1) Water Bottle: Promote healthy habits by buying an easy to open/close reusable water bottle for your child to take back and forth from school each day. While most schools have water fountains in the classrooms and/or hallways, these water fountains form large lines during key parts of the day when children need water the most (after recess/P.E.). Some teachers may allow children to keep them at their desks. Some may prefer that they be kept in a special place within the classroom. Regardless, your child should be able to access it to hydrate when needed, and will have it for the trek to and from school as well.
2) Homework Bin/Supply Stash: Model good organizational habits by keeping supplies needed for homework in a specific, easy-to-access place for your child. Items that can be kept in this place may include sharpened pencils, crayons, scissors, glue, etc. No daily search party needed!
3) Timer: A timer can help instill a sense of accountability in your child. For instance, if your son doesn’t want to budge from the Xbox to do his homework, you might say, “When the timer rings in 10 minutes, it will be time to start your homework.” If your child sometimes struggles to complete homework within a reasonable time frame, a timer can come in handy to keep him/her moving as well. This makes the timer the ‘nag’, not you!
4) Brag Box: Have a place to keep your child’s more noteworthy assignments and projects. Encourage your child to share the work with interested friends, relatives, or neighbors that may be visiting. Also, having your child’s work on file can be useful for reference during parent-teacher conferences or if your child is being considered for special school programs.
5) Magnificent Magnet: Go to the store with your child and have him/her pick out an extra special magnet for your refrigerator. Tell your child that the magnet will be used to display any special work that comes home from school. The bigger deal you make about this, the more excited your child will be to bring home great work. Note: Be sure to refrain from only celebrating ‘good’ grades. Effort and improvements should be celebrated as well. For instance, “Wow, look at how neat your handwriting is on this one! I’m so happy to see that you are putting more care into your work by taking your time. This is definitely fridge worthy!”