How to encourage your student to excel to the end
Spring fever afflicts even the most dedicated student. Warmer temperatures and beach scenes on TV make sitting in the classroom harder than ever. Nearly two semesters of waking up early and doing homework every afternoon has taken its toll. By the end of March, most students are looking forward to the dog days of summer.
To many a student’s dismay, the end of the school year is often also filled with standardized tests and final exams. Here are some creative and practical tips to give students the encouragement they need to finish with strong academic performance.
Don’t Make Concessions
It’s as tempting for parents as it is for students to relax standards as the end of the year approaches. Resist the temptation! Structure is most important when external pressures are encouraging students to ease up on their discipline. That means parents should focus on:
- Maintaining sleep schedules.
- Keeping the same household responsibilities.
- Requiring any homework checks.
- Setting weekly TV or social time.
After spring break, students need only endure a little bit longer before they can enjoy the summer schedule. For now, keep it tight. For more examples, check out our tips for an easier morning routine.
Start Planning Summer
A little bit of aspirational thinking can go a long when. After standardized tests are over, start talking to your student about what their summer plans might be. Talk with them about getting a job, attending a camp, or going on a trip. Allowing students to start planning for their summer will let off just enough steam to keep them focused. When you plan for summer time activities in advance, you’ll be able to financially plan for things like childcare and camp costs.
Keep an Extracurricular
Part of keeping a student engaged in school is giving them something fun to focus on as well. It can be tempting to let go of non-academic activities as the year winds down, but a sport, club or other extracurricular can help your student fight academic burnout by giving them a structured and productive social outlet.
Encourage them to remain involved in the extracurricular activities they enjoy until the season ends. If it’s a sport that ends midway through the spring semester, consider having them join a club sport or some other scheduled activity with slightly more relaxed requirements. An ongoing commitment to something non-school related will keep your child from feeling like school consumes their life.
Have the Pep Talk
While students of a certain age may never admit it, they still appreciate the pat on the back from their parents. Your encouragement can go a long way in helping your child feel like their performance in school means something.
Whether over dinner or at the end of the day, take five minutes to let them know that you understand where they’re at. Focus on expressing:
- that you know they’re tired;
- That you want them to enjoy their schedule;
- that summer is close; and
- that you’re proud of what they’ve accomplished so far.
Then, talk about some of these practical ideas to see which ones resonate most. Work together to implement them and fight spring fever with purposeful steps that lead them that much closer to summer.
Don’t forget! Once summer is here, you can start prepping for your next school fundraiser.