This guest blog comes from Laurel Springs School’s Director of Education, Megan O’Reilly Palevich. Mrs. Palevich has been a teacher and administrator in both the public and private sectors for the past 20 years. In addition to being a teacher, department chair, curriculum specialist, and academic dean, Ms. Palevich has been a curriculum consultant for schools as well as a guest blogger for Edutopia and consultant for Frontline.
I’m one of those people who get excited when I start seeing school supplies filling the aisles of my local stores. I love the supply lists, commercials, and often peruse the local book stores to check out all of the “summer reading” books. I’ve been going back to school every year for my entire life. Considering I started preschool at the age of 2, that is a long time!
I’m convinced the most difficult part of going back to school is giving up summer! It can be overwhelming to think about organization, schedules, time management, and getting a good night’s rest. Here are some Back to School 101 tips and tricks for students (and parents):
Getting Back into the Swing of Things
Students: It’s time to wrap your head around going back to school. To get yourself in the right frame of mind, start thinking about what you are most excited for in the upcoming year. Once you do that, create a few goals for yourself. These goals should be about improving yourself as a student, not about a letter or a number. School is about learning and improving, so ask yourself what you are going to try to improve and make a plan to do it!
Parents: Ask your child what goals they have for this year. Help them to achieve their goals by revisiting this conversation throughout the year. It is important they feel ownership of their goals along with your support and interest. As the year progresses and they achieve their goals, celebrate with them. Continued encouragement and recognition can go a long way!
Schedules, Supplies, Organization…Oh, my!
Students: A major step in preparing for the school year is getting organized. Start thinking about what type of environment helps you learn best. Your results from the Laurel Springs Learning Styles Profile can help you determine where you should do you school work, the time of day you are the most productive, and when you need to take breaks. Once you have some of these questions answered, you can begin to develop a schedule and time management system for yourself!
Parents: Each child develops self-sufficiency at different times, so it’s important to evaluate what your child is able to achieve on their own and where they need your guidance. Helping your child create a learning space that works effectively for them is a huge way to set them up for academic success. As you help your child develop their time management and organizational skills, keep in mind the strategies that work best for them may be different from your own.
Take Advantage of the Tools at Your Fingertips!
Students: One of our main goals at Laurel Springs is providing you with all the tools you need to achieve success. Take advantage of these tools by becoming familiar with the Student Services portal, Family Center website and communicate often with your teachers and counselors. They are here to support you and help you achieve your academic goals. Through the My Laurel Springs social networking site and our virtual clubs, you can connect with peers who have the same interests and goals you do. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us, as we want you to have the best school year possible!
Parents: At Laurel Springs, we strive to provide an individualized learning experience for each student. Using the Learning Styles Profile and communicating with their teachers and counselors, we can work together to put your child on a path to success. Encourage them to use the tools provided to connect with their teachers, counselors, and peers.
Remember, school is a place to learn, explore your creativity, make meaningful connections and have fun! I hope these tips help you to make a smooth transition back to school. All of us at Laurel Springs are looking forward to a wonderful 2014-2015 school year!