There is so much to look forward to at the beginning of a new school year. New teachers, new friends, new clothes, and, best of all, new school supplies! Students and parents alike start the year with excellent ideas and good intentions about routines and studying. But then, first quarter turns into second quarter. Second quarter is interrupted with Christmas break. And third quarter begins in during the month of Mondays – January.
Rather than trudge your way through second semester, longing for summer, set yourself (and your family) up for success by getting excited! Keep up with the work and prepare yourself for May, the parenting vs. calendar disaster month. Here’s a few ideas on how to meet the second half of the year and keep your energy up until the last bell rings!
- Look at your calendar now. Put in everything you know is coming up for school. Don’t let the end of the third and fourth quarter or all of the events in May surprise you.
- Set an achievable goal at the beginning of each quarter. Turn in homework on time. Take back library books every week. Sit with someone new at lunch once a week. Do extra credit for math. Volunteer to help the teacher when she asks. Pass of lower case cursive letters. For parents: Remember to ask for backpack papers every night. Check online progress reports once a week. Go to the school for lunch once a month.
- Instead of rewarding A’s, reward citizenship and good attitudes. As a parent, it’s my job to make sure my students have the time and resources they need to do their best in school. The grades that come from their efforts are a reflection of the student having the information, support, and time they need to do their work. But, a student always has control of their attitude as home and at school. We teach, we recognize, and periodically, we reward that. So, if they end the school year strong with good citizenship and pretty consistent positive attitude they can choose an exciting summer activity. Our 7th grader is looking forward to art camp and our 3rd grader is going to put together a tackle box and learn how to fly fish with Dad. It’s beneficial for them to choose the activity and really look forward to it so you have their buy in on what you really are hoping for – good citizenship and good attitudes.
- Be excited about what’s happening now. Cub scouts, stage crew, plans with friends, hobbies at home, exciting new things to learn at school, etc. Make sure that while you’re teaching preparation and goal setting that you’re also teaching them to be happy today. Appreciate what you already have. Enjoy the little things.