When students split their time between multiple households, maintaining routines and consistency becomes vital for their academic success. Collaborative efforts among parents, guardians, and mentors are crucial to creating a supportive environment for students to thrive. Here at Untapped, we have a few recommendations to help make collaboration across households easier.
1. Set Clear Consequences and Rewards
Establishing consistent expectations across households is important to ensure your student takes responsibility for their chores, schoolwork, and other commitments. Talk to the other parents or guardians involved and agree on what is expected from your student. By providing clear guidelines and consequences, your student will better understand what is acceptable behavior. Avoid labeling one parent as “strict” and the other as “cool.” This can lead to inconsistent expectations and confusion for the student. Make time for regular check-ins to address any issues and make necessary adjustments.
2. Stick to Consistent Routines
Consistency is key when it comes to helping your student stay on track academically. Establishing predictable household routines will help your student understand and fulfill their obligations. For example, make it a rule that homework should be completed before any leisure activities, regardless of which house your student is in. Discuss bedtime, homework/academic time, and chores at the beginning of each semester and build a routine that can be followed in both homes. This communication will help prevent arguments with your student and will reduce your stress.
3. Emphasize Organization
Keeping track of belongings can be challenging for students who move between households. Help your student stay organized by incorporating simple practices into their routines. For instance, include packing their backpack in their bedtime routine so they don’t forget any school materials in the morning rush. Identify areas where better organization can benefit their academic and personal life, and discuss small changes that they can make to improve this process. Be aware of the differences between houses and find solutions that will be useful, and realistic, for both.
4. Create a Shared Plan
To ensure everyone is on the same page, consider using collaborative cloud-based programs for your student’s weekly plans. Platforms like Google Drive allow multiple people to access and update the schedule, making it easier to keep track of completed and pending tasks. Choose a free cloud program that offers shared notes, and encourage your student to update their plans regularly. Consistency in updating schedules, including homework routines, ensures everyone knows of any changes and expectations.
5. Take Advantage of Office Hours and Untapped’s Homework Center
Each household may have its own unique challenges. If your student struggles to do their work in one or both houses, consider arranging office hours with their teachers or utilizing resources like Untapped’s homework center. Office hours provide a quiet space for your student to focus on their assignments and seek help when needed. Untapped’s homework center offers academic support and reinforces your student’s academic routine. These external resources can provide a neutral location that keeps your student on track.
You can support your student’s academic success across multiple households by establishing clear expectations, maintaining consistent routines, emphasizing organization, and creating a shared plan. Collaboration with all parents, guardians, and mentors is essential to ensure a consistent and supportive environment. With a little effort and teamwork, you can help your student thrive academically, no matter the circumstances.