Tips to help children — and parents — have a productive school year

I want to help my kids have a productive school year. What can I do at home to set them up for success?

A supportive learning environment at home is just as important as one at school. Set up a quiet space for your child to do his homework as soon as the school year begins. Getting him involved in the process will give him a sense of ownership over his learning.

Have your child choose the spot in your home where he would like to work. Remind him that it should be a quiet space where other people aren’t likely to be walking around and should have a flat surface to work on as well as a comfortable chair. Then set up organizational systems.

One idea is to have a small corkboard where you can hang up weekly assignments, as well as spelling and vocabulary words so that your child always knows where they are and has easy access to them. Also, keep sharpened pencils, crayons, highlighters, index cards, and other school supplies in a small bin in the space.

Lastly, have your child put his touch on it. That could mean placing fun stickers on the bin, putting a special stuffed animal on the table, or a favorite pillow on the back of their chair. When your child likes the space where he is doing work, he is more likely to want to go there and get it done!

We absolutely cannot forget that a new school year can be overwhelming for parents as well! Having a spot in your home that is geared up with all of the things that you will need will be helpful for you as well. Put up your own corkboard and calendar. Here, you can hang up any important papers that come home and immediately pencil in important dates, so you are never caught off guard or miss anything. If you have more than one school-aged child, color coding is a great idea. Mark all events for that child in a certain color, and use the same colored push pins and folders for all school materials pertaining to each child.

Wishing you all a terrific school year!

Lauren Rosen has been teaching in Manhattan private schools for 10 years. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and daughter. You can reach her at