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11 Habits To Start On The First Day Of School To Ensure A Successful Year

As I get older and spend more time working in different schools, I notice that many issues that children have stem from starting the school year off on the wrong foot. Though many parents try to help their children kick the year off right, if the consistency isn't developed or retained in the following days, there is a chance the child will have a little difficulty throughout the year. That's why knowing some helpful habits to start on the first day of school to ensure a successful year is good to have on your side.

Whether you're a first-time parent or a veteran of the PTA, you can never be too educated when it comes to helping your child grow. Although every day has it's ups and downs, I've learned as an adult that if you think positive and speak positively, that reflects in how your day pans out. As a parent, sending positivity to your child can help them have a positive day, too. Getting your children into the mindset of positive habits or positive thinking at the beginning of the year can be the difference between them loving their school year or suffering through it.

No matter what age your child is, starting their school year off on the right foot is very important and these 11 habits can help you get them there.

1. Start The Morning Off Positive

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Whether it's telling your children that they look nice today or that they are going to do great throughout the day, a positive statement and attitude from the parent will definitely help the child be positive, too.

2. Set Both Big And Small Goals

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According to Terry Small, the single most important thing that students can do at the start of the school year is set goals because it's a form of advertising to yourself. Sit down with your child after the first week and write down what they hope to accomplish in the month, semester, and year ahead.  

3. Create A "Launch Pad"

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Healthy Children noted that setting a place where you child can keep their items organized and easy to grab is important as it helps with the morning rush. Even if it's just setting up a small table by the front door, it can make a huge difference.

4. Get Them In The Habit Of Showing Your Their Planner

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When we were younger, my mom would make us set out our planners on the kitchen table so that she could look over, sign, and add notes in when she got home from work. It kept the line of communication open with my mom and my teacher.

5. Ask Questions

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Not only is asking questions important for parents, but it's also really important for students, too. Teacher Chaylin Diaz tells me that "most parents don't know the power they have in their child's school. We're a team, and the more students know, the better they do."

6. Establish A Set "Family Time"

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According to Care.com, establishing a set "family time" is a habit that can be put in place to establish a good school year. Showing them that they have the support of their family members helps with getting them comfortable.

7. Encourage Your Children To Talk Often

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Elementary aged teacher Cassandra Collins says that encouraging your children to talk often is a great habit to start on the first day of school. "Don't just ask 'How was your day?' or  'What did you do?' because the answer will always be 'nothing,'" she says. "Ask questions that will make them think and have a real conversation."

8. Communicating With The Teacher About Your Child's Learning Style

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Former educator Lavelle Simmons tells me that informing your child's teacher of their learning style on the first day — if you're aware of it — is something that will make the school year better. "This helps the teacher and it starts the basics for a good relationship, as it shows the teacher the parents investment in their child's education," Simmons says.

9. Prepare For Tomorrow The Night Before

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When I was a kid, my mom made my siblings and I lay out our outfits the night before. That way, we weren't wasting time in the mornings trying to figure it out and didn't run the risk of being behind schedule.

10. Create A "Did You Remember?" List To Put On The Front Door

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Though I'm not a child, I keep a white board near the front door with a list of things that I need remember to grab when I'm heading out in the morning. By getting your children into writing on it the night before and checking it the morning of, they'll work on being more responsible and forget fewer things throughout the year.

11. Agree To A Time Frame To Watch Television

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During my childhood, my parents limited my television intake after school so that I could focus on getting some subjects that I wasn't confident in. It's important that parents remind their children that the learning doesn't stop when they leave the classroom, and putting them on a schedule — even at home — can help do that.