Whether your child is a grade school, high school, or college-bound student, we have put together a few resources and tips that will be helpful in the upcoming weeks as Indiana schools begin the fall semester.
Get into a routine
Summer often throws many students into a schedule that is drastically different from what often takes place during the school year. If your child attends a year-round school then this may not be as big of an issue, but if you are winding down from a long summer, you may want to get your children into a routine.
Keep consistent bedtimes, study times and play times so that your child can adapt easily to the confines of a new schedule. Studies have shown that students perform better when they are well rested and have a good grasp on time management.
Eating healthy is just as important as sleep when it comes to student success. Seek out foods that are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals and low in sugar and saturated fat.
Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day. Studies have shown that skipping breakfast can be detrimental to students’ performance and many times distracts them when they are trying to focus on school work.
Many Indiana schools offer free breakfast and lunch programs for students. For more information on free breakfast and lunch programs for Hoosier students go to http://www.benefits.gov/benefits/benefit-details/1964.
Make sure you have the correct materials
Teachers and professors will often times give students a syllabus as well as a list of materials needed for the class. Be careful to recognize the supplies and texts necessary to be successful. If you are unsure about the materials or supplies, take the time to talk to the instructor to clarify students’ expectations.
Many counties in Indiana offer assistance to those who are unable to pay for school supplies. In Marion County, for example, there is a website dedicated to financial assistance of all types called NEED HELP PAYING BILLS.
Engage your child
It is extremely important to engage your child with their school work. Children have been known to perform better when parents are interactive with their child. Something as simple as inquiring about what they learned that day and striking up an in-depth conversation on a school related topic can inspire your child to want to learn. Many children are simply waiting for the opportunity to share knowledge and expand upon it.
Reading to your children is also very important. The Indiana Department of Education offers a reading program called Hoosier Family of Readers that is dedicated to providing resources to help students around Indiana read with someone, to someone, share with someone what he or she has read, listen to someone read, help others read and read independently.
You don’t have to be an expert in any specific subject to be a great motivator and tutor for your child. Sometimes just expressing interest in what they are doing can encourage them to succeed.
It is important to establish goals with your child and encourage consistent study habits that will help obtain those goals. If you feel overwhelmed on a subject and need some extra help, there are plenty of resources available. One example is the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s Homework Hotline. Math and science experts are available to your child to help in a wide variety of topics from algebra to chemistry. Go to www.askrose.org for more information.
There are a variety of nonprofit organizations that offer afterschool programs to assist families with their child’s needs. Many organizations offer a safe environment for children that provide assistance with homework, educational and physical activities to promote success in the classroom and beyond.
The Indiana Afterschool Network has a great website that can help guide you toward the afterschool program that is right for you and your child. For more information visit http://www.indianaafterschool.org/.
Finally, the Indiana Department of Education offers a plethora of helpful information that will help you navigate through the back to school process.
If you are a college student or a parent of a college student, you may want to visit the Indiana Commission for Higher Education’s website at www.in.gov/che. There you can find all the resources you need on universities and colleges throughout the Hoosier state.