Transitioning from the beach to the classroom can be tough on Pine Lads and Lasses of any age. With summer ending and students heading back to school, it’s important to equip them with everything they need, physically and mentally, to succeed this academic year.
Preparation for a new semester may start with freshly sharpened pencils and blank notebooks, but it doesn’t end there. Drs. Greg Sanders and Sharie Liden, the husband-and-wife team that provides school-based behavioral health services at LHES, know a thing or two about getting children back into the school groove.
Follow their tips, and when the school bell rings your gold-star student will be ready to learn.
Growing minds need 9–11 hours of sleep every night, so it’s important to get students back on a regular sleep schedule. Develop a nighttime routine that involves unplugging from gadgets at least an hour before bed, which will help children unwind and fall asleep.
Have children lay out their clothes and pack their backpacks the night before. In the morning, establish a routine with more than enough time to get ready so there’s no need to rush. It’s also important to start the day off right by eating a healthy breakfast.
After school, work with your child to find the best place and time to do homework. Some kids need a silent room to themselves in order to concentrate, while others may do better at the dining room table, with quiet music and supervision. Lanai Youth Center also provides a place for kids to study after school, and the Union Church provides homework help.
Here on Lanai, we’re fortunate to know many of the teachers at LHES. Talk to them about how your child is progressing, and what you can do to help. Check to see when assignments and tests are scheduled, so you can help your student plan and study.
“Make time to have a quick conversation with the teacher every so often,” said Dr. Sanders. “Your child will take note if he sees you establishing a positive relationship with his teacher.”
Having an ongoing discussion with your child about school and activities is also helpful. Talk story about new projects or events on campus. Ask what they learned that day. Help with homework when needed, and talk about your own favorite subjects and experiences in school.
“The most important thing you can do for your child is show you care. Attend events, go to meetings and open houses,” said Dr. Ledin. “Show them you are interested in learning, and they will be, too.”