A New School Year
By the time you read this, school will have started and your child will be managing homework, a social life, and trying to get back into the routine of school. The lazy days of summer are behind us, and from most reports, kids were ready to return. The routine of the school year, the increased interaction with peers, and the challenge of learning new things all work to a child’s advantage, especially with parental support and guidance.
Most children do better with some kind of routine. A regular bedtime, meals together, scheduled homework time, daily chores, and for many, the extra-curricular activities, all guide children to become more disciplined. While the unstructured time to play and be lazy and enjoy the sun was a nice break, we all need some consistency in our daily lives. The routine actually helps children learn to be more self-disciplined, as there are certain requirements (work to be done, places to be, etc.) that place external expectations on our children. These gradually become internalized, so children learn to manage their time and fulfill their commitments. Even the child with no management skills at all gets a new chance when he re-enters the doors again for the new year, in a new class, with a new teacher, and many times in a new building.
Many children socialize less with other peers over the summer. They spend time with grandparents, aunts and uncles, or at camps, away from their general mill of friends. Returning to school gives them a renewed opportunity to reconnect, sharing their experiences. It also provides them with an opportunity to do some comparison of their “summer” friends to their “school” friends, enabling them to learn about discernment in relationships. As they grow and change, their friendships will also change. As they return to the school year, they have a chance to “try on” the changes and expectations that have been developing during the summer.
The challenge of learning presents itself again each time a child enters into a new activity, sport, class, or club. The child can increase the success he/she has by more total involvement, more motivation, and more commitment. Each child’s motivation seems to be at its peak at the beginning of the school year, and this needs to be capitalized upon. If each child could extend the motivation level when it begins to wane, the success of meeting the challenge is increased. Whether it be in the classroom, on the field or court, or learning a new skill, the “newness” provides each child with a different opportunity to excel. Just because a child struggled in math last year doesn’t mean he will this year, as he can approach it with fresh eyes, a renewed determination, and perhaps even with someone else teaching it in a different manner. A child who struggled athletically may have developed more finesse over the summer, enabling him/her to be more physical.
How your child ended the school year does not predispose him to enter the year with the same intentions or expectations. A positive outlook, of entering the school year with higher expectations, can set the tone for the entire year. The new year is here; help your child keep a positive attitude and commitment to make this year a “fresh start”.Tags: a new school year, starting school successfuly
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
Licensed Professional Counselor
Advanced Clinical HypnoTherapist
- Deb England began working part-time for Wholeness Healing Center in September 2004 and began full-time in May 2005. Deb practices primarily in the Broken Bow office and one day a week in the Grand Island office. Previously she had completed her practicum and internship at Morning Star Alliance, working in the Broken Bow and Grand Island offices.
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