It’s been a full week since students returned from winter break. Gone are the mornings of sleeping past noon and (hopefully) staying up until the wee hours of the morning. The school schedule is back in full force, whether they like it or not.
At this point, the year is almost half over, and students have just begun their second semester. If their first few months of school have been less than satisfactory, it’s not too late to offer a helping hand with organization and gaining control of their school work.
Here are 6 ways to help your student if they’re struggling to make the grade:
Get them a daily planner. Most schools now require these. If not, get one for your child anyway. Have them write down their homework DAILY, and then check it every day to make sure their homework is done. If necessary, ask each teacher to partner with you on this to ensure your child knows their homework assignments. After all, your child’s teachers want your child to succeed.
Write down your expectations. Your child is 12 or older. They’re not little kids anymore. However, some kids this age are going through such information overload, they can’t keep two thoughts straight. Create a checklist of what you expect them to do so they won’t forget. If it’s an unchanging list, you can even laminate it. Trust me, many kids will actually appreciate this.
No electronics until work is done. That means no TV, no computer, no video games, no phone…no nothing. If they need to use the internet for their homework, have them do it in a common room (if possible) and stay close enough that you can check to make sure it’s actually homework and not social media they’re working on.
Enforce appropriate restrictions. If your child isn’t capable of pulling a B in his class because the work is too hard, don’t punish him. However, if your child’s grade is affected by not turning in homework, by all means, start taking privileges away! And be firm—don’t give them back until progress is made. Nothing works like a little incentive.
Limit after-school activities. I’m sorry to all you sports families out there (we’re one of them, too), but if your child is struggling to get their homework done, then they may need to take a pass on baseball or golf. It seems ridiculous to be challenging your kid in sports, dance class, or any other extra activities if their school work is suffering.
Be available. School is hard. Middle school and high school are hard! I look at my kid’s homework, and I am grateful I don’t have to go to school anymore. But they do—and they need your help. You might not know everything they’re learning (which is a humbling realization), but you can at least be there for moral support, and to guide them in how to figure out the answer. Who knows, you might remember a thing or two from your Jr. High algebra class…
What are some ways you help your kid be successful in school?