Back-to-School: Beyond the First Day of Class

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Ann Dolin of Educational Connections Offers Parent Strategies for a Stress-Free School Year.

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Ann K. Dolin, M.Ed.

There is, likely, always going to be some level of stress associated with school and learning – and that’s normal. But, reducing even some of the tension can have big rewards for everyone.

Back-to-School means big changes for students and parents that last well beyond the first day of class. Preparing a strategy before – and after – the first bell rings, can help parents and students establish a routine to balance school, social and sports activities, and family time. Families can adopt easy strategies early-on that have lasting benefits all year long.

But the key is to MAINTAIN these strategies to help ensure ongoing success. Ann Dolin M.Ed, author of the Advantage Books paperback Homework Made Simple – Tips, Tools, and Solutions for Stress-Free Homework, provides parents and students with strategies for a stress-free school year:

  • Determine level of parental involvement in homework, grades, etc. More is not always best.
  • Time for work – time for fun
  • Grades: hopes and expectations
  • GPA: a number with meaning
  • Don’t let frustration slow you down

“Lack of shared understanding can sideline the greatest of scholastic careers,” says Dolin. “Establish mutual expectations and ground rules to help reduce stress and maintain communication. Even the youngest child can benefit greatly from this sense of structure.

“There is, likely, always going to be some level of stress associated with school and learning – and that’s normal. But, reducing even some of the tension can have big rewards for everyone.”

Dolin has developed over 100 proven tips and strategies to deal with each type of difficult situation and pinpointed solutions ranging from establishing a rigid routine to a hands-off approach that encourages learning and reduces stress. Dolin has found that, no matter where a student is on their K-12 journey, the earlier positive and manageable routines are established, the better chance of long-term success in school and in life.

“The best routines and systems are neither complex nor arduous,” Dolin says. “By implementing simple, easy-to-use strategies parents and their students will have a smoother road to academic success.”

Ann K. Dolin, M.Ed., is the founder and president of Educational Connections, Inc., a tutoring, test prep, and consulting company in Fairfax, VA and Bethesda, MD. In her award-winning book, Homework Made Simple: Tips, Tools and Solutions for Stress-Free Homework, Dolin offers proven solutions to help the six key types of students who struggle with homework. Numerous examples and easy-to-implement, fun tips will help make homework less of a chore for the whole family

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