Getting the Best Start to a New School Year

Getting the Best Start to a New School Year | Part 1

2017-10-05T11:24:53+00:00

The Five “R’s” of Education: Reason

As parents we need to head into the school year prepared ahead of time for the days to come.  If we are not then we can easily get caught up in the whirlwind and all of a sudden it is June again. If this happens we may find ourselves disappointed because we were not have been able to reach some of the goals we had for our family and our children.  We need to treat these few weeks before the “crazy season” like a coach would treat preseason and go in with a goal and a game plan.  Set up some time to process with your spouse the goals you have for the year for your family as a whole and for each individual child. What are some things that you would like to see different by the end of this year or some things that you would like to focus on.   This is the first “R” of education, reason.  What is the reason behind what we are doing this year?  The rest of this week we will be discussing the other five “R’s” which are recreation, routine, responsibility, and relationship.

Don’t let this year run away with your family.  Take sometime before it all starts to think through some of the areas of growth you would to have taken place in your family by June.

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

 

Getting the Best Start to a New School Year | Part 1 2017-10-05T11:24:53+00:00

Getting the Best Start to a New School Year | Part 2

2017-10-05T11:24:58+00:00

Recreation

As we are processing through this time of “preseason” for the school year, one thing we need to make some decisions on is our children’s recreation and extra curricular activities.  What boundaries are we going to place to protect our family time.  If we don’t do this it is so easy for our family calendar to get eaten away by activities.  When this happens we can become only a carpooling parent and not a training parent.  After you and your spouse have come to decisions about guarding your families schedule, it’s time for a family meeting.  Sit down with your children and discuss what are activities that they really want to do and what can be cut.  You may even want to get a calendar for each child as well as having a central family calendar to help keep planning organized.

There are several reasons that we don’t want to over schedule our children.  Even though most of the extra curricular activities are wonderful and teach great things.  One thing that is very important for our children to learn is what to do with down time.  Constructively handling down time is something that can be key for college/adult success.  It is also very important to have family time religiously on the calendar that way we don’t loose touch on who each other are as people.

Check out our series called Performance Focused Parenting for more information on this topic.

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Getting the Best Start to a New School Year | Part 2 2017-10-05T11:24:58+00:00

Getting the Best Start to a New School Year | Part 3

2017-10-05T11:25:02+00:00

Routine

One thing that a lot of parents don’t realize is that kids flourish in routine.  Of course it may be fun to stay up late, sleep in late and do whatever you want but most kids actually prefer a routine day in and day out.  A routine makes everyone feel comfortable and secure because it alleviates chaos.  Another area to process as you gear up for this school year is what does your family routine look like? We’ve discussed in the past how important sitting down as a family for dinner is, but what about breakfast? Even if it is only 15 or 20 minutes extra it is well worth it.  Studies have shown us how important a good breakfast is for fueling your body, it is even important for proper weight management.  It also creates a calming atmosphere before everyone runs out in different directions.  You can even take the time at breakfast to read a quick family devotional to start everyone’s focus out right.

Routine does several other things for the family as well, such as allowing for self-discipline.  As your children get older part of their routine can be getting up at a certain time.  Allowing your child to wake up by an alarm is a great way to train in self-discipline.  It also saves the parent from frustration and possibly screaming matches over your child getting out of bed.  That definitely doesn’t help everyone start the day in a good mood.

Another thing routine does is it helps the parent get out in front of possible issues rather then waiting for those issues to arrive. Homework is a great example of this.  If a time for homework is set into the routine everyday then a parent can see not only if the homework is getting done but also be available to help if the child is struggling. This doesn’t leave interim reports to be the wake up call for the family to scramble to work on grades.

Make sure to set aside sometime to come up with a routine that works for your family during this “preseason”.

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Getting the Best Start to a New School Year | Part 3 2017-10-05T11:25:02+00:00

Getting the Best Start to a New School Year | Part 4

2017-10-05T11:25:08+00:00

Responsibility

One of the best ways to teach our children personal responsibility is by allowing them to have family chores around the house.  We have to be prepared as parents for the chore process.  It is more involved then simply telling your child what chore they will be doing.  First we need to take the time, maybe in a family meeting, to explain why we do chores.  (the reason is we are all a member of this team called family and we all work together to get things done, parents and children)  Next we need to take the time to explain our expectation for the chores.  This may mean taking the time to actually do the chore with your child the first time so they can see what your expectation is.  Next we have to monitor and check the chores.  Finally we have to process what are the rewards and consequences for chores.  The reward may even be as simple as verbal praise but there must be some form of affirmation for a job well done.

Sounds like a lot of work but we as parents need to decide where our focus is, are we training focused, time focused or task focused?  Meaning is our focus on the fact that I can get this job done so much faster or so much better or is it on training our children to be responsible?  Chores are not about teaching our children life skills, although that is a benefit, the are about teaching your child they are a contributing member of the family.  We set our children up for success when we teach them this because they can go through life not only being responsible adults but adults who look for ways to contribute.  We are helping to model not the “what can I get” attitude but because I am a part of this what is my responsibility to give?

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Getting the Best Start to a New School Year | Part 4 2017-10-05T11:25:08+00:00

Getting the Best Start to a New School Year | Part 5

2017-10-05T11:25:13+00:00

Relationship

Perhaps one of the most important of all the things that we can focus on in the school year is relationship.  In the craziness of all going on it is an easy thing to get left by the wayside because it takes time and intentionality but teaching our children how to relate to others is a very important area of training that we cannot miss out on.

How do we do teach our children heathy relationship? The first way is to role model.  As parents we can be intentional about communicating with our spouse in front of our children.  As they get older it is ok to have “talk time” while the children play.   They need to observe that our relationship is important and takes constant communication.

The second way is to pursue relationship with your children.  This can be best done through one on one time.  If you have an errand on a Saturday take one child with to help, alternate children of course.  As we have mentioned numerous times you can take time weekly or monthly to “date” your children.  It can even be as simple as spending a few minutes each night with your children individually on their bed talking or recapping the day.

The point is relationship is something that we have to put on the calendar or it is easily forgotten once the fall is in full swing.  Take time to talk to your spouse and get your “game plan” for how you will make relationship a priority this school year.

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Getting the Best Start to a New School Year | Part 5 2017-10-05T11:25:13+00:00