by Wayne Sutcliffe
Huntington Learning Center
It is back-to-school time, and if your student's summer has been filled with trips to the pool, hanging out with friends, television and video games, and other leisurely activities, now is the time to transition from summer to school mode.
"We always encourage families to relax and enjoy the less structured pace of summertime," said Wayne Sutcliffe of the Kenmore Huntington Learning Center. "However, there are several things you can do toward the end of summer break that are immensely helpful in getting students ready to return to the classroom."
Sutcliffe offers these six back-to-school tips:
•Set goals. Goal-setting is a great way to help your child reflect on last school year and think ahead about what he or she wants to accomplish and avoid this year. Talk with your child about the things he or she is excited and anxious about and have him or her set several goals and measurable milestones. You can do this just before classes start or during the first week of school.
•Organize the desk and home. Get your house back into "school shape" by designating spots for important school papers that come home, a family calendar, backpacks, shoes and jackets, and a homework station. Your child's homework station could be a desk in a bedroom or other room. Make sure it is stocked with the supplies he or she will need for the school year, and have your child help get the space ready.
•Re-establish a schedule. Talk with your child about the school-day routine, including wake-up time, school hours, homework time, dinner time and any extracurricular activities in which he or she will participate during the week. In the week or two before school, try to have your child go to bed and wake up at approximately the same times as during the school year.
•Review schoolwork and information. Being prepared will help your child ease into the first weeks of school. Review assignments, spelling words and other work from the previous school year. Amp up the reading these final few weeks of summer. And find out as much as possible about what is to come: your child's teacher, class schedule, classroom locations and more.
•Set a positive tone. A child who struggled last year might dread going back to school, so it is important to help him or her get into the right mind-set for school success. Let your child know that you are there to support him or her no matter what. Talk about things he or she is looking forward to this year - and offer ideas if he or she needs some encouragement - and point out some of the good parts of last year. Be optimistic and encourage your child to embrace the same outlook.
•Arrange for tutoring help if needed. If last year was difficult, don't wait to reach out for help this year. Help your child build his or her skills, preparedness and confidence with a customized, one-to one tutoring program.
Call Huntington Learning Center of Kenmore to discuss your child's needs and schedule a diagnostic evaluation before the new school year begins. For more information, contact Sutcliffe at 716-873-4565, email [email protected] or visit www.huntingtonhelps.com.