Tag Archives: school year

5 Free Tools To Keep Your Son Focused This School Year

Back to school can be an exciting yet stressful time of the year. If your son is starting a new school or transitioning from elementary to middle or middle to high school, he’ll need tools to help him stay focused, organized and calm.  The following tools are great for giving your son an extra edge for the start of the school year.

Photo courtesy of Mrehan(Flickr)

Photo courtesy of Mrehan(Flickr)

1. Does Your Home Encourage Learning Questionnaire

Does your home reflect an environment conducive to learning? Depending on your son’s age, you can create a learning environment by providing resources  that support what your son learns in school as well as his specific interests. For example, if your son is interested in astronomy, there are low cost ways you can encourage his learning through DIY kits. Our kids spend many hours at school, so at home we want them to relax and unwind. This questionnaire helps you identify areas in which you may need to improve your child’s learning environment.  Does Your Home Encourage Learning

 

2. How Many Ways Are You Smart and Learning Styles Quiz

People are smart in various ways. We don’t need to get bogged down by what society defines as gifted or intelligent. Also, emotional intelligence is equally important as IQ.  Even if you know your son’s learning style, he needs to know how he learns best and his strengths. Knowing his learning style gives your son an advantage to learning faster.  How Many Ways Are You Smart and Learning Style Inventory Survey

 

3. School Year Vision Board

I do this with my oldest son every year  before back to school. It’s a great visual for boys to look at the year ahead. This is not a wish list but rather a visual plan for your son’s personal and academic success. Think of it as a visual reminder of his goals for the school year. There are online vision boards but I like the the old fashion way with a large poster board and pictures from magazines. I never tell my son what he can’t put on a board, I just give him tools on how to use the vision board.

 

4. Goal Setting Toolkit for Boys

Research shows that written goals have a 80% higher chance of being achieved. Goal setting for kids should be simple and short term. I’ve created this simple tool for boys because it gives them the steps they need to take to achieve their goals. Use this tool just for the year and have your son review it daily or weekly to ensure he is on track. When you sign up for my newsletter, you get the goal setting kit for free.  Raising Great Men Newsletter Signup and Free Goal Setting Toolkit

 

5. Stress Style Inventory

One of the many complaints I hear from parents and students is that they are overwhelmed and stressed.  The problem isn’t the stress but the how to properly manage the stress. Most kids and adults are not aware of their stress style. It is helpful to know if you experience stress through your mind or body. This inventory form helps you identify your stress style as well as offer tools for managing your stress.  Stress Style Quiz

These tools are a great way to get a jump start on the school year.  If you have other tools to share, please comment below.

The Seasons of Your Son’s Life

As we get ready for the summer season, I think about how we go through various seasons in life. We are reminded in Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. As  we watch our kids finish the school year and prepare for the summer,  their physical transformation during  these brief months can leave us baffled by the brevity of childhood.  Just as the seasons change, our sons go through their seasons of emotional, mental, spiritual and physical change. Whether your son is in kindergarten, middle/high school or college, the season of his life will be filled with hope and challenges. While we wish we could easily prepare our sons for these transitions, we can’t predict with accuracy what will happen in each season of our son’s life.

Seasons of Your Son's Life

A few years ago, middle school felt like the coldest winter ever. Like a harsh winter season, my son’s school year was unpredictable and arduous. As a parent, sometimes all I could do was offer support and encouragement while feeling helpless and unproductive.  There were days the more I tried to help, the more he resisted. I learned to adapt to my son’s changes by being consistent with my presence without being overbearing. As my son grew older and learned how to manage his emotions, I also learned how to manage our mother-son relationship. I learned to be present when he was talking and when he needed me to guide, coach or direct him.

I learned to appreciate the seasons of my son’s life. Parenting doesn’t prepare you for unexpected power struggles, the moments of uncertainty, or the quiet emotional storms. Someone once told me, “Raising boys is deceptively simple”, and I agree that sometimes we make assumptions about the emotional lives of boys.

You may not notice the season of your son’s life until he reaches puberty. Then you may notice the varying degrees of emotions and behavior. Like rain on a sunny summer day or snow in the spring, be prepared  be caught off guard with unexpected changes. What’s most interesting about boys is that most of them are intricate, sensitive, and fragile, yet they mask this by being flippant, apathetic and indifferent.  Be patient with the passing storms and be grateful for the mild days. On days when you’re tempted to let the circumstances take over, remember like every season, this too shall pass.