations of over-the-counter supplements that can help improve concentration, support memory and overcome general tiredness. Your GP or pharmacist should always been consulted first.
  • Set and stick with a reasonable bed time on school nights. Computers should be switched off at least a half hour before bed in order for the brain to “slow down” enough for decent sleep and if the arguments start, you can say with authority that studies show most students perform best after about 9 hours of sleep.
  • Allocate a clear space for study and homework. Your kids will be better able to concentrate if there is a clear, uncluttered place for them to work. Oh, and remember to turn of the telly, as squeezing homework into commercial breaks is unlikely to lead to much focused learning.
  • Help them to get organised – have a visible calendar where they can mark in important dates such as when assignments are due, have a filing system so that resources are easy to store and then locate when needed
  •  Discourage “cramming.” It increases anxiety and interferes with clear thinking. Educators know that kids do better on tests if they spread out studying over several days or weeks and can relate the information to what they have already learnt and understand.

The books are covered, the uniforms are pressed and the school shoes have been polished ….  so, what back to school pep-talk do you give your kids?

Because it’s Friday, and Fridays are awesome, I’m again joining in with 2 fantabulous weekly Aussie blog link-ups!

Grace’s Flog Yo Blog Friday and Bree’s Flash Blog Friday.

These 2 gals host awesome Aussie linkups, so head over for some great blog reading!

Back to school – new year, new focus

photo credit: Mil via photopin cc

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