MY PLACE FOR THINGS
Place a good size cardboard box near the front door or in your child’s room. Encourage your child to decorate it. All school things go in this box. When your child comes home, the box is the first stop. Finished homework and supplies needed for school are put in the box at night, ready for the next day.
Reward your child for using the box. Put in a “mystery” note every few days praising your child. Many parents have set up these boxes for themselves too.
Pretend the following things happened. Ask your child: “What would you do if: You lose your door key and no one is home? You get teased on your way home from school?
Use “brainstorming.” This means naming as many ways as possible to solve a problem. Jot down everything. Don’t edit any possible answers. Later, when you have listed everything mentioned, start making your choices about what may work and what may not work. Narrow your answers to three possible solutions and then pick one to try first.
Help children get practice in planning their time. Saturday may be a good day to try this for both parents and children. You make a list together of daily activities. For example: Wake up at 8. Get dressed by 8:30. Eat breakfast by 9 and so on. During the day, as children begin an activity, they write down the time they start. How close are they to being on schedule?
This is an exercise, not a strict set of appointments. It helps to give children a sense of the importance of time and how they can use the time well. It can help cut down TV watching time and increase homework time.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
Choose a big school assignment to talk about, such as a paper for English class or a science project. To write a paper, you need paper, pen and more. You have to think. You have to take notes. You might need books from the library. For a science project, you might need special materials.
Talk about the steps needed to start and complete the assignment. Jot down the steps: 1,2,3. Think about a household job such as gardening or vacuuming. Divide it into steps. This “trick” helps to make all big jobs easier.
At home there needs to be time for homework, chores, sports, friends, family, time alone and time with others. Together, count the number of hours to bedtime. Plan a weekly schedule for this after-school time or pick one day. Help your child make a list of the things to remember to do that day. When you plan how to use time, you often find that there is enough time to include all you want to do.
A JOB WORLD AWAY
To get the conversation started with your youngsters, find articles and pictures of people doing different jobs that might be interesting as a career.
Ask your youngster to talk about these choices. And share your own views. Together, make a list of family members, friends, and neighbors. Next to each name write that person’s job. Which ones interest your child? One way to learn more about a certain job now is to volunteer. Check in at the school guidance office for materials and advice on how to learn about and prepare for jobs ahead.
LOOKING FOR GOOD DEEDS
Together find newspaper articles about people who get involved and who do good deeds. Think back and remember a time when you were helpful to another person. Think big and small. Everyday deeds mean a lot. Ask your children to name at least two things they could do today or tomorrow to help others. What will it take? Encourage youngsters to make a commitment for getting involved.
From: MegaSkills® Education Center
The Home and School Institute