How to ensure that your child gets a healthy mix of work and play this year.
It seems as though kids these days have more and more priorities each and every year that they have to balance. Between soccer practice, homework, participating in clubs, playing with friends and spending time with family, it can seem nearly impossible some days to try and fit it all in. Sooner or later, you may even feel as though you need to start sacrificing some activities over others in order to have a more manageable schedule. But is it fair to your child to start cutting the fun activities out of their life in favor of more time for school work?
Many studies have shown that play time is just as important for a child´s growth as homework and learning is. It helps them become more comfortable with their peers, develop cognitive and social skills, and even improve their performance in school. Therefore, it is important that parents are ensuring that their children are maintaining a healthy balance of both work and play each and every school year.
It is very possible for a child (and their family) to be able maintain a full mix of schoolwork, play and free time and long as they have a well-managed schedule laid out for them and the proper help from the entire family in order to succeed at each activity. Here are just a few tips for achieving that healthy mix of work and play time during your child´s upcoming school year:
Keep A Planner For Your Whole Family
It is easy to forget about an upcoming school project or big playoff sports game if you are never writing down the upcoming events in your schedule. Keeping a planner that details important due dates, events and school items for each member in your family will help your entire household plan out when you have free time, when you should mark off time during the day to devote to school work, and when your family has prior commitments that you need to fulfill. Having all of these events laid out in one organized place is the first step to helping your entire family feel more organized and prepared.
Map Our Your Priorities
At certain points throughout the year, you may find that you or one of your children have events or activities that fall at the same time, such as a sports practice for John the same night before he has a huge exam at school. In order to prepare for a moment where you have to decide between one or more activities, your whole family should decide at the beginning of the school year what your priorities are and you need to stick to them all year long. For instance, it may be a given that school assignments should always come before play time or sports events, but can weekly family dinner be moved to accommodate for a sports practice or play rehearsal? Decide together as a family.
Talk With Teachers
A great way to keep on top of your child´s school work and always ensure that they are keeping ahead with their studies is to maintain a communicative relationship with their teachers. If you know that you have a trip coming up with your family and don´t want your child to fall behind on any projects or reading, ask for their assignments early so that you can get a head start on them. Staying in touch with your child´s teacher is also great because they can let you know if your child is falling behind on certain subjects or needs to focus on one area of their studies more so that they do not fall behind while participating in other activities.
How do you ensure that everyone in your family maintains a good mix of work and play during the school year? Be sure to share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below!