by Susan Causey, FPD School Counselor

As the school year starts, here are some tips to keeping your student on task to help him or her reach the goal of school success:

  • Create a Study Space. Help your child pick a special study spot free of distractions and prepared with a basket filled with everything he or she needs such as scissors, pencils, a sharpener, a good eraser, glue, a ruler, paper, etc. The spot can be at a table, desk, or on the floor in their room.
  • Set Aside Study Time. Have a specific time scheduled for your student to complete his homework. Encourage siblings and friends not to interrupt during this time. Have a pocket in a notebook where he or her puts homework after completion and/or you have checked over it. (Expect what you inspect.)
  • Plan for Tomorrow. Make sure clothes are out for the next day, including both shoes and socks, and that book bags are stocked with paper, pencils, and homework.
  • Encourage Your Child to Be Organized and Manage Time. Teach your child to make a habit out of writing down his or her assignments and setting a schedule for completing each assignment. Learning to study for an upcoming test a few days ahead is a great idea.
  • Be Calm and Study On! Stress and emotions can be huge distractions for children. Try to have peace at home as much as possible and minimize adult conversations which may overwhelm a child. Children need stability and structure. Try to make sure that your child gets a calm start to his day. This may take getting up a few minutes early.
  • Eat Together as Much as Possible. Family meals together are so important. It is during this time that your children learn your values and concerns and that relationships are established.
  • Create a Bedtime Routine. Bedtime is a great time for a ritual of a bedtime story, prayers, and praising your child for reaching his daily goal.

Discipline, preparedness, focus, and follow-through are critical to our reaching our Christian goal as well – the goal of Christlikeness.

Hebrews 12:1 reads: “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…”

This is the race of faith, the race whose goal is eternal life.  Prepare, keep your eyes on the goal, and run your best to reach your goal.

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Mrs. Causey is a native of Macon and received her Bachelor of Arts and Science degree from Vanderbilt University in 1976 and a Masters of Education in Counseling Psychology from Georgia State University with a Certificate in Biblical Studies in 1978. She has held a license as Professional Counselor since 1985. She has been with First Presbyterian Day School since 1998. During that time she spent a 2 year interim as Director of Bethany Christian Services of Georgia, which is now Covenant Care, and for 5 years was the Administrator of MGPCC.