7 steps towards creating a successful school year

There is a whole lot more to creating a successful school year than all the right back to school supplies and clothes. Make your child's school year "rule" with these simple steps.

1. Starlight star bright, first star I see tonight. Get the kids to bed on time every school night and avoid late nights on the weekends. It's easy to say that staying up late won't hurt them, but for every hour of sleep children lose, they need two hours to make it up.

2. Start the day the night before. Don't leave homework, packing lunches are picking out clothing until the last minute. Start your school day the night before, so that your child can concentrate on what needs to get done in the morning and get off to a good start, stress-free.

3. Be organized. It doesn't matter if it is the first week of school or the middle of the school year. Take time to figure out what type of organization works, from setting up a place for homework to be done quietly to where you will store important school papers and even your child's backpack.

4. Attend school nights. At my daughter's school each term, they offer a parent's night where the children can be tended to in the library and you can find out school tips and hints about how to help your child to be successful at school and home.

5. Be involved. Whether you can show up at school once a week or once a quarter, your involvement equals school success. Remember being involved can range from a lunch in the lunchroom with your child to helping to plan this year's school carnival. There are different levels of involvement and each one of them are equally important to creating a successful school year.

6. Don't let the school "rule." If you don't understand a rule then ask questions. Sometimes your child may act differently at school than they do at home, but sometimes they are just too scared to ask questions to find out what they did wrong.

7. Talk it out. Talk to your children about their school day. Don't let "fine" be the answer of the day. Take advantage of opportunities to not only talk to your child about school, but also to other parents, and never miss a parent-teacher conference. If you need to schedule one on the phone, just ask; teachers understand about working-parent schedules and are happy to talk to you.

It doesn't matter if it is the beginning, middle or end of the school year. It's never too late to take those few simple and small steps towards making your child's school year a successful one.

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