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Guest Item: Back To School Tips

Start the school year with a plan to make your child’s year fun and productive. Here are some ideas from Stephanya Jonas-Labee of the San Leandro Education Foundation (SLED).

As we begin the first month of school, children are transitioning into a new grade, meeting new teachers, experiencing a new classroom, and encountering new peers. So many new things in a child’s life bring the possibility of becoming overwhelmed. Here are a few tips to make these changes less daunting.

Have family meetings! Set aside a time once a week for the whole family to sit down together without any distractions and give each family member a chance to speak their mind. Talk about what everyone is excited or worried about; what went well the week before and what didn’t go so well; any upcoming appointments or events.

This promotes open communication between child and adult as well as gives the child the sense that they are an important aspect of their family. During these meetings you can also plan a family activity such as going miniature golfing, watching a movie, cooking a meal together, or having a game night or talent show.

Stay organized! By keeping all homework assignments and handouts in a folder, children can always know where everything is and avoid losing important papers. Older children can use a planner to further help them stay organized in all their classes. Parents should ask to see their child’s planner and help them to stay on top of their assignments.

Don’t procrastinate! Procrastinating may seem fine in the moment, but ultimately produces sloppy work and unneeded stress. Instead of waiting until the last possible minute to complete assignments, create a timeline of when you are going to do what. That way work gets finished on time and there is more time to have fun.

By mixing fun with work, this school year has the potential to be the best one yet!

Here's some more things you can do:

  • Join Buck-a-Month: By donating just one dollar each month, you can help bring needed programs to the San Leandro public schools.
  • Join your student’s school’s PTA: Become involved with your student’s school by working with other parents.
  • Visit a School Board meeting: Learn more about what happens behind the scenes in local education.
  • Eat Out for Education: Every first Wednesday of the month, go to a participating restaurant and they will donate 10 percent back to SLED to help fund programs for San Leandro schools.

(SLED is the San Leandro Education Foundation, a volunteer organization dedicated to strengthening and enriching the local educational experience. See www.sledfund.org.)

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