3 Ways to Start the School Year Right

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3 Ways to Start the School Year Right

by Divine Savior Academy School Counselor Monica Sanchez

Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year! At the start of a new year, parents may feel very relieved, very stressed, or a combination of both. This is normal. The beginning of the school year is a time of mixed emotions. Although parents may feel relieved to have their children back in the school routine, this new routine brings with it stress and pressure.

Transitioning from lazy summer days to busy school days is difficult for parents and children alike. However, once this transition is complete, families find themselves balanced and ready for the variety of activities the school year brings. There are many ways to make this transition easier for the whole family, but here are a few that are especially helpful. Follow these three steps to start the school year successfully:

1. Establish a routine.

A routine may seem rigid and boring at first, but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Routines for children are like safety nets because they create a sense of security for children, especially anxious or young children. When children know what to expect in their day, they gain a sense of peace.

Classrooms are routine-oriented, and the home can be, too. Having an after-school schedule with times for snack, homework, chores, and bed creates a sense of order. Children aren???t the only ones who benefit from this routine; parents are also able to accomplish more tasks when home life has structure.

2. Teach age-appropriate independence skills.

As children get older, their classes, schedules and school responsibilities become increasingly more difficult. To get children ready for their increased responsibilities at school, teach them responsibility at home. Helping with chores around the house makes your home run more smoothly, teaches your children independence, and gets them ready for the responsibilities they will have in school and in their adult lives.

Teaching responsibility at home also helps parents. When everyone in the family helps with chores around the house, parents have less stress and more free time to spend doing fun family activities or relaxing with their children.

3. Know when to say ???no.???

At the beginning of the school year, it is tempting to sign up for all sorts of activities like music classes, sports camps, and school clubs. However, overloading your schedule or your children???s schedules will create a constant sense of rushing. This constant rushing creates stress, as well as impeding the ability to enjoy any of the activities.

???At Divine Savior Academy, we have many options for students to get involved in the arts, athletics, and student clubs. It???s important for kids to be introduced to different experiences, but don???t try to do everything at once. Instead, pick one or two things per semester,??? says Academic Dean Amy Schramm.

Take some time at the beginning of the school year to decide which activities are mandatory, which are the most enjoyable, and which are not really necessary. Cleaning up the schedule allows everyone to function at a relaxed pace and allows parents and children to operate according to their priorities.

If taking all three of these suggestions at once is too much, simply start with one. When everyone in the family is ready, implement the second and then the third suggestions. Although these recommendations may seem simple, they still require effort and planning. As with anything worthwhile, these suggestions are worth the effort. A successful start to the school year is a priceless gift to both children and their parents!

Divine Savior Academy is a Christian academy dedicated to excellence. Located in Miami proper, DSA is the only private Christian school in Doral and serves the community with its early childhood, elementary school, middle school, and high school. As a fully accredited school, Divine Savior Academy provides a rigorous, college-prep curriculum that prepares students academically, athletically, socially, artistically, and spiritually in a safe and moral environment. For more information, please visit DivineSaviorAcademy.com or call 305-597-4545.

Dana Kirchoff
Dana Kirchoff
Dana Kirchoff is the Director of Communications at Divine Savior Academy.