Tips for Success

Here are a few suggestions to help you have a great school year:

Sleep!  Sleep is super important for growing bodies and minds.  Children need 8-9 hours of sleep each night.  While they sleep their brain organizes all they learned that day so they can find the information again in the future.  Think of it as time needed to clean up their mental bedroom.  Without enough sleep the information just gets shoved in the closet and under the bed.  The room looks great but it takes them forever to find what they are looking for.   
Breakfast!  The bodies fuel for the day.  Children cannot learn well when they are hungry because they are thinking about food instead of focusing their attention on skills being taught.
Routine!  Routines are super important as they allow your child to learn to predict events and allow them to focus on the task at hand.  When they know what they need to do, they can focus on what they are doing without worrying about what to do next.  A great place to start is to create a homework routine.  One that has worked well in my house is:
1. Snack (as with Breakfast, I want the focus to be on the learning task not the grumbling, growling tummy)
2. Homework (in a set location with all needed supplies available = no excuses)
      - Homework check (must be checked by parent before play time can start)
3. Play time (The faster homework gets done, the more playtime you have.  This has helped with time management and getting the idea across that the work needs to be done right the first time.)
READ!!!  Read every night independently, as a group, story time…  It doesn't matter how you choose to do it but read, read, read.  If your child is motivated by AR points, the following trick will help them reach their goals:
1. Have your child independently read books they are interested in that are at the lower range of their reading level.  This allows them to build confidence and fluency.
2. You read to or read with your child books they are interested in that are at the top range of their independent reading level (almost to their frustration level).  This allows you to model good reading (pacing, character voices, etc.) and to discuss the stories (building comprehension and conversation skills).
Math Facts!  Practice basic math facts as often as possible.  Quick "pop quizzes" of just a few problems will keep those facts fresh.  You know the level your child is working on (addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division) just remember as they move up to multiplication and division that you still need to review addition and subtraction.  Knowing these basic facts quickly will greatly improve their success in math and will allow them to focus on the more complex math skills being taught without having to worry about the simpler tasks they have learned over the years.