+-
Keep an experience journal. Have your kids document (Credit: David Franklin)

Keep an experience journal. Have your kids document and illustrate all of their family, friend and social activities. This will not only enhance their writing skills and practice what they learned during school, but the book then becomes a keepsake. -- Summit Lane School, Levittown

30 tips for a successful school year

For many parents, back-to-school means homework, packing lunches, a return to extracurricular activities and more.

And after a long summer break, getting your kids back into a routine can be a challenge. If you ever wanted to glean insight into how your kids can succeed, you're in luck -- we went straight to the source.

Here, 30 tips from Long Island teachers and administration to help your kids (and you) have a successful school year.

Bond over books

Bond over books. For children up to the
(Credit: Newsday / Karen Wiles Stabile)

Bond over books. For children up to the second grade, repetition is important. It helps build reading fluency and familiarity with words. As you talk about pictures, it helps build comprehension and allows for some discussion. -- Mineola School District

Keep an experience journal

Keep an experience journal. Have your kids document
(Credit: David Franklin)

Keep an experience journal. Have your kids document and illustrate all of their family, friend and social activities. This will not only enhance their writing skills and practice what they learned during school, but the book then becomes a keepsake. -- Summit Lane School, Levittown

Organize a book club

Organize a book club. It's fantastic for a
(Credit: Handout)

Organize a book club. It's fantastic for a child in sixth grade and above to choose a book for the parent to read. You can read side-by-side or have your child assign chapters to you. Organizing a book club is also a nice idea. It can culminate with a special ice cream or dinner night out alone to discuss the book and maybe a stop at the library to choose the next one. -- Mineola School District

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE

Color code

Practice color coding. Purchasing color-coordinated folders to match
(Credit: Fotolia)

Practice color coding. Purchasing color-coordinated folders to match notebooks according to subjects helps to keep papers, notes and assignments organized. -- Levittown School District

Create a "homework box"

Create a special place for homework. Many kids
(Credit: Ann Luk)

Create a special place for homework. Many kids find it difficult to settle down to do their homework. So I have kids create a 'homework box' to help them focus. Here's how it works: In a shoe box or other container, place pencils, pens, crayons, colored pencils, markers, a ruler, glue sticks, tape, scissors, a compass, a calculator, Post-its and any other supplies you may need on a regular basis. Put the box in a spot that's easy to get to and near a location that homework is completed. -- Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School in Greenlawn

Save wisely

Budget and save. Cut and sort supermarket coupons
(Credit: iStock)

Budget and save. Cut and sort supermarket coupons and have your son or daughter add them up for family savings. -- Levittown School District

Create a daily routine

Stick to a routine. Keeping a daily routine
(Credit: Fotolia)

Stick to a routine. Keeping a daily routine will help children learn what to expect. When the kids wake up, they get ready for school, eat breakfast and head off to school. After school, they can do their homework, eat a snack and play. Try to have them go to bed the same time each night. -- Jackson Avenue Elementary School in Mineola

Play name games

Play name games. Spell your child?s name out
(Credit: Fotolia)

Play name games. Spell your child?s name out by writing one letter on one index card. They can build their name with the cards and even make different words with the letters in their name. -- Jackson Avenue Elementary School in Mineola

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE

Let your kids be independent

Let your kids be independent. Allow your child
(Credit: iStock)

Let your kids be independent. Allow your child to do things on his or her own. For example, get dressed, get a drink or snack and play with his or her toys. When they are done with one task, ask them to clean it up before moving on to the next task. You can even sing the 'Clean Up' song to make it more exciting. This allows your child to understand how to be organized. -- Jackson Avenue Elementary School in Mineola

Unplug for success

Unplug for success. Families should designate a no
(Credit: iStock)

Unplug for success. Families should designate a no electronics period where everyone turns off their phones, iPods, iPads, computers, TVs and games. This way, families can spend time together, read, play board games -- whatever they want. This period can be once a day or week. It's amazing how you can reconnect with yourself and others when you're not distracted by technology. -- Wisdom Lane Middle School in Levittown

Use a calendar

Use a calendar. Hang a calendar on your
(Credit: Photos.com)

Use a calendar. Hang a calendar on your refrigerator and include special birthdays and events. Show your child that you write down important things to help you remember. You can also have your child draw a picture or note when they have dance class, baseball, a project due, etc. They will have a better understanding of how much time they have before they have to practice for their class/sport or their project is due. -- Jackson Avenue Elementary School in Mineola

Ask for help

Ask for help. You're never too old to
(Credit: Newsday / Karen Wiles Stabile)

Ask for help. You're never too old to ask for help. Teachers are a resource for both parents and students when there is a question about homework, projects or peer relationships. They are there to help problem solve and as a listening ear for everyone in the school community. -- Sycamore Avenue Elementary School in Bohemia

Treat them to books

Treat them to books. Visit the bookstore every
(Credit: Jenny Patten)

Treat them to books. Visit the bookstore every few weeks to make a purchase of a new book that your child can read on their own. The more they get excited about reading on their own, the more their self-esteem will rise. They?ll also be better equipped to tackle challenging homework assignments. -- Summit Lane School in Levittown

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE

Create daily charts

Create daily charts. Using charts to display accomplishments
(Credit: Fotolia)

Create daily charts. Using charts to display accomplishments and encourage positive behavior. Create a chart and use colorful stickers or fun stamps to mark off the completion of homework, reading accomplishments, chores or other activities for young students. By using a chart or a daily planner, students learn how to prioritize to keep organized at an early age. -- Jericho Elementary School

Bring books to life

Bring books to life. Take your kids to
(Credit: Jackson Avenue Elementary School)

Bring books to life. Take your kids to a school play or show based on books. It's a fun activity to compare the book and the show. -- Jackson Avenue Elementary School in Mineola

Meet the authors

Meet the authors. Many bookstores and libraries around
(Credit: Handout)

Meet the authors. Many bookstores and libraries around Long Island feature special events and author visits around new books. -- Jackson Avenue Elementary School in Mineola.

