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12 Back to School Success Tips for Your Children

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When it’s back to school time, do you look for tips for school success? If so, you are in the right place! In this episode of the Renewed Mama Podcast, I share twelve tips to help you and your children have a successful school year. 

HOMESCHOOL IS IN FULL SWING IN OUR HOUSE

Let’s just say last week, I ate a lot of brownies, chocolate ice cream, and chocolate pudding!

I’m joking, kind of.  We stepped it up this year with our home school fun, adding French and Science, Canadian Geography and History, and my oldest is grade nine.  Last year, we did so many renovations, kept up two houses, and ran all around for ballet and hockey. I tutored, podcasted, and shared about Speak Life Badges and Austin’s Kids Club.  We scaled back and just stuck with reading, writing, math, Bible, and history read alouds because we love our snuggle story time.

So now I am feeling the extra load of checking work or spontaneous science experiments that really are fantastic because they are all about what the children are interested in, but wasn’t in my plan for the day.  There was a math test and a grammar test that didn’t go so well, and then the talk from dad about taking their school seriously.  And more than one time me saying, “Would you just write that answer down?” because my eight year old son loves to talk in between most every math problem and turn each number into a person or an animal.

We had the first official online science test for my grade nine daughter and her three lab reports to turn in.  So, can’t you see now why the brownies and chocolate ice cream and chocolate pudding were needed? I’m being a little cheeky here because I really do love our homeschool days. 

How about you?  How has it been for you, Mama?  Whether your children go to school or you homeschool, I would love to hear how you are doing.  Tell me in the comments below. 👇

TIP 1 – DON’T INVITE YOUR CHILDREN ON THE STRUGGLE BUS

While you may have struggled with math or reading, that doesn’t mean your child will struggle, too.  What you say and how you respond to your child’s struggles matters.  If you are saying, “Math was so hard for me.  No wonder it’s hard for you, too.”  Stop! You do not need to pass your own learning challenges on to your children.

I encourage you to listen to an amazing conversation I had with Stephanie Sewell called Help Your Child Succeed in School – Renewed Mama Podcast Episode 46

Stephanie and I talk about how we can still support our children through their individual learning challenges even if a subject was hard for us.  In fact, how we learn, especially when we were young, plays a big role in how we feel about ourselves and our abilities and how we carry that into adulthood.

Stephanie shares how you can help them to own their own learning and cultivate in them a “want to” to figure something out if they don’t know it.

And Stephanie tells us how we can create a safe and helpful learning environment for our children so that they understand that it’s OK to make mistakes. It’s OK to try something and decide it’s not for them. We can give them the permission to leave the learning opportunity and come back to it when they are ready.

TIP 2 – GOODBYE, UNMET FEELINGS, NEEDS, AND EXPECTATIONS

Misbehavior, outbursts, temper tantrums are not who your child is.  It isn’t who you are, Mama, if you have a moment where you lose your patience, get irritated, and shout.  You and your children are responding to unmet feelings, needs, and missed expectations.  The good news is that you can address the feelings and meet the physical needs – many times even before it happens because you know your children so well.  You can figure out that they are tired, or hungry, or over stimulated.  And you can reassess your expectations to more realistic ones if you need to.

I talk all about this in Strengthening You, Mama:  What Do You and Your Children Need Today?  – Renewed Mama Podcast Episode 30. Understanding what I share in this episode really helped me show up as a mom with more grace and patience.  I know it will help you, too. 

TIP 3 – NEW EXPERIENCES EACH DAY

Remember that your children are experiencing firsts every day.  The first time at day care or school or the first time at the dentist or eye doctor. You take them to the pool or splash pad or across the monkey bars for the first time. How about their first kindergarten boyfriend? Mine was Kyle. Or they experience a friend refusing to play with them on the playground.  You can set them up for success as they experience all of these firsts with the pregame huddle.  Hear all about how to use the Pregame Huddle to Help Your Child with New Situations – Renewed Mama Podcast Episode 64.

TIP 4 – GIVE ENCOURAGEMENT AND PRAISE

Encouragement is like a cheerleader, cheering your child on and saying, “You are awesome!  You are so good at that.  How amazing you are.”  Encouragement is not specific to what or how they are awesome or great at what they do.

Praise on the other hand is specific and speaks to the character and behavior of your child.  Praise is genuine admiration for their skill, talent, and who they are as a person.

Your child loves to hear both from you.

In Episode 7, Your Children Need to Hear Only These Two Things, I share specific suggestions or scripts you can say to your children using both encouragement and praise. 

TIP 5 – NO MORE LYING

If your child is believing these lies: I can’t sit still.  I’m afraid of not doing it right.  I’m lazy.  I am afraid (especially when it comes to giving a presentation at school).  I’ll just lie so that I don’t get into trouble.  I’m not important, Then listen to 3 Lies your Children Might be Believing – Renewed Mama Podcast Episodes 16 and 3 More Lies your Children Might be Believing – Renewed Mama Podcast Episodes 17.

In these two episodes, I give you tips for what you can do and scripts that you can say today to your child to help them to acknowledge it as a lie, (2) how to break off the lie, and (3) how to replace it with truth so that they have a new, renewed right way of thinking which leads to a new way of believing and behaving.

TIP 6 – WHEN YOUR CHILD IS MADE FUN OF

What if your child comes home and tells you that a boy at school said: “I can’t believe I have to see your ugly face.”  That was what one boy said to my daughter.  He walked right up to her out of the blue and said those words. You know what she thought in response when he said that to her? “Wow, that must have taken a lot of courage to walk right up to me and say that to my face.”

