School is back in session for the majority of kids, and this year the mission is to improve productivity and help prepare your kids to focus on themselves and get better grades. Getting back into a studious mindset after summer vacation can seem daunting, but there are steps people can take that help restore focus and improve energy. The following are five tips that students and families of all ages can use to make the most of the upcoming school year.
1. Establish a Routine
School schedules naturally put individuals and families into a daily routine. At first, there may be an urge to resist a normal schedule, but performing certain activities at specific times becomes a habit. Students should set aside specific times for doing homework, eating dinner and going to bed. Sleep is especially important in a routine as a lack of sleep can seriously debilitate a person's ability to learn and retain information. Research indicates that having a consistent bed time improves both the duration and quality of sleep.
2. Eat Breakfast
Nutrition, in general, is very important for everyone, but students, in particular, are heavily influenced by what they eat in the morning. A healthy breakfast will increase energy, focus and determination while no breakfast will result in fatigue, headaches and other negative physical and mental conditions that will make it nearly impossible to learn. There are many different quick and healthy breakfast options. Eggs and dairy provide protein, complex grains deliver energy, and fruits and vegetables have much-needed vitamins and nutrients.
3. Create an Information Station
As the school year starts, paperwork can accumulate very quickly. Homework, progress reports, event information, flyers and all other sorts of documents can end up scattered all over the house. By creating a centralized location for all this paperwork, parents and students can find what they need easily. This can save a lot of time from searching throughout the house for that one permissions slip needed for tomorrow morning. Within this information station, it's a good idea to create categories to make finding specific types of documents even faster and easier.
4. Prepare Daily
Procrastinating when it comes to school preparation can have ripple effects throughout the day. A rush to pack a book bag can result in forgotten homework or permissions slips for field trips. Rushing to put on clothes can result in an outfit inappropriate for the weather or activities for that day. Forgetting lunch can mean having to buy a greasy item in the school cafeteria while a packed lunch means a student can eat a nutritious meal during their break with time for recreation. The more a student prepares the night before school, the smoother the day is likely to go.
5. Use a Family Calendar
Students constantly approach project deadlines, field trips, test dates and other important events that have big impacts on their success as a student. The best way to keep track of these events is to keep a family calendar in a common area of the home. By keeping close track of both in-school and after-school activities, students will have much less of a chance of missing something important. Color coding different types of calendar events can make it quicker to locate the dates one needs. A whiteboard with different color markers also makes it easier to move dates around and reschedule.
By following these tips, students can maximize their chances of having a successful school year whether they're just entering middle school or on their way to college. Preparation, organization and proper nutrition are all essential tools to a productive school year. When these habits are instilled early on during school, they can benefit a person throughout their career and in many other areas of life.