student doing their homework

As we start to settle into the beginning of the school year, it’s important to create and maintain healthy habits. September is Attendance Awareness Month, and to spread awareness for the initiative Communities In Schools of PA has rounded up a few tips and tricks to ensure your students and children start the new school year on a positive note.

To learn more about Attendance Awareness Month, click here.

Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep has an enormous impact on student success. A good night’s sleep allows students to feel alert, positive and ready to take on the day. In fact, studies have shown that teenagers, in particular, aren’t getting enough sleep these days which has been linked to increased feelings of depression and anxiety. Feelings like these can not only hurt a student’s motivation to get homework and projects done but can also make it difficult for them to focus on priorities. To ensure your student gets a full night of sleep, set a bedtime for them to follow. This will also encourage a nightly routine.

There are a couple ways to fix this, especially for older students. Many devices, iPhones in particular, have a feature that tints your display to a warmer color. Scientists are increasingly finding that the blue light of a phone screen can really mess with a person’s ability get a restful night’s sleep. By either using this feature or encouraging them to put the phone down entirely in favor of a paper book will help tremendously.

Staying Social

One of the many ways for students to stay ahead is to have a great network of positive support in their life. In addition to support from parents and teachers, a study from a few years ago showed that students who interact more with others and are more involved in activities tended to have higher grades. Students have a myriad of interests, so encourage them to seek out activities that align with what they’re into. For more information about what activities your student can get involved with, contact your school’s guidance counselor or teacher to learn more.

Make sure to strike a balance, however. Social time and activities are beneficial, but it’s beneficial to ensure they’re not stretched too thin.

Homework and Class Work

Everything these days is getting more and more digital, but one of the best things a student can do is ditch the laptop or tablet as much as possible and take notes by hand. Studies have shown that you better retain information when you write out your notes. It’s also crucial for students to be attentive and participate in class. One of the ways to make sure they’re involved beyond just report cards is to ask them about what they talked about in class that day.

Getting assignments organization is also key. There are numerous ways, paper and digital, to keep track of assignments, but what’s most important is finding one that your student can stick with. This can ensure that assignments are on time and prioritized. What can also be very helpful is to create a highly visible family calendar so your student can see what’s coming up and to budget their time appropriately. This will keep family activities, extracurriculars, and even upcoming tests at the top of your student’s mind. Additionally, it will allow the student to set aside a set time to get their work done, free of distraction.

Studying Tips

What’s best for one person may not be best for another, but generally, if they’re able to sit down and study for a few minutes a day, this is much better than doing all their studying last minute.

A great way to make sure your student understands the material they’re studying is to ask them to explain topics to you in their own words. If they’re able to explain it and make you understand it, they should do well when test time comes. Also, for older students, encourage them to get together to study. The presence of friends can make studying much more enjoyable than studying solo.

For more information, we encourage you to visit Attendance Awareness Month for even more resources about how to ensure your students stay engaged in school.