What?!  Mama!  That is what we are here for!  Raising our children for emotional maturity, to not take offence, to believe the best about another person, and to choose wisely whom they call their friends.

In Episode 55, What Do I Say When My Child is Made Fun of? – Renewed Mama Podcast, I help you know what to say when your child is made fun of. This is my most listened to podcast episode and most read blog post.

TIP 7 – STOP THE BULLYING

Now on the other hand, what if your child is bullying.  What if they manipulate, gang up on other siblings, purposely exclude a sibling or cousin, and say mean things?  What should you do? 

Remember that your words speak life or death, blessings or curses.  Resist labeling your child as a bully by saying, “You are a bully.”  A bully is not who your child is.  Yes, their actions are characteristic of a bully, meaning they are choosing to behave like a bully, but their person, who they are, is not a bully.

Get to the root of why they are choosing the behavior of a bully. Episode 56 of the Renewed Mama Podcast called My Child is a Bully.  What Should I Do? will help you.

TIP 8 – TEACHING IDENTITY TO YOUR CHILDREN

Who your child believes he or she is as a person will inform the decisions they make in life.  From what they wear, to how they look after themselves, to how they treat siblings and how they treat authority. 

Their identity influences what friends they choose and how they treat those friends.  Even who they marry.  Their identity will dictate how or if they pursue the dreams God puts in their heart.

Everything stems from understanding and feeling secure in their identity, who I am.  I encourage you, Mama, to do everything you can to build in them an unshakable foundation of who they are. May that foundation be based on what God says about your children.  May God’s Word be the standard.  The goal is His truth is what they see when they look in the mirror. 

If you are looking for a story book resource for your children with identity statements, get a hold of Rachel Hilliker’s book, God’s Masterpiece.  The companion book guides you, Mom, as you share these identity truths with your kids.  It suggests activities and crafts you can do as you explore each identity truth.

Rachel Hilliker and I talk about her book in Teach Children Their Identity in Jesus with Rachel Hilliker  – Renewed Mama Podcast Episode 69.

TIP 9 – KEEP THE FUN IN HOMESCHOOLING

If you homeschool, and you are bored.  Your kids are bored or have no desire to do the work, to read, they struggle with math, then drop everything and go right now to Goodbye, Boring.  Hello, Homeschool Fun and Eager Learners – Renewed Mama Podcast Episode 50.

Print off the FREE PDF where I share 25 activity and game ideas that will have your children asking to do school.  I promise. Even if your children go to school, you can still use these fun ideas for homework in the evenings or to practice their times tables or spelling words, or to get them reading.

TIP 10 – YOU CAN WORK AND HOMESCHOOL

I remind you, Mama that it is possible to juggle it all….the kids, your full time 9-5 career or your business, homeschool, keeping up with the house work, and after school activities.  You can still take care of yourself and keep your joy.  You can keep thinking, speaking, and responding renewed in all the things.

Jen McKinnon and her Working Homeschool Mom Club joined me on Episode 45 Can You Work and Homeschool Your Children? – Renewed Mama Podcast.  Even if you don’t homeschool, you will be so encouraged by her practical, doable advice.  If you feel like the to-do list never ends or that the to-do’s must be done now.  If you feel like you need help teaching your children that now is “Mommy’s work time,” or you compare yourself to others, listen to this episode today.

TIP 11 – NOT LIVING BY OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINION

The best gift you can give yourself as a mom is to stop giving value to what other people think or say, including the in-laws, about what you do in your home, how you parent, or how you homeschool.  What someone else thinks about you and your homeschool and parenting is not more important than your values, goals, methods, and calling as a mom and a wife.

Let what you know is best for your family be your driving force, not other people’s opinions or comments.  You will find so much freedom in meeting your family’s needs inside your four walls than in keeping up and satisfying everyone else’s’ thoughts and opinions about your life.

If you are struggling with this, I highly recommend listening to a two part series on Preventing Homeschool Burnout with Special Guest Rowan Atkinson – Renewed Mama Podcast Episodes 40 and 41

Do you feel overwhelmed or burned out like there isn’t time for yourself because you are with the kids 24/7?  Maybe you feel like you are failing at the home and mom thing because you aren’t doing all the things the other moms do.  If you worry about what other people think like why are you out with your kids at the store when they should be in school, then you won’t want to miss these two episodes.

TIP 12 – YOU NEED A BEDTIME ROUTINE

Playing on devices, watching TV, or scrolling on social doesn’t minimize the evening meltdowns.  What will is connection, good nourishing food, bedrooms that are safe havens, bubble baths, and getting to bed on time. I share so much more in episode 20 called 8 Things You’d Never Guess about Bedtime Exhaustion – Renewed Mama Podcast Episode 20

SHARE THIS WITH ANOTHER MAMA

Save this episode to come back to again and again when you need back to school success tips.  Be sure to share this with another Mama you know whose children may be struggling in school, who is juggling all the things, and needs to be reminded to not hold weight to other people’s opinions. She will thank you for sharing the love.

DO YOU NEED HELP, MAMA?

Mama, you know that I am here for you. 

If you have any questions or need another mama to talk through your bedtime routines, your homeschool days, or teaching identity to your children, I’m here to help. If you want more peaceful and connected evenings, and you still get the dishes and kitchen all cleaned up so that you don’t have to do that in the morning, go to Renewed Mama Coaching and book your first coaching session now.  Sometimes, all you need is someone else to talk to and a small tweak here or there of your mindset, expectations, and habits to unlock a renewed way of doing things for you.  Go to renewedmamacoaching.com and book your first coaching session now.

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