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9 Back-To-School Tips For Your STEMists

The end of summer break can cause back-to-school madness in many families.  Parents struggle with changes in their schedules, managing transportation, juggling before- and after-school activities, packing lunches and hours of homework help.  Children have other concerns, such as meeting new teachers, making new friends and managing homework. Unanswered questions and concerns can cause anxiety and sometimes panic in young STEMists.

Here are 9 back to school tips to help you and your STEMists have a successful stress-less school year.

9 Back-To-School Tips For Your STEMists

# 1. Routine Schedule

Start your school routine now for school success.  One week prior to the first day of classes,  you and your STEMists should transition from your summer routine to a school routine.  Gone are the days of late-night movies.  Re-set your alarm clocks to get up early and be sure to make time to eat a well-balanced breakfast. Recent studies show that eating a nutritional breakfast is important for successful performance in school.

#2. Map Your Classes

Most schools give students with a class schedule and school map before the first day of school.  Ask your STEMist to highlight his classes on the map and draw points from one class to the next as listed in his schedule.  Then, visit the campus with your STEMists and walk the map.  A campus and class tour will help ease first-day jitters.

#3. Create a Study Space

A quiet pre-determined homework space will help your STEMists to focus on their studies. If you don’t have a separate room for studying, create a space that provides a writing desk and a comfortable chair for reading assignments.  Be sure the space is away from tempting distractions, such as TVs, radios, the refrigerator and other siblings at play.

#4. Choose a Storage Space

Put all school books, binders, folders, notes and homework in one place for easy access. Siblings should each have their own storage space—parents too!  A drawer, storage cube, bin or a shelf on a bookcase in your predetermined study space or bedroom will do the trick.

#5. Get Organized

Color coding your folders, binders, notebooks and supplies by subject may help keep your STEMists organized.  Creating an organized system prior to the start of school, no matter what type of system you implement, will make it easier for your STEMists to stay focused.

#6. Use a Planner

Use of a planner is an excellent way to learn time management skills and can help prioritize deadlines, appointments and homework assignments.  Also, use your planner to map out project timelines.  A family whiteboard or chalkboard also is a way to keep every family member informed and prepared.

#7. Study Wisely

Use a timer to keep your STEMists on track—30-45 minutes is an effective amount of time to study.  Also, be sure to allow 5-10 minute breaks.  Be cautious of break times; extended breaks may cause your STEMists to lose focus.

#8. Develop Study Aids

Purchase plenty of index cards.  Use them to create study guides and flash cards for all of your STEMists’ school subjects.  Index cards are an effective study tool and easy to store, especially if you recycle a Groovy Lab in a Box. Decorate and label a Groovy box for each subject to achieve the ultimate study-aid organization!

#9. Communicate

Your STEMists should learn to communicate with their teachers.  Encourage them to ask questions when they don’t understand a concept or an assignment.  Also, when your STEMists are absent from class, they should email their teachers to ask about missed assignments. If they don’t have an email yet, it’s never too soon for STEMists to use communications technology. Consider setting up a Yahoo or Gmail email account for your STEMists so they can feel empowered to use email to communicate with their teachers.

Getting organized, setting a routine and being prepared will help you and your STEMists get on a path to a successful year.  If your STEMist wants to enhance his STEM learning this school year, check out our theme-based Groovy Lab in a Box monthly subscription. Subscribe to Groovy Lab in a Box today to help your STEMists continue to stimulate their science, technology, engineering, and mathematic abilities.


Pride in Our Box

Every month subscribing STEMists (kids ages 8+) receive our groovy, retro style Groovy Lab in a Box that contains hours of exciting STEM fun and engineering design challenges.   Each box is carefully put together and filled with theme-specific objects that make up our Groovy Lab in a Box. Many STEMists don’t realize that there is more to the friendly, retro Groovy Lab in a Box packaging than meets the eye. So, who puts our Groovy boxes together?  Employees of the non-profit Versability Resources of Virginia get the job done.

Pride in Our Box

“Groovy Lab in a Box is proud to partner with VersAbility Resources to ensure our subscribers receive their completed box delivered right to their STEMists’ door,” said Elaine Hansen, co-founder of Groovy Lab in a Box.

Since 1953, VersAbility Resources has been helping individuals with disabilities gain independence through work and living experience to help them lead fuller, richer lives. VersAbility creates opportunities for individuals to make the most of their abilities, contribute to society, and enjoy the satisfaction of working and earning their own living. “There is much excitement when the new boxes are being built,” said Laurie Williams, Senior Operations Manager.  “A job filled with a colorful variety of elements like Groovy Lab in a Box work is fascinating.”

VersAbility Resources

The VersAbility business services team carefully assembles all the Groovy Lab in a Box parts, including every electronic, Groovy lab notebook, pipette, battery and other materials that make up the themed Groovy Lab in a Box. VersAbility now serve over 1,400 people with disabilities and their families each year in employment, community living, day support, and early childhood programs explained Williams.

“There is planning discussion in the weeks leading up to the fulfillment with Groovy Lab in a Box creators to collaborate and design the best product while keeping in mind any special needs of the business services staff. The process to assemble the boxes is collaborative with some people building smaller elements that make up the box.  Other individuals may make the box itself, while someone else is putting the final touches on placing all the products in the box,” said Williams.  “The work between VersAbility Resources and a customer is a true collaboration that can enhance a great product through the fulfillment and delivery.  We have an excellent relationship with Groovy Lab in a Box, which makes for an amazing product and an enjoyable work relationship.”

VersAbility’s goal is to help people obtain meaningful work opportunities and participate fully in their communities.  The business services aspect is only one of several services available through the non-profit.  Other services that provide VersAbility participants the opportunity to earn a living and lead an independent life include bulk mailings, publishing, linen and food services, community service, summer camp counseling and more.

Monica Canavan, co-founder of Groovy Lab in a Box said, “Groovy Lab in a Box places great value on VersAbility’s vision that helps to improve the quality of life at work, home, and in play for persons with disabilities at all levels.”

So, the next time you find your STEMists’ Groovy Lab in a Box on your doorstep or in your mailbox, know that the assembly of all its parts was carefully and proudly packaged by individuals who may have a disability, but have an enormous heart and display great pride in their work.

Subscribe to Groovy Lab in a Box or check out a Single Box today to help your STEMists continue to stimulate their science, technology, engineering, and mathematic abilities.

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