Joe Howard offers some advice for getting ready for the new school year
Prescott Unified School District Superintendent Joe Howard offers some advice for getting ready for the new school year:
1) Make sure you’ve had a great summer. Whether that’s a staycation (what could be better than Prescott?) or some time away, that time together does more for our kids than you may know.
2) A family culture of reading in the summer and throughout the school year is worth a million. Read to your littles every single night. As they get more independent, help your kids to find a favorite series or author and tout reading as something that we do for ourselves. Make reading time the reward that it truly is. Model it by showing your own reading time and do something for yourself: create a consistent family reading time.
3) Make school shopping fun, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Start early so that it’s not time-crunched. Check out thrift stores, too, for clothes. Make the school supply shopping piece something fun and tie-in a nice dinner out or ice-cream stop with the outing.
4) Create a family culture in which each night after school, you talk about the “good things” in your day and give “affirmations” to each other with compliments to all in the family. Put this in place during the summer so that it is habit during the busy times of the school year. Dinner is a great time.
5) Create a “growth mindset” family culture. Growth mindset teaches us real life concepts like it’s OK to try new things and not be good at them right away. It’s OK to fail if you are finding the lessons in it and getting better. It is not OK to beat yourself up every time you are not perfect. This blocks you from lessons that you could be learning. Growth mindset also talks about things like “effort” and “grit” rather than saying things like “you are smart.” Instead, say things like, “Wow, look what your hard work did for you. What an effort!” (Keep in mind that this is coming from a 23-year educator who just watched his only two kids graduate from Prescott High School!)
Have a great school year!