The 5 Best Ways to Start the School Year Right

Help your kids get off to a good start this year and make it the best one yet!

By FamilyTime


The first day of school may have come and gone but it's not too late to get your kids off to a great start. And keep up the good work all year long.

Here are five ways to start the year off right and keep it going until June!

1. Encourage healthful eating. Start everyday with breakfast. Don't let the kids slip out the door without eating cereal, fruit, an energy bar, yogurt, or another healthful meal. Educators agree that kids who eat breakfast concentrate better in class.

Pack healthful snacks, too, such as raw vegetables, whole-wheat crackers, cheese, and fruit. If they buy their lunch at school, encourage the kids to drink milk (not soda) with the meal.

2. Create a system for easy morning sendoffs. If you and the kids are frantic every morning, racing around finding homework, backpacks, and extra gym socks, everyone will be stressed.

Work out a system for organizing books, homework, clothing, and even lunch the night before. Make sure everyone gets up in the morning in plenty of time to dress, eat, and gather their things for the day.

You will be surprised how much difference an extra 15 minutes makes!

3. Limit television and computer games. This is an old song you've heard before! Still, it's important to set limits for these (mainly) time-wasting habits that may have grown lax over the summer.

There's no reason to deprive the kids, but instead encourage them to participate in family walks and outdoor games. Even a 15-minute bike ride with the kids or a short game of catch helps relax and de-stress everyone. Make sure the family sits down to supper every night -- or as often as manageable. With the television off!

4. Create a quiet place and time for homework. Kids respond to routine. Set aside a place in the house where your child can do his homework. It should be clutter-free, well lit, and quiet. This might be in the child's room or at the kitchen table, but it should be consistent.

Ditto for a time to do homework. If you are insistent that the kids start homework by a certain time every afternoon or evening, they will establish a pattern that precludes late-night, last-minute panic.

5. Commit to being involved with your child's school. Even working parents who cannot visit the school during the day can take steps to partner with the classroom teacher and insure success.

Ask your child about the teacher and the class, discuss how you look forward to teacher-parent conferences, know when tests are scheduled and papers are due and then ask about outcomes. For academic achievement, nothing beats the three-way relationship of parent, teacher, and student.

Once the kids are back in school and daily routines define themself, stick to your early decisions to keep your kids on track with healthful food, calm schedules, good homework habits, and year-long involvement with the school. Everyone will have a great year!