One of the hardest things in parenting is helping kids stay focused while doing homework because of all the internal distractions, like dread of working on certain tasks, or the desire to check in with friends, and the many external technological distractions that live right on the same device they are using for homework. In a study by research psychologist, Larry Rosen, he found that “students studied less than 6 minutes before switching to technological distractors.” In this same research, he found that students who had study strategies were able to stay on task longer.
It’s that time of year - summer’s winding down, and the days are slowly but surely getting shorter and cooler. The question inevitably arises – whether your child is a kindergartener heading to school for the first time or transitioning to middle or high school – how can I, as a parent, do everything I can to ease that back-to-school transition?
The first few weeks of a new school year are always a time of adjustment and many students (and parents) feel a sense of separation anxiety, which is perfectly normal. Separation anxiety in children is often caused by fear of the unknown when it comes to a new situation or it can relate to something that is happening at home or to something that the child has just experienced before arriving at school. No matter what the cause, it is heart-wrenching to everyone involved. As teachers, we need to be able to nurture the child who is upset, provide support to the parents who feel like they are abandoning their child and also, help the other children feel at ease as they may start feeling anxious with seeing one of their classmates so distressed. As a parent of three, I have experienced my own share of back-to-school jitters and it is extremely challenging. It is one of the hardest things to deal with as a parent, and can be very stressful as a teacher as well. Below are a number of strategies I have developed to help parents along the way. Remember, elementary school separation anxiety is a phase; it is perfectly natural and it will pass.