Summer has come to a close and the first day of school is just around the corner (that’s if your children haven’t already returned to the classroom). It’s a brand new year, a fresh start for your kids, and a chance to build on what they’ve learned in the past for their present and future success.
As parents, we play a critical role in how our children perform in school; their achievements and academic growth don’t just happen in the classroom, they are largely dependent on what goes on at home. Is your home back-to-school ready? Here are some practical ways you can support your children’s learning throughout the school year and tips to help you create a home environment that fosters education.
Be sure your child gets homework done. A surefire way to let your child know you value education is to ensure homework gets done each day. Establish a regular time, location and routine for homework and remove distractions such as television, video games and toys. Help your child get organized, ask about daily assignments and make sure the work is completed. If your child needs help with homework and it’s too difficult for you, contact the school, an after school program or tutoring group to find help.
Create a place to study. Set aside a special place in your home for your children to complete homework, read and study. Most children will find it difficult to study if they are surrounded by their toys or trying to work in a room that is loud and busy. Identify a space in your home, even if it is a corner of another room, you can set up to be used specifically for schoolwork. Give your children the opportunity to get creative and help decorate the space. If you have an office or workspace of your own, consider making room for your kids, a place where everyone can work independently but together. A desk or table will help your child work comfortably, and one with shelves and storage such as cubbies or drawers provides a place to store textbooks and other supplies.
Get organized. Start the year with a clean slate. Clean out the study area and put away or toss any remaining papers or unnecessary books and notebooks from last year. Have a designated place for folders, backpacks, shoes, sports gear, coats and other items your child might otherwise drop at the front door. A simple shelf with hooks or a bench with cubbies underneath makes a convenient place to hang essentials like backpacks where they won’t be lost the next morning. In the study area, bookshelf, a peg board to hang storage baskets and freestanding shelving units can help keep homework and important school papers right where they are easily found. Create a file box with a labeled file folder for every member of the family. Place important documents and must-keep papers in the appropriate file to help avoid the pileup of papers on the kitchen counter or dining room table.
Make a schedule. Perhaps the most challenging part of a new school year for mom and dad is keeping track of everyone’s schedules. Find a system that works for you, whether that be a bulletin board, chalkboard (freestanding or chalkboard paint on a wall or cupboard), magnetic fridge calendar or a digital calendar that syncs to every family member’s device. Writing out schedules in a place for all to see can help reduce the chaos and stress that seems to so often accompany a school year.
Take inventory. Back-to-school shopping can get expensive in a hurry. Before you step foot in a store, be sure you’ve taken inventory of the school clothes and supplies your kids already have. Gather up loose notebooks, pens and pencils from around the house, check the condition of backpacks, clothes and shoes. Get rid of anything that is broken, worn out, too small or otherwise unusable and make a list of exactly what is needed.
Stock up. In addition to school clothes and supplies, be sure to stock your pantry and fridge with easy, healthy breakfast foods, lunch items and after school snacks. Designate a shelf or drawer in your kitchen to store non-perishable items where you can easily grab them and toss in a lunch box, or where the kids are able to help themselves to an afternoon snack.
As a parent, your children look to your example and how you value school and their education. The more parents are involved and encourage learning, the more likely a child is to have positive feelings about school. No matter the level of your own education or how much money you make, there are ways every parent can encourage and support his or her child’s learning at home and throughout the school year.
Is it time to make a move into a home with more space where you can have an office and your children can have a designated study space? Contact PrimeLending today to speak with a home loan expert near you. Our mortgage professionals will help you get pre-qualified* for a home loan and be with you every step of the way when you’re ready to take the next step.
*A pre-qualification is not an approval of credit, and does not signify that underwriting requirements have been met.