The beginning of the school year is a great time to start fresh, appreciating what went well last year and figuring out ways to circumvent challenge areas. Below are some tips that might help set your child and family up for success this new school year.
- Adjust bedtimes and wake up times progressively earlier each day so your kids are accustomed to the school schedule and are well rested on the first important days.
- If your child is attending a new school, you might visit the school and get a “lay of the land” – the location of classroom(s), lockers, gym, bathrooms, and how s/he might need to move from one class to another.
- Review medication, if applicable.
- Even if your child has a 504 or IEP, prepare a short letter introducing your child to the teacher, sharing strengths and interests, areas of ADHD or related challenges, what has worked in the past, agreed-upon accommodations and modifications, your contact information and willingness to be a partner in your child’s education. If the 504 or IEP document needs to be changed to reflect your child’s current needs, request a 504 or IEP review meeting.
- Go to an office supply store with your child and purchase organization systems and supplies that have worked in the past – or that your child is interested in trying. (Such supplies might include a month-at-a-glance wall calendar, a magnetic white board for reminders, two-pocket notebook dividers for a place to put completed homework and things to file, etc.)
- Talk with your child about what worked last year; attention to what went well (and why) is the first step to being able to repeat the actions that brought success.
- Approach this new school year as a “fresh start” to address challenge areas. Explore what your child may want to do differently in class, on the playground, getting out the door in the morning, homework and study habits, etc. and help them come up with strategies they would like to try.
- Come up with some family strategies/routines that will serve everyone…a set time to wake up and a routine for the morning; time in the evening to make the lunch, pack the backpack, and lay out clothes to be worn; a checklist and/or launching pad by the door for things that your child needs to take to school; exercise before starting to do homework or studying, an understanding about internet/music/phone use during homework time; and “incentives” to abide by the new routines.
If we can help you set your child or teen up for school success, contact us at info@FocusForEffectiveness.com.
Here’s to a great school year – for your whole family!