Teachers have a small amount of time and a large amount of curriculum to cover. Most are not able to spend any time teaching students how to study and organize, a crucial skill set for any student who wants to decrease school anxiety. We know FastBraiin children, in particular, need direct instruction in these areas. This is where you as the parent, guardian, or caregiver, can fill in the gaps to ensure your child has the tools he or she needs. School can be difficult, but with the right tools and strategies, you can guide your child to success and help decrease school anxiety!
1. Make a list
Explain the importance of using some type of list or agenda to keep track of assignments.
Explain this in terms they can understand – a grocery list, a chore list, or even a Christmas list. Encourage your child to have a pad, pen, or pencil close at all times.
This is also good counsel for adults. Write things down. There is a wonderful slogan from the company Field Notes,
“I’m not writing this down to remember it later,
I’m writing it down to remember it now.”
Use a calendar to show your child how to set reminders or dates. Check your new lists or agenda daily, and compare the assignments to what is posted on the teacher’s website.
2. Find your Spot
Help the child find an uncluttered, distraction-free area for studying. Having a space to work, with good supplies, pencils, paper, art work, and even a shelf for books, can be great encouragement for kids.
“Create a creative place that becomes your child’s homework spot.”
Have extra supplies and materials available at the study area. Reinforcements, a three-hole punch, scissors, tape, index cards, etc. Good tools turn into good projects. Have a wall or desk calendar in sight where the child can schedule and keep track of long-term projects and upcoming tests.
3. Select the Tunes
Try playing music in the background while your child completes assignments. Pick music that your child enjoys. Instrumental is the best, especially for reading and writing. Play it at a comfortable level, not too loud and not too soft. Watch your child and observe what type of music works best. I am currently listening to classical pieces as I write.
4. Build a Plan
Help your child with prioritizing what to do first, and enforce a routine whenever possible. Schedule a time once a week to go through your child’s notebooks and backpack to check for organizational needs and assist them with putting everything in order.
5. Review your Steps
Reviewing each subject nightly is vital. This aids in the retention of information and reduces test-anxiety. Help your child focus on key vocabulary words or key elements from each subject, and make flashcards or use a website like Quizlet or Brainrush for review. Instruct your child to review today’s material, then review the last three night’s material quickly. Set a timer and allow your child to take a quick exercise break every 15- 20 minutes.
Lead your child in this process to success to decrease school anxiety.