3 September 2009 04:16 PM

Month-by-Month Planning for a Successful Year

by Dr. Rick

We lead busy lives, and since we don’t seem to have much success in simplifying or slowing down, the next best thing is to organize ourselves. It’s a good skill to teach our kids. Kids listen to what we say and watch what we do (yes, they do), so we’d better be good role models. If we want them to do better in school, we’d better let them see us reading, writing occasionally, doing actual math in our lives. And organizing.


One of the most frequently asked questions from parents is how to plan for a successful school year. Every autumn is a New Year for school kids, a time for New Year’s resolutions. Here are suggestions for things parents and students can do to get the upper hand on a new school year before it takes on a life of its own.


It’s a calendar of monthly actions that you and the children can take. It’s simple, but it’ll give you some ideas of how you can plan ahead, establish routines, ask the right questions, and set the right goals for a successful year.


Parents, reinforce those routines. Students, you’ve already set the routines at home, now make sure you have school routines, too. Set them by yourself and with your study buddy. Share your goals with your study buddy. Help your buddy achieve hers; she’ll help you achieve yours. Parents, take every opportunity to communicate with teachers. Go to Back to School Night, take advantage of teachers’ web pages on the school web site, know when special projects will be due so you can bug your kids to get them done, inform teachers of your kids’ special needs and goals. Teachers like to hear from you, especially when you’re being constructive and helpful.


Set rewards and consequences. Parents, let your kids know – in words and actions – that you support their goals and efforts. Show them that there will be some kind of reward for advancing toward and meeting those goals. Rewards don’t need to be monetary, but they can be. Depends on how you feel about this. I don’t see anything wrong with reasonable money incentives, by the way. And don’t call it “bribery.” Bribery is money paid to make someone do something he shouldn’t do! Getting good grades should be encouraged. Read the books of Dr. Ruth Peters for some down-to-earth, common sense guidance. Go to www.ruthpeters.com for more.


Next, I’ll run through planning for October, November and December…



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