Several of us at Northshore Parent have children starting Kindergarten this year. To get prepared, we asked veteran school teacher Sue Morgan to tell us what parents can do to help their kids be successful in school. Her answers may surprise you!

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These are some tips for the beginning of the school year that might be helpful for your child to get organized and will build responsibility.

Mark All the Things

Mark ALL your child’s things with their name with a permanent marker. This probably seems basic but you’ll be amazed at how many parents forget to do this. 

Keep an Eye on Assignments

If your child gets a homework sheet, have a designated spot to put it right when they come home. You should review it just to know what the homework is. The refrigerator is a great spot since it’s a high traffic area and everyone sees it. Your child takes it down when doing their homework and returns it when finished. An older child will probably have a homework notebook that he/she will keep in their schoolbag.

Find Your Spot

Designate a homework spot! Place a box filled with whatever is needed to do homework. For a younger child this might be pencils, sharpener, crayons or colored pencils, eraser, scotch tape, writing tablet. For an older child it will probably just be pens, pencils, loose-leaf, and a stapler. This will make an efficient work area and save time from getting up to find what they need.

Putting Things Away

When homework is finished your child should be taught to put it and their reader in their own schoolbag. If something must be signed before putting it away, see next step.

Start Teaching Responsibility

Another helpful idea is to have a clipboard or basket in the kitchen(high traffic area). You could mount this on the wall or just have a place on the counter. There should be one for each child, maybe in different colors or labeled with their names. Teach your child to put anything that must be signed–homework, field trip permission slip, notes from teacher, etc. here for you to look over that night. You could also put or mount a small white board there for them to write any supplies needed! If you start this routine you won’t have them constantly telling you over & over what they need and about the upcoming field trip!!  ***Make sure to do your part and see to this each night!! *** Your child will need to check this spot in the morning–it should be easy while eating breakfast–and put signed items in his/her schoolbag. At first remind them and then leave it to them to remember. If they forget something they will have to face the consequences at school and this will help them remember the next time. You need to let them be responsible for their actions!!

Prepare for the Next Day

Schoolbags should be put at the door you exit to go to school! ( You could install a hook or just plop it there) Lunch kit should be put here also. It’s much harder to forget it if you have to step over it!

It’s about building responsibility! Start early and they will be much more accountable in middle school and everyone will benefit from this in junior high and high school!

Thank you so much Sue for these great ideas for making back to school a little smoother.

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