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B2S Part Eight: Are you ready for the start of school?

Ready, Set, Go!

It is easy to see the sense of frustration and confusion on the part of many parents as we quickly approach the start of this new school year.  Many are saying things like “I have not gotten anything from the school yet.” or “What am I suppose to do for tomorrow, I work?” or “My son does not even know who his teacher is yet.”

The schools are doing the very best they can.  It is not their fault.  They are in a tough, no-win situation fro them.  Heck, the Michigan Legislative and Governor are just now approving the “Return to Learn” Plan.  We are obviously behind the eight ball and everyone is scrambling.

Here is my message to us as parents – instead of waiting to see what others figure out, we can take control of the things we can control.  As with everything else in this pandemic, we can either follow and let other guide us, or we can make the best decisions we can and play an active role in our future.

Let the schools figure out what and how to teach our children.  They are the experts.  (Or if you have decided to homeschool, the program you choose will do much of this for you.).  The schools may get off to a slow start and may take a while as they learn this new way to teach and operate.  But we are in control of everything else.  We can setup the environment, the structure, the mindset and the habits which will ensure our children thrive instead of struggle.

Here is a summary of the seven specific action steps you can take right now.   This time I am going to break these down into as simple actions as I can:

  1. Your STATE -  Are you dreading or fearing the start of school, or are you excited for the new challenge and possibilities?

  2. Your FOCUS -  Are you focused on everything that can go wrong, or are you searching for the opportunities?

  3. The right STRATEGY – Are you taking action on the things you can control, or are you waiting to see what happens? *Action Step #1:  Clarity – Grab a piece of paper and just write your first draft of your family statement and commitment for the new school year.  Be crystal clear on who you are and what you are going to do! *Action Step #2:  Environment/Culture – Take the first step to set up “their” home classroom.  Find an area and set up a desk.   *Action Step #3:  AM Routine –The most important part of the day for success is the first hour.  Grab a piece of paper and make a first draft of your routine.  Then start practicing it.  Does it need to be perfect?  NO.  But never miss a second day! *Action Step #4:  Optimize for the Start – Teach them the critical habit of “showing up”.  You just get your child to the “starting line”, the first 20 minutes of their school day ready and excited to learn.  Then let the teachers take it from there. *Action Step #5:  Structure and Schedule – You might have to wait a little until you hear from their teacher but at least know the elements you want in your child’s daily schedule. *Action Step #6:  Immediate Reward – Just start by grabbing a copy of Habit Chart #12 to reward your child daily.  Then you can figure out other ways to bring immediate satisfaction. *Action Step #7:  Linking – Keep it simple at first.  Find an obvious enjoyable habit to link.

  4. REPETITION:  Just use this as your family motto - “I may miss a day, but I will never miss a second day, ever!” How long does it take to develop a habit?  A lifetime.

  5. IDENTITY:  You have the opportunity to make this a part of your family identity – “We don’t wait for things to happen, we make them happen!”

By doing any on the above you are taking action to set your child up for success this school year.  There is absolutely no reason why this cannot be your child’s best school year ever.

By the way, these apply equally well if you are homeschooling.  Everyone also needs to be able to “pivot” fast between online and in school classes.  (*You can go to the Blog page on our website www.ohanakarare.comfor more details in a library of all my past “B2S” articles.)

Embrace the change.  Stay strong.  Be ready to pivot.

Yours for stronger kids,


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