1) Get to know your child’s teacher(s)
Get to know your child’s teacher on an individual basis. Take the time to develop strong and respectful relationships with each of them. This will pay off down the road whether in resolving potential issues and/or establishing the trust necessary for a collaborative approach to your child’s success.
2) Clean slate
Do not judge your child for their indiscretions last term and give them the chance for a fresh start. Also, if you have more than one child in school, don’t show favouritism. Each child should feel they have an equal chance to learn, grow and shine at home.
3) Set learning goals with your child
Ask your child what they’d like to achieve this semester/school year and create some learning goals together. Make sure to consider all areas of their lives including their academic, social, physical and emotional. It could be anything from: ‘I want to get an A in Math’ to ‘I want to score 3 goals in one hockey game’ or ‘I want to have my first sleepover.’ It’s important to balance all areas of their life so they feel motivated inside and outside of class.
4) Provide structure
It’s important to provide your child with structure every evening. Let your child plan the evening – between when they will complete their chores, when they’ll have free time etc. Create this calendar together at the beginning of the school year and hang it up in the common area. Getting your child involved in planning the weeknight schedules helps them feel empowered. Not to mention, it’s easier to get them to work by reminding them that they created the schedule.
Remember to encourage your child to live a healthy, balanced life full of exercise, nutrition, sleep and friends. A great mental break from technology can really do wonders. Instead try a family board game night or partake in a mindfulness activity (yoga or meditation). Regardless of what you choose to do, remember that it’s important you lead by example and take care of yourself too!
Wishing you a fantastic start to the school year!
Julie Diamond is a certified teacher in Canada and the founder of Teachers to Go.
Julie Diamond speaking at the OISE conference for Alternative, Innovative and Inspiring Career Paths for Teachers at the University of Toronto.
Jenna Srigley is the administrative assistant/social media co-ordinator at Teachers to Go and offers invaluable insight as a mom of 2 teens.
Fun Fact: Her and Julie (see above) are also sisters :)