By Dallan Hunt
Yes, it’s true: August is already here! The summer has been blazing along and depending on where you live, school is here or coming sooner than we would like. Soon your child will be waking up to their alarm clock, packing up their homework and rushing off to busy days of due dates, studying and tests. As wonderful as the summer is, and as much as the whole family needed a break, many kids aren’t fully prepared for what is coming. (Buckle up!)
With children being away from school for the whole summer, it’s not surprising why they might lack motivation for learning, and even clearer why they’ve forgotten a lot from last year as summer learning loss sets in. The summer slide is a real thing. Studies show students lose up to 2 ½ months of what they learned the previous year if they don’t continue practicing skills over the summer. That means teachers spend a lot of time warming kids back up at the beginning of the year.
But Sylvan knows! Parents want to give their child the best chance – get them refreshed and recharged, back in the frame of mind for learning and motivated for the upcoming school year and doing it in a way that makes it fun and motivating. In order to get them off on the right foot as they transition back to school, check out these 4 tips to start the school year off with a kick!
Start from Home: The habits and attitudes your child bring to school, begin at home. To help your child succeed at school, first show them how to succeed at home.
- Have an Organized Study Area: Create a study area which includes a small desk where school materials can be organized and easy to access. Make sure it’s in a comfortable area with lots of light and low distractions.
- Set a New Sleep Routine: As the summer winds down, it helps to get into the habit of going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. To help, it’s also recommended to turn screens off at least an hour before going to bed.
- Afterschool Routine: Creating expectations for afterschool is important to keeping kids on task. Outline your expectations for the consistent time spent doing their homework and studying for tests. You should also outline what’s appropriate for snacks and what’s allowed for free time. It’s important to be flexible and change the routine as is needed, and also to include the input of your child in order for them to take ownership of these expectations.
- Set Goals: Help your child to create a list of goals they work towards. This gives them something to work towards, and measure success. Check out this great article on setting S.M.A.R.T. goals!
Familiarize Yourself with the School Since a lot of time will be spent at the school, becoming familiar with its inner workings is important, and has its benefits. Here are some sources you can check out:
- School Website: Your school’s website has a whole host of important information, from school news, extracurricular and sports programs, school calendar, general policies and more. You can also find information on how to order school supplies as well as teacher emails.
- School Staff: If you have a question which you can’t find the answer to, the best people to call first are the office secretaries. If they don’t have the answer, often they know who will. School counselors and other administrative staff can also offer valuable advice about programs, take requests for upcoming student placement and programs, provide information about IEP meetings, listen to any concerns you have and can even arrange a school tour.
- PTA/PTO Groups: Most schools have an organized parent groups that can help you stay informed on more aspects of school like social, athletic, after-school clubs, activities and more. Some communicate via the school website, and some have dedicated Facebook Pages you can join. Find your group to stay connected, make friends and have fun outside of the classroom!
Teacher Communication and Expectations: You probably know that teachers are very busy, so asking them the best way to communicate with them is important. Email is typically a good start, and, from there, phone or in-person conversations can be scheduled. These days, many teachers also have post assignments, notes, and other information on the school websites or portals.
It’s important to determine what your child’s teacher’s expectations are upfront and early in the year. For example, what if assignments are handed in late? Can tests or quizzes be retaken? This information may be available on their class portals or school website, or it may be included in a course outline given to students. Keeping close communication with teachers is also a great way to inquire if your child is struggling or needing extra help.
Academic Preparation Early in the Year: If your child needs extra help, start by checking the previous year’s report card. In addition, Sylvan Learning offers independent skills assessments in reading, writing and math, which can also be used to identify areas for growth.
Once you have a subject in mind, getting a head start early in the year can make a big difference for the rest of the school year. Sylvan Learning offers after-school tutoring at convenient times that work with YOUR schedule. Dedicated personalized tutoring time a few hours each week can help your child get a proactive and strong start to the school year.
Right now, many Sylvan locations have an Accelerate Your August promotion where you can save $200 on starting a Sylvan school-year program. Find your local Sylvan today to learn more!
Overall, school is a big commitment for both you and your child. Getting a proactive start on understanding how everything works and preparing effectively can save you time and give you a well-needed head start to the school year!
See what families across the country are already experiencing, and start with Sylvan first this school year!
“My son’s tutor instantly knew how to keep him engaged and interested, while teaching him valuable study skills and providing a distraction-free space … I wish we had started this years ago!” – Nicole H.
“We just started, but my daughter is enjoying it. She is eager for every tutoring session, the tutors are tremendous in working with the students and make it fun while learning. I’m happy with Sylvan and I’m confident they are going to bring out the best in my daughter’s learning ability.”
– Kevin J.
“From day 1, the experience with Sylvan has been great. The initial startup was easy, fast and the availability of sessions were accommodating. The staff has been kind, understanding and knowledgeable. My son was reluctant to do this, but he has developed confidence and understanding in Algebra in a very short time … I will definitely be using Sylvan in the future!”
– Theresa B.
Check out Sylvan today and start this school year STRONG!