Back to School Season is Here

Back to school. Those words can bring dread to students and relief to parents. Depending on where you are located in the country, the first day of school is approaching or may have just recently arrived. As we venture into the middle of August, we can’t deny it; the back to school season is here.

To add to the back to school tips we’ve shared before, we wanted to provide more ideas about how to make the transition into this school year successful for the entire family!

1.Watch your language. We all have opinions, especially when it comes to thinking about our personal feelings or experiences in school. As best you can, allow your children to develop their own thoughts on the subject. Emphasize the excitement of beginning a new grade with friends over stressing the end of a summer fun. Instead of painting it in a bad light or as something that should be dreaded or feared, highlight all there is to look forward to. It’s amazing the impact your tone on the subject has. Let your optimism be contagious and build their confidence in the year ahead.

2.Like every holiday or season, the commercials around this time of year remind you there’s shopping to do. It’s important to remember that you may not have to spend as much as you think. There are ways to save all around. You can save quite a bit by buying in bulk at stores like Costco. For parents with more than one child heading back to the classroom, this could help out a lot. Another opportunity for those with more than one student in the family is the ability to reuse items that might be required. If your home desk or office space is anything like mine, you have a good number of pens, pencils and other items that might be one the list of supplies. Before going shopping, see what can be repurposed for the school year ahead. That includes notebooks; to help the student make it more customized for him or her, make an art project out of decorating the cover. Lastly, never forget the basics. Plenty of stores selling school supplies will have coupons available either in the newspaper (remember those?), through the mail and/or online.

3.We’re all motivated in different ways. Consider how your children are motivated as students and make a system where they are rewarded for their hard work. Just like every professional enjoys a paycheck after they complete their jobs and responsibilities, your students could want the same, although it doesn’t have to come in monetary form. Homework could be rewarded with TV time. Successful test scores earn a dinner at one of their favorite restaurants. Good grades might bring a fun outing to the bowling alley. As you set these goals, try to keep the measurements of “success” and “good” relative your child. Everyone has different learning styles and capacities. Challenge their limits while keeping the goals attainable.

4.With summer, a lot of time magically appears for students. Without the hours spent in the classroom, their schedules open up quite a bit. It’s during this season that many new activities and hobbies are picked up. It provides awesome opportunities for young people to learn new skills and also become aware of talents they possess. When school starts, though, it may be time to pull back on some of the extracurricular activities that filled their time during the summer. Ideally, one or two of the activities can stay on the calendar. Outside involvements can help your student develop into a well-rounded adult. It’ll be wise to ease outside activities gradually into the schedule instead of starting off the school year over-committed. No need to start off with stress and have burnout by Halloween.

Education, like home ownership, is an exciting journey! Whatever grade your students are starting, we hope these four tips help them start the year off on the right foot on the path to success!

CHAD PETERSON
Senior Vice President, Communications
chad.peterson@fcloans.com

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