Friday, February 6, 2015

Half-Time Adjustments – Ensuring Academic Success

Believe it or not, the first half of the school year has come and gone.  First semester grades are in, parent-teacher conferences have occurred and patterns (good and bad) have settled in. Now is the time for parents to consider ways in which we can bolster our children to ensure a successful end of the school year.

Our children need our continued support to finish the school year strong. For those experiencing difficulty, a triumphant school year remains within grasp if we assist them with setting realistic and achievable goals for the upcoming grading periods. Like many great coaches, parents may now need to make "half-time adjustments" to support their children. To do this, consider using the 3 "R's"--- Review, Renew and Reassure.

Reflect on the school year so far. What worked? What has become a challenge? Planning for future success requires us to look closely at past performance. Discuss with your child possible reasons for her performance. Have homework assignments been recorded in an agenda, completed and turned in on time? Did she have the required text books and supplies at home? Is she experiencing difficulty with hearing, vision or focus? Discussing these issues with your child will cultivate a sense of responsibility and ownership. It will also help you identify areas of concern to share with your child's teacher or doctor.

Renew your home environment so that it promotes academic success. Replenish school supplies and organizational tools. Does your child have a quiet, well lit place to do homework? Review your daily routine to make certain it provides for adequate homework time and rest. Enriched, educational home environments motivate children and foster learning. Update the educational toys and games so that they reinforce concepts your child is currently learning in school.

Children need our encouragement to build faith in themselves and their abilities. Each child will undoubtedly go through ups and downs during the school year. When children experience a series of academic disappointments, they are sometimes left feeling incapable of success. It is critical that we reassure them to build confidence, a sense of optimism and willingness to try. Encourage with words. Tell your child that you love him, are proud of him and believe that he is capable of reaching his goals. Compliment strengths as well as growth in challenges he has been working on. Be specific so that he knows exactly which behaviors warrant duplicating. When discussing your plan to address challenges, be positive. Remind your child that the new year brings with it opportunity for great change, and that you are always there to help. Encourage with affection. A hug, kiss, and even congratulatory high five or ‘fist pump’ can go a long way to reassure a child and build self esteem.

~Sheila Adams Gardner

 2015 © Gardener Parenting Consultants, LLC

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