The beginning of the school year is one of the most important times of the year. Those initial days can set your child up for success and prepare them to address the challenges ahead of them. Alternatively, they can leave them in a downward spiral that will make it difficult for them to meet their goals. Do you want to prepare your child for this school year? The things they need most are not necessarily things that you’ll find on their school supply lists. Take a look at these critical criteria for setting your child up for success to start the school year right.
1. A Sense of Belonging
Children who feel as though they belong–that is, that they are valued, accepted, and part of something larger than themselves–often see higher grades and general academic performance than those who constantly feel as though they’re on the outside looking in. Connecting to their peers, to their schools, and to their teachers is a critical part of how they perceive themselves and their ability to excel within their current environment. If your child does not feel as though they belong in their current learning environment, it may be time to look for ways to add a sense of belonging.
2. A Consistent Routine to Start the School Year Right
Routine gives even infants and toddlers a sense of security. As children progress into their school years–and even into adulthood and beyond–routine can create a feeling of comfort and predictability. Not only that, it helps set them up for overall success. When students know what to expect and when to expect it, they’re more likely to give it their all. With an unpredictable routine, on the other hand, students may have a hard time keeping up with everything expected of them. As the school year begins, create a consistent routine that your child can count on. Make sure your routine incorporates learning, homework, and testing as well as extracurricular activities and family time.
3. Friends They Look Forward to Seeing Each Day
Students who don’t feel as though they have made a connection with friends in their classroom may have a hard time motivating themselves to go to class or perform. Friend dynamics and academic achievement are correlated: that is, friends who achieve together are more likely to push one another to achieve in the future, and friendships can help increase overall confidence in academic capability. While it’s great if your child has a lot of friends, more is not necessarily better. A few good friends can make a huge difference in your child’s life as the school year starts.
4. Confidence That They Are Ready for the Year
Underperforming students often continue to underperform year after year. This is in part because they may struggle to build the confidence they need to push past obstacles and continue to succeed. Students who struggle with confidence challenges have a hard time performing. In fact, confidence may influence student performance by as much as 12%. Furthermore, a lack of confidence may make it harder for your child to ask questions when they don’t understand. Instilling confidence starts well before the school year actually begins. Sometimes, that may mean offering your child additional support in areas where they may have a harder time. Other times, it may simply mean showing that you have confidence in them–and providing them with teachers, tutors, and support staff that will help build their confidence.
Help Your Child Start the School Year Right
At The Tenney School, we work to ensure that our students have the tools they really need to succeed in the classroom, from the confidence they need to achieve higher overall levels of performance to a sense of belonging in the classroom environment. Furthermore, we help maintain the consistent routine at school that students need in order to improve their overall capability. Contact us today to learn whether we might have the environment your student needs to improve their odds of success this year.