School is a major portion of your teen's life. It's where they spend most of their day, and lots of time in the evening they will be preparing for the next day's classes. Here is a crash course on how to keep them organized and confident throughout their school year.
Jumping back into the school year is a little bit chaotic, but it can be especially stressful if your teen doesn't stay organized. Collecting the right school supplies is just the beginning of alleviating some of that stress.
Usually schools will send out a list of what your teen needs, but if they don't, here's a few:
- white out
- high lighters
- sticky notes
- note book(s)
Taking organized notes is an important part of staying on top of classes. They aid study habits that your teen may need in higher education. A simple way to organize notes is color coordination. In order for it to be useful, it must be consistent. Every color means something and should hold the same meaning throughout every subject (example: highlighted words in pink will be on the test). Each subject should have a different colored notebook. If your teen runs out of pages on their first notebook, it should be replaced by one of the same color. This may be confusing or hard to remember, so your teen may want to keep a code of what each color means in their bag and at home.
Schedules are just as important as note taking. Make sure your teen has one at school with them at all times. It could be on an electronic device if their school allows, or a book planer. Having one at home is good too. Try a whiteboard calendar. Your teen can copy everything from their school planner onto their home planner so they have a visual of what they need to do, and when. A home calendar is also helpful if your teen does extracurricular activities, and scheduling study time.
If mornings are difficult, suggest that your teen prepares everything they will need before they go to bed.
- school supplies should be put in their bag
- outfit should be chosen (if they do not have a uniform)
- lunch should be made and put in their bag
Going to school on an empty stomach is not healthy, and will make them extra sluggish in the morning if they are not sleeping enough. Some good brain foods for breakfast are eggs, fruit, and oatmeal. Caffeine should not be a part of your teen's morning routine. It may seem like a good jump start to their day, but they will crash at some point, causing them fatigue.
Although education is important, so is your teen's development. Teenagers need 9 1/2 hours of sleep each night. This may seem almost impossible if you take the rest of their lives into account, but sleep is one of the number one ways to keep your teenager from failing classes or falling into bad habits. If your teen is having behavioral problems, it could just be that they're tired. Open a line of efficient communication with them. Growing up is not easy, and no one should do it alone.
Find something your teenager is passionate about. The adolescent brain is very efficient at gaining and sharpening skills. This could be a musical instrument, visual artistic talent, sport, etc.
Socialize your teen with other people who they enjoy being around and challenge them to grow as people. If they cannot seem to find friends at school, there are usually a multitude of places in your community where teens can get together and meet other people with similar interests.
For more inspiration, we have a Pinterest board with other back to school ideas.