Study smart: Five tips to help your child make the grade

This time of year can be as exciting as it can be nerve-racking -- for parents as well as students. The anticipation of beginning a new school year, making new friends, and learning new things can bring anxiety to families. It is both wise and considerate to take some time to prepare your children as the new school year begins.

  • Get them back on track -- As the summer days wind down, put your kids on a schedule similar to the one they will have this fall. Gradually send them to bed earlier and wake them up early in the morning so that they will be used to that sleep schedule when school starts.
  • Create a workspace -- Establish an area conducive to work and learning. Create a workspace for each of your children that is not only quiet, but also well-equipped. Take advantage of back-to-school sales to get the best prices on homework essentials such as pencils, pens, colored pencils, markers, erasers, rulers, paper, notebooks, staplers, paper clips and anything else that your children will need on a regular basis. Plenty of light and space to work is also recommended. When your children are doing their homework, limit the noise in the house as much as possible. They will be able to concentrate better without distractions.
  • Be consistent -- For the rest of the summer, set aside time each day when your kids can work on academic skills, such as reading, math, and journal writing. Once school starts, this can become their homework time. Although you may have to make some changes due to lessons, classes or practices, try to stick to the same basic schedule as much as possible. Kids respond well to structure and schedules, so try to be consistent from the beginning.
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