Helping your child finish the school year strong
Hey parents! Yeah, you! Can you feel it? Can you feel the end of the school year creeping up behind you? As hard as it may be to believe, we are in the home stretch of yet another school year. Even if our kids have been working hard since September, we still want them to finish on a high note, right? Here’s how to help them have a strong finish to their school year, in the face of the warmer weather, spring fever, and the promise of the lazy days of summer just around the corner.
Set some goals
Most kids function better when they have goals, a solid plan with a clearly defined end game. What do you consider to be the mark of a successful school year? Do you want them to improve on a certain academic mark? Do you want them to work on improving a skill such as organization or listening skills? Now is the time to define a mini goal you want them to work toward for the rest of the school year. Be realistic though. If your child is a C-level student, don’t expect them to bring home straight A’s in June. The goal isn’t to put undue stress on your child, but instead to give them something to work toward for the remainder of the year. Make the goals based on positive incomes.
Keep up with routines
When spring comes around and with it warmer weather, spring after-school activities, and more, it can be easy to let routines slide. But kids thrive on routine. Without routine and structure, things can start to unravel, and that can include their schoolwork. By maintaining schedules all the way through the school year, you’ll give your kid a solid base for finishing strong. If you’ve started to slide in terms of after-school routines, it’s time for a tune-up. Soon enough summer will be here and there will be a bit more wiggle room in terms of routine, but for now, routines are important.
Talk to their teachers
At the beginning of the school year, you probably met with your children’s teachers. But have you connected with them lately? If not, a little tete-a-tete may in order. Even if you have no concerns, it’s a good idea to touch base to get the teacher’s perspective on what’s going on with your kiddo, so any problems can be righted during the home stretch of the school year.
Keep up with bedtime routines
Kids need sleep. Without adequate sleep, they don’t perform as well at school, they may have mood swings, and will be too sleepy to concentrate and retain information. Even with longer days upon us, it’s important to keep up bedtime schedules. In general, kids need between 8 to 12 hours of sleep regularly, so take into account when they need to get up in the morning and adjust bedtime accordingly – and stick to it.
Keep absences to a minimum
At this point in the year, we are (mostly, I hope!) past the cold and flu season, so your kiddos shouldn’t miss too much school due to illness. But at this time of year, it can be tempting to pull our kids out of school for vacations. With so little time left in the school year, it’s a good idea to keep your kiddos in school, especially if they aren’t strong students. With so little time left before the school year ends, it can be challenging for some kids to make up for lost time.
Help them buckle down!
Let your kids know that you place importance on school. Extracurricular activities are important too, as they teach teamwork, instill confidence, and are just plain fun. All of those things are important, but be careful that after-school activities don’t start to overshadow school work and homework this spring. There may be times when they are pulled from class to go to a hockey game, etc. – and that’s fine. Just keep tabs on their schoolwork and, more importantly, their attitude toward school. If they start to prioritize their extracurriculars and take a laxer attitude toward school, it’s time for some adjustments.
When September rolls around, most of us go into the school year guns blazing, ready to take on the challenges of the new school year with enthusiasm. By the time April and May creep up it’s easy to let a little spring fever take over. Help your kids finish strong by setting them up for success, setting the course, and righting any issues now so that when June comes along they can burst into summer knowing they did the best they could to go out swinging!