Teens, Schedules, Cell Phones, Oh My!
WE just started the school year and WE are almost finish with the 1st quarter, WHEW! Yes, I said, “WE” because my two younger boys are in high school now and it is work! Sometimes they pretend as if they have forgotten rules, schedules, and their responsibilities, but my husband and I have not. Here are my top fav-five strategies that help keep order in our home and the boys life.
1. Limit Caffeine – After school, my two younger boys; 14 and 16 like to grab a soda or an energy drink to push through the rest of the afternoon; they love sugar, but this does not help with other evening routines. So, I limit the caffeine and sugar in the evening or they don’t have it at all.
2. Balance Activities – Their lives afterschool became busier around 3rd grade and that’s when we implemented 1 for 1. For every athletic sport they played, we also required them to participate in a fine arts activity. Also, they could only play one sport a season. We continue this strategy as they got older, but implemented more volunteering with or without us.
3. Teach Time Management – Yes, we teach and model time management for the boys, but again they like to pretend as if they don’t understand the concept; They Do! Helping them to understand small chunks of time can be used to accomplish small task. Your teen will be surprised what they can accomplish in 30mins or 15mins. For example, my son did not have five hours straight every night to get homework done, so we had to be creative with our small chunks of time. Sometimes using the 30 minutes before practice starts to finish an homework assignment or study with a study partner leaves less work for later in the evening. A 20min power nap and timed showers helps them to stay on track. Also, starting with the least favorite subject first, can possibly leave them with more time at night for their favorite subjects.
4. Put Electronics Away – Research has long shown that screen time interferes with good sleep. So we do whatever it takes to make sleep hours electronic-free. Teenagers need a least 8-10 hrs of sleep to do well in sports, on test, and stay mentally alert. My son is struggling in this area, so on school nights he is required to put his phone on the kitchen bar and I return it in the morning. If he forgives to this or I have to ask, then I keep the phone; He Has Not Forgotten! 😊
5. Consistent Bedtime Routine – Oh my goodness, yes! Teenagers need a consistent set bedtime to help them be their best the next day not huffy gruffy. Lights out around the same time (project/paper due or a celebration) and wake up at the same time Monday – Friday, I give them a break on the weekends😊.
How can you help your teen? Start with watching, listening, and knowing what your teen needs. The most effective thing we parents can do is listen to our kids, talk with them about their challenges and help them set a regular schedule. It’s never to early or too late to start.
Yes, it is that time of year and it does not matter what grade your kids are in, nor does it matter what grade you teach, the first day of school can be exciting, overwhelming, fun and so much more for everyone; especially the kids and teachers. You only get one “First Day of School” so teachers, parents, and kids remember to smile, be excited, and arrive early.
SMILE! Please smile it looks good on you and smiling is healthy for you. Smiling lets others know you are friendly and ready for what the day has to offer. BE EXCITED! Excitement is contagious and it spreads quickly. Your positive excitement will create positive energy in the school, in your class and a better place for learning. ARRIVE EARLY! The early bird catches the worm, a good parking space, short lines and maybe some giveaway prizes. Arriving early on the first day of school is the best way to start the school year and a good habit to have for the next 180 days. I am ready and looking forward to the 2018 school year. Welcome to School everyone and let’s make it a great “First Day of School!”
Teachers this is for you! All teachers are welcomed, so please call the number on the flyer and register ASAP and see you on Saturday, August 11th!
Vendors we need you to help make this a great event for our teachers. Email us if you are interested in participating as a vendor on Saturday, August 11th!
Yes! Yes! It’s the end of the school year and teachers, students, and even parents are excited for the “Summer Break!” As a mom and former teacher I enjoyed this time of year, not just because it was the end of the school year or summer fun was so close and we got a much needed break. Yes, my four boys needed a break, but this time of year was very satisfying for my type-A personality. When I was teaching everyday, I used this time to properly close out the school year at home and at school. Properly closing out would allow us to enjoy the summer and come back to school relaxed, refreshed and ready to go. Parents and teachers all I have Is 5 “Helpful” tips to assist you with properly closing out the end of the school year.
- Time to Reflect
Yes, reflection is an important part of growth and at the end of the school year I always made time for reflection, nothing super-formal, but a very informal process about the year at school and home. I keep my notes in a composition book “Reflection 2012”. I would write about all the things I loved and hated about the school year. What worked and what didn’t work. I thought about all the new routines and activities I definitely want to do again and those that I’d rather forget. This was a very important part of my end-of-the-year process. It helped me to stay focused and develop a strong plan for the next school year. Plus, if I waited to reflect, I forgot!
- Purge, Purge, Purge
Say it with me Purge, Purge, and Purge some more! I know as a teacher I had a little bit of hoarder in me and so do you. Go through every closet, cabinet, filing cabinet, and shelf in your classroom and at home. Teachers, do your best to get rid of random bins you thought you would need, resources never used, files you have not touched all year and don’t forget your unnecessary files on your laptop. Also, every year my boys were required to clean out their closets, notebooks, desk, and backpacks. We keep their school books to use as review during the summer. Trust me, when you finish you will feel like a weight has been lifted. If you have a hard time throwing things away, get a “Clutter Companion” to hold you accountable for cleaning out.Organize Important Papers
Do you have your papers organized in your file cabinet and your documents in folders on your laptop organized? Well, you should! Use the end of the year to empty out everything that won’t be relevant for next year and make your documents easy to find in folders. Also, remember your teacher binder, yes, even in a tech world, a binder is important to your day to day life. This is the perfect time of the year to empty out everything that won’t be relevant for next year and make your Teacher Binder look like new again. Parents, we can help our kids understand organization and how it will help them in life by starting with their thoughts, their space, and items. Organized doesn’t just mean tidy. The purpose of organization is to be able to find, exchange, and evaluate items quickly. However, organization can also help us stay tidy by providing a quick, logical space for adding and removing things.
- Copy and Laminate
Ok, so it is all about preparing ahead of time. You know all those awful lines that form at the beginning of the school year outside the copy/laminate room? You know, EVERY teacher needs to copy and/or laminate during that pre-planning week! Not you, think about the papers you know you will need for the first week of school and get copies NOW. Yes, this will take some pre-planning and thinking ahead, but it beats waiting in those lines or waiting forever to get your copies/laminating back. Not to mention, your school might limit the number of copies you can get each year. This plan allows you to use this year’s copies for next year. SCORE!
- Inventory Your Supplies
How do you know what you need unless you already know what you have and since we have to purchase more than 90% of our school supplies, Do Your Inventory! Your inventory list keeps you on or under budget and aware of your supplies you already. Knowing your inventory helps you to plan better for the upcoming year and shop for sales at ” Your Classroom.”
All You Need Is “5!”
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