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10 ways to start off the new academic school year

Students and children may be learning online again this year, or maybe heading back into the classroom after many months of virtual school.

They may be nervous, anxious, or even afraid of what is to come. The uncertainty can leave students distracted and inattentive. Here are ten ways to help the reassimilation process that some students will undoubtedly experience this academic year.

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1. Create a routine

What if parents and their children created a schedule together that could be equally beneficial? Allowing your child to participate in the creation of the schedule will give them more motivation to follow it. This teaches them integrity and time management. It can be as simple as: return home from school; eat a snack; and complete homework. As the child matures, the routine can be more detailed: eat a snack; finish homework; feed the dogs; help prepare something for dinner. 

Routine helps establish clear roles in the home and helps alleviate some of the parents’ responsibilities. Your school-aged child already has a routine in their classroom. They understand what is expected of them and how they are expected to contribute. Why not carry that into their home life, as well?

2. Plan your days in advance

Streamline your family’s morning routine by laying out clothes, packing backpacks, and making lunches the night before. This creates a smooth morning with a lesser chance of forgetting permission slips or jackets! The children can be responsible for these easy tasks. If they have a say in what they wear, eat and pack for school, they will be more cooperative in the earlier hours before school starts. This is beneficial for the entire family.

3. Incorporate movement and activity

Physical activity can promote a healthier lifestyle and add an element of fun into the academic year. Enrolling students in extracurricular activities teaches them the importance of teamwork and taking care of our bodies. Whether you play outside as a family or watch them run from the sidelines, you are prioritizing movement. They will have less energy at bedtime, helping them get a better night’s sleep. A well-rested child is one that is more likely to be focused and productive at school. 

4. Set up a space that promotes learning

Virtual learning may not be a thing of the past just yet for your family or students. Create a work station complete with all of the study tools and educational technology they need to succeed this school year. Model what virtual learning will look like for your child. If your child is headed back into the classroom, you can use this space as a homework center. By dedicating a specific place in your home for homework, you are showing your child that education is important and should be prioritized.

5. Start incorporating more reading

You may be reading before bedtime already. However, how much of a difference would it make in your child’s ability to process language and recognize words if you added one more night of reading per week? They can read to you or listen as you read to them. The more exposure they have to words and language outside of the classroom, the more confidence they will have in the classroom. For those students struggling with language fluency, incorporating Forbrain can improve comprehension, speech, and recall. Forbrain's newest functionality enables parents and teachers to use a secondary microphone (picture below) to communicate with children during lessons thus enabling them to assimilate information better and more accurately. 

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6. Learn how to use the technology

Starting school with the confidence in knowing how to use the laptop, iPad or other required technology can help alleviate the fear of the unknown. Digital learning is advancing and changing every year. While your student may have spent many months learning online, it is important that a student understands any technological changes that may be in effect in their new classes. 

7. Create clear learning and behavior goals

School aged children are already given learning goals decided by the school they attend. However, do they know what you, the parent, expect for them this academic year? Giving them clear goals at the beginning of the school year communicates to the student what their grades and behavior should look like. 

For example, if you would like your student to have no missing assignments, the student has a measurable goal to work towards. This also teaches them to be responsible in turning in their assignments and to be diligent in making sure that they are completing all of the required work.

If you would like the student to be more polite to their teachers and classmates, model what that looks like for them. Roleplay difficult situations in which they may want to respond negatively.

8. Allow time for creativity

If your student is more artistic and creative, it is important to nurture that side of their personality. While academics are important, art, music and drama can help them express themselves in ways that they are not able to through speech or writing. This could look like singing, dance, painting, drawing, and so much more.

9. Promote healthy habits like meditation

We already included movement in this list, but there is so much more to being healthy than just exercise. Meditation and other forms of stress relief can calm your anxious student. Deep breathing can prevent acting out, yelling or crying in times of discomfort. This is a great tool for adults as well! Model meditation and deep breathing techniques in front of your child when you are feeling anxious or stressed.

10. Improve processing, memorization and reading with Forbrain

Forbrain is an effective learning tool that can be easily incorporated into your child’s day. It empowers students to improve their speech, memory, communication, fluency, attention and vocabulary. 

For older students in high school or already attending a university, Forbrain can work as a learning tool for academic learning, studying a foreign language or even for singing lessons. It improves brain power by tapping into the auditory system that collects input. Practice dialogues and listen to your voice to improve pronunciation. This can be effective for many different learning styles.

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