Happy Monday my Lovelies!
So on Saturday I finally got school shopping done for my 13 year old son, Joshua, who is about to enter 7th grade. It was tax free weekend here in Houston, and everyone else was out school shopping for sure. $587.08 later, I can’t say that I saved that much. I am not sure if the long lines in Old Navy was worth it, but savings is savings, right?
My son has a learning deficiency, and so each school year I have to really help him stay organized and focused. I help him by creating an environment at home that makes it conducive and enjoyable for doing homework and reading.
Here are three simple ways that I help prepare my son for a successful school year.
1) Create an area designated for homework and school stuff
I really have to stay on top of Josh when it comes to homework. He is not the most organized, and he loses interest easily. He has to constantly be reminded to stay on task. When he does, he is quite a remarkable kid who does very well, but he needs that extra push
I recently re-did his bedroom, and one important element was to create an area designated for homework. It was very important to infuse his personality and a little inspiration to keep him motivated. He loves basketball and he loves to paint, so I was sure to include some items related to those hobbies on his desk. I also thought it was very important to create this area by a window. Kids thrive on natural light and fresh air, and when they are doing a less than enjoyable task like homework, a view out the window is not a bad thing. But the most important element is organization. I included the trays to organize his homework. The homework calendar will be pinned to the wall once school begins, and his closet has a filing drawer with folders to file away paperwork. There is also plenty of bookshelves for his books and magazines, to encourage him to read more
Here I did a homework loft for a client a couple of years ago
This area is used by a couple of teenagers. It helps to keep them organized and they can even help out each other as they work together on homework.
The bulletin board is a great way to post reminders for homework or special projects and school calendars. The trays are great for organizing paperwork.
I strongly believe that when kids have an area to call their own, that sense of ownership helps with their confidence which in turn helps them to want to succeed.
2) Create an environment that makes it easier for them to interact with you at homework time or just to talk about their day
I am going to be honest and admit that I think that the school system relies way too much on parents involvement at home with kids and homework. I strongly believe that parents should be involved in their kids’ education for sure. But there is so much that they leave to parents that I often wonder what the teachers get paid to do. I know some of you will disagree here, and that’s ok. But the whole point here is to be available to your kids when they need help at home with school work
Because of Josh’s learning deficiency, I make it a point to make it easy for us to interact after every school day. The atmosphere and room setting can help or hinder that time together. The more organized, comfortable and visually pleasing, the better.
My kitchen is where my son and I often interact when it comes to homework. He will either sit by the breakfast bar in the above picture, while I do the dishes.
He will sit in the morning room area (former breakfast room) and ask questions about homework, or just talk about his school day. I often hear stories that I probably wouldn’t normally hear if we did not hang out in these areas while I prepare dinner and wash dishes. I really treasure these moments.
My daughter is about to go off to college, and looking back, I wish I had done more of that with her. She was an excellent student; very-self directed and independent, so I didn’t have to make that special effort with her
Here in the picture above, the table actually can easily adjust to a dining table height if Joshua wants to do homework here. It just makes for a cozy mommy/son area
3) Boost Their Confidence
This takes on many forms depending on your kids’ personalities. It could be getting them involved in sports, or some church activities like Joshua likes to do.
It could be dressing them for success. Just as adults dress the part for the success and confidence, some kids find confidence in the way they dress for school. There can be a negative side to this as well, but for the most part, dressing well helps with their confidence…..especially in the adolescent stage
Encouraging some hard work, and introducing them to what you do for a living also encourages their confidence and their own desire to succeed in school
Joshua has been my unofficial summer intern this year. I actually hired him for simple tasks in my design studio. I have been paying him $30 a week to do simple tasks like organizing my sample library, filing paperwork, helping me create my to-do list for the day, and even janitorial duties. He only works a few hours, 2-3 days a week
He actually really enjoys it, and he does really well with the tasks I assign him. I can tell that it boosts his confidence as I praise him for a job well done. It also gives us another opportunity to interact and bond. It has been a lot of fun having Josh on payroll.
What are some things you do to help your kids’ succeed in school?
Thanks for stopping by today!
Wishing You Beauty and Inspiration!