The Labor Day holiday has come and gone and the mornings and the evenings are cooling down. Yellow school buses are a regular part of street traffic and people of all ages are taking stock of their educational goals - either for their children or for themselves.
It can be difficult to get yourself and your kids back into the normal school day routine. From getting up earlier in the morning to staying focused throughout the day, you need to concentrate on just a few tips for easily getting back on track.
- Eat a healthy breakfast with protein, whole grain and fruit for a morning energy boost. Pressed for time? Bake eggs in a muffin tin in advance, then microwave them and add to an English muffin. This is a perfect Eat-On-The -Go meal with an apple or banana.
- Set time before dinner that is a designated homework hour so everyone knows they must get their work done. Make sure there are no distractions and that you are available to help your children through any tough questions they might have.
- One hour before bedtime, turn off the television and computers and do something quiet - like reading a book. This will help everyone become calm, rested and ready to greet the next day!
Okay, so now you've got a good routine established. Going forward, what do you do to help your child succeed? A child with parents who put a high priority on school is much more likely to be successful. Decades of research overwhelmingly indicate that a child's academic success or failure is largely dependent on their home environment - and parents can do a great deal to nurture happy, successful students all year long. Again, focus on just a few tips. The key is attitude and expectations.
- Be clear about academic and behavioral expectations. Don't be afraid to push your child to get A's and B's. If you convey these expectations to your children, let teachers know that you expect them to have high standards. Working together will ensure positive results for everyone.
- Encourage your child to participate in extracurricular activities. This is a great way for children to develop their talents and interests, build confidence, experience success and meet like-minded friends. It's a perfect vehicle to develop soft skills such as self-discipline, perseverance and teamwork. Be careful not to over schedule your child!
- Have your children set goals for the school year. We all set goals as adults - and this is a process that will make your kids think about what they want to achieve. It's a great self-improvement exercise and achieving the goals they set tends to generate more pride and satisfaction than competing against others.
Children, even teenagers, take their cues from their parents. If you show that school is a worthwhile, important activity - and you are willing to invest your time with them - your kids will be more likely to see it that way too - no matter how much they complain!
So your daily routine is set and you are well on your way nurturing your children to be happy, successful students. What about your own education? Does it pay to go back to school? Hitting the books again can help you learn skills for a new career or increase your earning potential. In this economy, you need to determine if it is worth your time and tuition. Yes, going to school can truly be synonymous with prosperity and happiness but here are a few things to consider before you enroll.
- Why do you want to return to school? Earning your GED is always wise. According to the US Census Bureau, that diploma alone can be expected to net you an additional $200,000 in wages over your lifetime. A graduate degree - look carefully at the field you are interested in to be sure you will receive enough of a salary boost to cover your investment.
- Research the
job market for opportunity-rich fields to ensure
you stand a good chance of finding work when
you finish school. Right now nursing and accounting
are occupations in demand and educational training
is needed. Check out the Labor
Statistics Employment Projections
to see which industries are growing.
- Certificates or On-Line Learning may be the answer. Updating your skills with a single class can either help you keep your job or land the job you want. A certificate program can be 7 to 10 classes as compared to an advanced degree. On-Line courses can save you money on commuting and child-care costs. Distance learning has its advantages. A 2009 Department of Education analysis found that students in instructor-led on-line courses often performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.
Many employers offer some
form of tuition assistance, so it is worth asking
if your employer does. There are tax benefits
too that will help offset education costs. Check
out Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education,
There are also scholarships for single mothers
and single parents, so look on-line for all of
these educational programs. There are many reasons
why education can be beneficial for any person
in any field and worth investigating.
Fall is a very busy time of year! Now you have a few tips to get back into the school routine with your kids, to help your child succeed throughout his/her school experience and you have food for thought if you are thinking about furthering your own education. Education and training is important in my business and my life and I hope you enjoy these tips I am sharing with you.
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