With winter break over, parents and students are busy getting back into a routine. Although it’s an exciting time (at least for parents), it can be very challenging for kids as they transition from relaxed, fun-filled vacation days to a scheduled, homework-filled routine once again. What does it take to get kids back into the swing of things after winter break? Kumon suggests trying out the following ideas to set your child up for success:
Being nervous is natural (even after only being away for two weeks). Remind your child of their achievements last term and what he or she has to look forward to this term.
Did your child struggle in his or her first semester at school? Having a friend to collaborate with on homework can help your child forge positive and supportive relationships with his or her peers. This week, encourage your child to begin thinking about who his or her study buddy could be.
Let your children know that you believe in them, you think they are special and you have confidence in them. Be sure to communicate that you recognize and value their efforts, not just their final accomplishments.
Talk to your children about their successes in the first term and about the fun times they had over the holiday break, reflecting on any new skills they gained which are needed to be successful in life—independence, responsibility, perseverance and time management—and discuss how these skills will help them succeed in school this term.
Make sure their study area is free of distractions, such as TV, videogames and phones. Make sure that the area is well-lit and equipped with all the necessary supplies, including a dictionary, thesaurus, pens and paper.
Schedule daily homework times so they become a part of your family’s routine. This also helps children to see that homework is a priority in your home.
Re-visit goals with both your children and their teacher. This parent–teacher–child partnership will be very effective in motivating your little one and maintaining the development of healthy homework habits, which will in turn help children have a successful school year.
To learn more about Kumon and to find a centre in your community, visit www.kumon.ca.
Genonia Petrea is a Kumon instructor in Toronto’s Danforth area, serving as a certified instructor since 2005. From her experience as a former math teacher and a mom, Genonia has seen firsthand how every child that walks into a Kumon centre can achieve success. After 10 years of delivering the Kumon Method, she continues to be impressed by the beauty, logic and linearity of the program in both math and reading.