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Tips from the Teacher: Return to the routine

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I’m glad introduce another Dallas South contributor, Nature Sargent who will generally focus on education.  Nature is a DISD educator and is a product of DISD schools.  Welcome to the Fam!

Greetings Dallas South Family!  I am here to remind you that the idyllic days of summer are numbered and it is time to return our beautiful children to a schedule with school in mind.  Let’s call this my “Return to Routine” article.

As an educator for the past seven years with the Dallas Independent School District, I have noticed a disturbing pattern.  I call it the Post-Summer Slump.  Students return to school every fall, excited, but not necessarily ready for a new year.  I am here to help you avoid this phenomenon.

Let us first return the children to a sleeping pattern that is reasonable.  It is time to curb the late night habit.  It is time to awaken before 10.  This is best reversed incrementally; you have slightly more than a month to return them to schedule.

Begin by having them get in bed before ten.  When school starts they should be used to an eight thirty bedtime. Also, be sure to revisit some of the previous year’s skills.

A short break from the routine of timed, daily reading is healthy, indeed necessary.  However, if your child has not cracked a book this summer, go get a magazine.  There are magazines for children such as National Geographic Kids and Time for Kids.

Also, at the local teacher supply store, you can get skills review workbooks. Invest in one for math or science, these are traditionally weak subjects in the metroplex. Re-establish a routine for timed, daily pursuit of knowledge.  Get them in the habit of late afternoon study.  Homework is a part of the school routine and should be completed between three and five-thirty.

Also, make sure you start talking about expectations for the school year.  Do some goal setting.  Each year, parents and children should set several goals.  There should be at least two short term goals that vary with each grading period and at least one long term goal, such as perfect attendance or most library books read.

Revisit social topics such as making friends, bullying, and sharing.  Remind them of their rights and responsibilities as students and the privilege of an education. Verbalize your expectations for behavior and set enforceable consequences.  Make it clear where you stand on the importance of their education.

Finally, let us talk about school supplies.  I understand the challenge of having all the needed supplies on the first day of school and the concern there might be changes in the supply list that went home in June and a revised version you may receive in August.

However, pencils, a pencil sharpener, paper, crayons, spirals, backpacks, scissors, glue, and folders will get you through the first few weeks, easily!  All these items will be on sale in the next couple of weeks for less than a dollar at your local discount superstore.  Plan ahead!

Thanks for reading and please know how glad I am to offer these Tips from the Teacher.  Write to you soon.

Nature Sargent is a native of Dallas, Texas.  She graduated from Skyline High School, and attended Texas A&M University and Texas Tech University, of which she is a graduate with a BS in Family Studies.  She holds an EC-4 certification in the State of Texas.

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