School Choices

Photo by Michele Venne

Here in Arizona, students, teachers, and parents are preparing to return to school. The usual supplies are on sale everywhere. Some parents purchase extra and donate to schools for students who are, for various reasons, unable to come to campus prepared.

The districts closest to me, where my clients attend, begin the first week of August. This means that now is the time to begin conversations about the coming school year. What goals does the student have? Will there be sports, choir, band, theater, student government, or robotics after school? What about study groups before school? Will any of these activities be around? What about part-time jobs?

If the student has made gains with extra help, contact the tutor and ensure they have room in their schedule to provide support again this school year. If the student struggled last year, don’t wait for failure. Good tutors find their calendars fill up early. Ask other parents or guardians for referrals, then make the call.

Begin to adjust sleep times for school hours rather than summer days, if they were altered. On a planner (some schools provide these during registration, contact the counseling office), make note of school holidays, game days, recitals, and practice times.

Some teachers have a preference for binders or folders, and other classroom supplies students will need for specific projects. Some schools don’t allow backpacks. Some require uniforms. To keep stress levels low, find out what is needed, and set time aside to gather items.

Having student input on the color of folders, what kind of pencil pouch, or what design backpack they want means they have buy-in for a successful year. Model time management and organization by scheduling the shopping trips, setting up the calendar, clearing space for studying, and discussing goals and rewards for accomplishing what’s important. Prepare now, so when you’re in the thick of it, things will be smoother.