The holidays are officially over and your family has successfully gotten back into your normal daily routine. School has started back up and the second semester is in full force. Just another month or two and the harsh winter cold will give way to the beautiful Spring weather. And along with the warmer weather comes “Spring Fever” as the kids get jittery and begin to anticipate summer vacation. If you’re anything like me, then you don’t want their grades to drop and you could probably use some advice about ways to keep them focused during the second half of the year. Here are six tips that will help your kids have a great second semester.
A friend of mine recently commented that it can be really stressful trying to keep her kids on task during the second half of the school year. Between the distractibility of the warm Spring weather that makes its appearance somewhere between March and June and the juggling of various extracurricular activities, my friend finds that her kids’ grades begin to slip. And based on the feedback that I get from many of my teacher friends, it seems to be something that happens a lot with students during the second semester. So I am going to share some tips that can help your kids stay focused so that they can have a great end to the school year.
You and your children should spend time setting academic goals. Take a look at the progress that has been made up until this point and determine realistic goals for the remainder of the semester. For example, if your child earned B’s in a particular class last semester, then the goal could be for him to get an A in the class. Or perhaps it might be for your child to focus on improving her overall GPA or on improving homework. The goals will be different based on each child so be sure that they are individualized and based on positive outcomes.
Establish a consistent homework and study routine
As the days get warmer kids tend to rush through homework and study times to get more time to play outdoors. It’s important to establish consistent routines to ensure that your kids do not sacrifice academics for play time. Choose a time and place for the children to do homework - and stick to it, even on the nicest of Spring days.
Maintain open communication with teachers
Be sure to stay in regular communication with your children’s teachers. It’s very important that the lines of communication are open so that if there is a problem that shows up, teachers will feel comfortable sharing information with you. Similarly, you should feel comfortable enough to talk to the teacher with any concerns that you have. Make sure that you and your children’s teachers function as a team and your kids will benefit from this collaborative approach.
Schedule vacations only during breaks
I know many parents who schedule vacations during the school year because it is convenient for their work schedule or to receive discounted airfare or hotel accommodations. I am against this practice. It is very important to schedule vacations only during scheduled holidays or during the summer break. When your kids are out of school, they miss out on important instruction which ultimately impacts their performance.
Keep healthy bedtime rituals
As the days get longer, parents may become tempted to allow their little ones to stay up longer. This is a no-no. School aged children need 8-12 hours of sleep in order for them to function to their best ability. The last thing that you want is for your kids to be grumpy in school, too tired to retain information, or falling asleep in class because they are not getting enough sleep at night.
Make school a priority
With so many other activities that kids participate in, sometimes studying and academics takes a back seat because there are only so many hours in the day. This is not the best approach for children, particularly if you want them to end their school year strong. Make sure school is always a priority. Extracurricular activities are okay as long as school is first.
Making sure that the second half of the school year is just as productive as the first half is very important. And if the first semester was a bit of a struggle, there’s no better time than now to get on board to ensure that the second semester ends up being much better. These six tips will help you and your children end the school year strong.