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Tips: Preparing Youngsters for School

Little girl doing homework: "time to get ready - school is just around the corner."

Baye Ballew
Baye Ballew oversees education programs at Saint Leo’s Lake City and Madison locations.

St. Leo, FL – It is the most wonderful time of the year – for parents. School begins in a few short weeks for most students and some children may be experiencing the “summer slump.”

To get ready for the new school year and prepare for academic success, Baye Ballew, instructor of education for Saint Leo University, offered some helpful tips for parents.

What to do to prepare for school

● Keep children reading. Reading during the summer helps students maintain forward progression in academics. Public libraries often have activities children can participate in during the summer. See: Summer Learning, a short video on the importance of summer reading and early learning.

● Start earlier bedtimes about two to three weeks before school begins to start school year sleep schedules. This will help avoid arguments the week before school opens. Studies show poor sleep quality and low amounts of sleep affect student learning.

● Train students to use planners to build time management skills.

● Make use of free websites that offer tutoring and academic games such as Khan Academy, IXL.com, and PBS Kids.

● Create a place for students to leave planners or folders brought home from school. This way students have a specific place for parents to look for school news and information so both develop the habit of checking and returning info from a central location.

● Plan a specific place for students to complete homework and schedule a time to do homework. Allow the child to do as much as they can on their own, then help or seek help if needed.

● For kindergarteners entering school, using molding clay helps build strength in hand muscles to help fine motor skills and handwriting. Molding clay is better than regular Play-Doh.

Looking for More Information on Homework?

"In many homes, peace and harmony are not part of the nightly homework routine.  Instead, we have battles, frustrations, and tears.  As parents, many of us are left wondering what we are doing wrong and why this time together has to be so intolerable. The main difficulty is that kids have different and fluctuating reasons…" By Candace Heiken at Lively Minds tutoring. Read the complete blog post here, and other Lively Minds postings (scroll down) for additional valuable information and postings.

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