With sunshine lasting well into the evening, it’s natural for kids to want to stay out and play longer and spend less time indoors slaving over their schoolwork. But the end of the school year often culminates in big projects and tests, so now more than ever it’s critical to keep your child focused on their studies. Here are some tips to ensure your child approaches the finish of the school year running strong instead of strolling casually.
It’s important to establish with your child that enjoying summer fun and activities depends entirely on their grades and behavior at the end of the school year. To drive this point home, it might be a good idea to come up with a tangible reward, like summer camp or a pool party, to be given only once a specific scholastic goal is met. This can turn the end of school countdown into a motivating deadline instead of an excuse to slack off.
But with all this looking ahead, don’t forget about the here and now. As a parent, it’s crucial for you to keep up with your child about school – daily. Engage them with specific questions about what’s going on in each class, what they’re looking forward to, and what they find stressful. These kinds of school-focused conversations do a lot to remind your child what their first priority should be, not to mention the fact that your advice can help them get ahead academically.
It may sound boring, but routine and organization can really help your child stay on track in their studies. By the time May rolls around, it’s entirely possible your child no longer follows the homework routine they agreed to at the beginning of the school year, so now might be a good time to remind them of that routine, and make sure they stick to it. Also, sneak a peek at the state of your child’s school folders and binders. If they look like a total mess, help your child out with reorganization. A well ordered notebook often means a better ordered mind.
If your child sticks to a pre-arranged schedule, and makes sure homework comes first, getting in a little extra outdoor time this spring shouldn’t be too difficult. On a warm afternoon, let your child do some homework outside in the backyard or at a park. It’s a great way for them to enjoy the pleasures of springtime while taking care of responsibilities.
But at some point you child will have to pass up a fun springtime activity to do homework instead. When that happens, let them know you’re proud of them for making the difficult choice to get their work done before play. Meaningful praise like this is one of the best ways to motivate kids to keep pushing until the end of the school year. That first day of summer will be all the sweeter knowing that they earned it.