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Three school age children working at desks in a classroom

6 Tips for School Success!

Whether starting new in preschool or going back to high school, chances are your child will be introduced to new technologies and new ways to use them. This year, make sure you are prepared by setting clear media rules in your house, and by getting to know the technologies your kids will be using and the best practices for each platform.

A good place to start is often with the school’s administration and your child’s teacher. Be sure to attend orientation events, take notes, and ask questions. Then, discuss with your child what they can expect when it comes to using technology, both in the classroom and while at home. Taking the time at the beginning of the year to understand and explain what is expected of your child can ensure that they are set-up for tech-success throughout the year!

Three teenages using media outside of a school
Go over the school rules for technology use with your child or teen. Some schools are cell-phone free, while others encourage students to use their phones to complete their work. Make sure your children know what is expected of them, everything from what they can bring to school, to how they use the technologies they are given, such as tablets and laptops.
Make sure your kids are staying on track, academically, socially, and when it comes to technology. This way you will be able to better support their school work and tech use at home.
Research shows that when kids have media in their bedrooms, they are more likely to be overweight, have sleep problems, and do poorly in school. Research  also shows that kids with computers and internet access in their rooms sleep less and are more likely to use the internet in unsafe or unhealthy ways. Start the school year by removing all electronic media from your child or teen’s bedroom, and set up a charging station for devices, such as smartphones and tablets, in a common room or your bedroom to charge overnight.  This can help you monitor your child’s media use and ensure that it does not interfere with her sleep.
Research shows that when children and teens multitask with media (watching videos, chatting on social media, surfing the web, etc.) while doing homework, it takes them longer to finish and the quality of their work suffers. Help your kids stay focused by having them complete homework in a common room, such as the kitchen, where you can monitor their media use and help them stay on task.
During the summer schedules are often relaxed, including children’s (and teens’) bedtimes. However, when it’s time to head back to school, you may want to create guidelines about how much media your kids can use on school nights vs. weekends. For example, you may decide that your children can use entertainment media, such as TV and video games, during the weekends but not during the week, or limit all entertainment media to one hour on school nights.
If you are worried about how much media your kids use, encourage them to become involved in afterschool activities or programs. The more time they spend at piano lessons, scouts, or sports, the less time they’ll have to turn to media to entertain themselves. Scheduling a few afterschool activities a week can also help keep your children socially engaged and active. Remember to keep extracurricular activities balanced so that children and teens are not overscheduled and still have plenty of downtime.