Loosen up

Loosen up. Don?t force your child to read
(Credit: Fotolia )

Loosen up. Don?t force your child to read daily. Let it come naturally. Leave some age-appropriate books on the kitchen table or in your child?s bedroom so that he/she goes to get the book on their own. -- Jackson Avenue Elementary School in Mineola

Stay in the loop of current events

Stay in the loop of current events. Encourage
(Credit: AP)

Stay in the loop of current events. Encourage your kids to stay up-to-date on current events. Ask your kids to take a current-events article and look at the history of the event in an attempt to better understand its significance. -- Turtle Hook Elementary School in Uniondale

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE

Draw it

Draw it. Ask your child to draw a
(Credit: Fotolia)

Draw it. Ask your child to draw a picture after reading a book or doing a homework assignment. Teach them to understand what they are reading through art and illustrations. -- Jackson Avenue Elementary School in Mineola

Play games

Play games. Rhyming games and singing silly songs,
(Credit: Fotolia)

Play games. Rhyming games and singing silly songs, laughing and sharing how your day went can fit in nicely as you drive to the supermarket, or from Little League to Girl Scouts to soccer practice. -- Valley Stream 13 school district's psychology and social work department

Ace physical fitness tests

Ace physical fitness tests. A fun way to
(Credit: Yana Paskova)

Ace physical fitness tests. A fun way to help your kids reach their fitness goals is to challenge them to do as many jumping jacks as possible for the total length of a TV commercial while watching their favorite show. They can also do the same with push-ups, crunches and stretching. Encourage children to participate in all of the physical activities they enjoy, whether it's dancing, skateboarding, rope jumping, biking, Zumba, the Wii Fit and more. -- Turtle Hook Elementary School in Uniondale

Raise a chef and encourage healthy eating

Raise a chef and encourage healthy eating. Choosing
(Credit: iStock)

Raise a chef and encourage healthy eating. Choosing vegetables for a salad or planning a meal together using those veggies is a creative and fun activity for the family. It provides a chance to compliment your children as they develop skills as young chefs as they think about providing meals for those around them. Plus, cooking together offers opportunities for measuring, planning, cooperating as a team and caring for others. -- Valley Stream 13 school district's psychology and social work department

Utilize pictures

Utilize pictures. Use new or old photographs of
(Credit: iStock)

Utilize pictures. Use new or old photographs of your child and have them add captions. -- Summit Lane School in Levittown

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE

Join organized clubs or sports

Join organized clubs or sports. It's important to
(Credit: iStock)

Join organized clubs or sports. It's important to socialize with peers outside of the school setting. Children who socialize in organized sports, extracurricular group activities or even just play dates in the backyard will learn problem-solving skills, tolerance and respect for their peers. -- Jericho Elementary School

Read for fun

Read for fun. Purchase a subscription to a
(Credit: Handout)

Read for fun. Purchase a subscription to a children's magazine, such as Highlights or Ranger Rick. They provide not only articles but puzzles and activities to keep your child interested in the topics they cover. -- Summit Lane School in Levittown

Listen to books on tape

Listen to books on tape. Have your child
(Credit: Newsday/Danielle Finkelstein)

Listen to books on tape. Have your child point to the words as they listen to the tape. -- Jackson Avenue Elementary School in Mineola

Plan educational day trips

Plan educational day trips. Trips to the library,
(Credit: Long Island Children's Museum)

Plan educational day trips. Trips to the library, museum or other cultural activities will help promote inquiry and understanding for children. They naturally want to learn new things, and providing these opportunities will give them a broader understanding of the world around them. -- Summit Lane School in Levittown

Reinforce what's learned in school through fun activities

Reinforce what's learned in school through fun activities.
(Credit: Randee Daddona)

Reinforce what's learned in school through fun activities. Many people do not take advantage of the opportunities that are available on Long Island. Just comparing and contrasting North Shore beaches to the South Shore beaches, taking the ferry to Fire Island to explore and visiting local museums will help reinforce the concepts that are taught in school. -- Turtle Hook Elementary School in Uniondale

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE

Research movies

Research movies. View a movie set in a
(Credit: MCT)

Research movies. View a movie set in a historical setting and see how accurate the movie really is. For example, "Captain America," and see if any events are factually accurate. This will teach students to evaluate historical accuracy and research. -- Turtle Hook Elementary School

Become a reading role model

Become a reading role model. For older children
(Credit: Harry Potter)

Become a reading role model. For older children -- third through sixth grade -- it's important to choose books that have a high interest level in order to bring about discussion. You want the characters to become a part of your daily conversation like the 'Harry Potter' or the 'Magic Tree House' series. It's also a good chance to pick a book that revolves around a current topic you would like your child to know more about. -- Mineola School District

Coming soon: Newsday's Family newsletter, for things to do with kids, events, more.

Related Media

Pocket Frenz ($68; pocketfrenz.com or some East End The coolest stuff for back to school Lettersaurus (LeapFrog), ages 1 and up Sing and 40 educational toys for kids Back-to-school books for kids