Even though summer has officially begun here in North Carolina, I am sure that – if you have kids like I do – you’re already thinking about the upcoming school year and what that might look like…
Let’s be honest: School can be a stressful time for everyone, kids and parents alike! And this is especially true if you find yourself leading an unconventional lifestyle, if you homeschool your kids, or if you’ve struggled to help your kids overcome the “well, it’s just school – it’s boring” attitude that going to school and doing school work day after day can sometimes bring.
Here’s the thing though… School doesn’t have to be so stressful as we often make it out to me – not for us or for our kids! And this is just part of the discussion that Tiffany Sorya, the founder of Novel Education Group, and I have on Episode 128 of the podcast this week.
In fact, by taking a different approach to education in which we set out to lean into the skills, talents and strengths that we have and use them to customize the way in which we view school… we can effectively learn how to prioritize education, thereby nipping any stress, burnout and overall dread that we sometimes feel in the bud entirely.
And so now the big question: How can we accomplish this? How can we help our kids get in the driver’s seat of their education by making school a priority?
These are just a few questions that I want to dive into here today… So, without further ado, let’s take a look at how we can take some of Tiffany’s advice from this week’s show and use it to help our kids prioritize their schoolwork – without the stress!
Ready to jump in?
We talk about creating a planning system that works for us as parents, professionals, and adults all of the time… but how often do we consider helping our kids create a planning system to tackle the responsibilities that they have on their plate?
Having a planning system in place is huge when it comes to taking control over our time and helping us to keep our responsibilities and tasks in order, so it should come as no surprise that, when it comes to your kids’ work load at school, any extracurricular activities that they might participate in, visits with friends, and the like… helping your kids to create their own planning system can be just as beneficial as it is for you!
Whether this means you’re helping your kiddos to learn the basics of on-paper planning or you’re helping them incorporate a digital planning system into their day-to-day, when it comes to managing stress while making school a top priority, organization is crucial!
After all, how else are your kids going to keep track of their homework, school events, extracurricular activities, time spent with friends, home responsibilities, and so on?
While my kids use inkWELL Press’s Academic Year Planners to keep track of their schedules and the like, it’s important to remember that not all kids (people) are the same! What works for some might not work for others, so I encourage you and your kids to sit down and figure out what sort of system may work best for them.
It’s difficult to prioritize much of anything if we don’t first understand exactly how priorities work: what our priorities look like, and why they are important to us.
If you’re looking to help your kids prioritize school, then it’s imperative that you first explain why school should be a priority in the first place!
Ask them the important questions about what it is that they might want to do later in life on a professional level, what goals they may already have in mind for themselves, and so on.
The more you can connect their answers back to their education – after all, it’s difficult to become a doctor or an astronaut or an entrepreneur without at least some education under our belt – the easier your role as a parent will be when it comes to helping your kids overcome any potential “school blues” hurdles.
For those of you who are not familiar with my guest on this week’s episode of the podcast, let me back up just a little bit… Tiffany Sorya, in addition to being the founder of the Novel Education Group, has a lot of experience in helping students approach their education in a way that minimizes stress on as many fronts as possible.
So much so, that she is no stranger to working with high profile clients who lead unconventional lives that require a lot of customization in terms of their school work to help lessen stress and burnout (think: clients like Kendall and Kylie Jenner, and Dr. Dre’s family!).
Regardless of the conventionality of her clients, though, Tiffany stresses the importance of helping students to identify and truly hone-in on their strengths when it comes to their education…
What this basically means is that if your kid is a gifted writer, for example, then you’re helping your kid to dial in on their aptitude for writing and for English to help them shine scholastically – and maybe even professionally!
After all, the things that we excel at and that we find most enjoyable are often tied to what we wind up doing as professionals, right?
Rather than forcing kids to focus all of their energy on the subjects that they find incredibly boring and that might add to their stress as a student, help your kids to refocus the way that they approach and view their education by giving them plenty of time to dive into the subjects that they actually love.
While this in no way means that you’re telling your kids that math and science (for example, if those are the subjects that they say they “hate” the most!) aren’t important… rather, it’s explaining to your kids that it’s okay to have a preference, and it’s okay to play to the strengths that will carry them through to success.
If you’ve been keeping up with the podcast each week, then chances are you have heard me talk about how I like to schedule in time for – well – just about everything! And this definitely includes the time I spend on my self-care and other activities that I enjoy on a personal level.
To help your kids minimize stress, help them put their preferred planner / planning system to good use by showing them how they, too, can schedule in time to spend on activities that are just for them.
This includes time spent away from school and their responsibilities tied to their education: time spent with friends, on self-care (reading or writing for pleasure, spa nights, meditation, etc. etc.), exercise, hobbies, catching up on their favorite television shows or playing video games, time spent doing absolutely nothing, and so on!
Not sure how to help your kids schedule what seems unschedulable in their own planner? Tune in to Episode 083!
If you have little kids at home, or even if you have kids who are well on their way to adulthood, then you have likely experienced how much kids absorb and learn from their parents at some point or another.
As parents, we have an incredible opportunity to be our kids’ very first role models – and naturally, that comes with a ton of responsibility…
If you’re looking to help your kids prioritize their education, then one of the best ways to accomplish this is to simply lead by example. Show your kids that school and getting a great education is important, no matter how young or old a person might be!
Share some of the ways that you prioritize your own education – or share some things that you wished you had done differently during the days you spent in elementary school, middle school, high school, or college.
Not only that, but lead your kids by example by showing them that bettering oneself doesn’t necessarily end with a high school diploma or a college degree… Rather, the opportunity to learn a new skill (personal or professional) or a hobby is ever-present, and it’s one of the best things that we can do to continue to challenge ourselves to do better and be better, no matter what!
Have some experience helping your kids prioritize their education? Share some tips and tricks that have worked well for you, your kids, and your family in the comments below… And be sure to tune in to Episode 128 this week to hear all about what Tiffany Sorya had to say about her journey as an educator and founder of the Novel Education Group!