Turning Over a New Leaf at School
There’s a saying: “If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.” In other words, if you want different results, you need to change your actions. It’s true for everyone—even kids! Even they need a fresh start sometimes—a chance to move past old mistakes or tackle the challenges we all face with renewed optimism.
Is your child in a slump at school and dreading the start of a new semester? If so, it might be time to look at the situation with fresh eyes and find a new strategy for tackling those problem subjects. Here are some ideas for helping your child turn over a new leaf at school and succeed:
1. Identify the Problem. Does your child’s challenge lie in just one subject, or are her grades sagging across the board? If it’s one subject, you can likely find extra help or new ways to help your child grasp the tougher concepts. If her performance is poor in all subjects, look for general issues that could be holding her back, like health concerns (vision, hearing, emotional health) or learning problems (dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, etc.) which may be unidentified.
2. Schedule a Parent-Teacher Conference. Even if it’s not “conference day” at your child’s school, use iMOM’s Teacher Conference Worksheet and take the initiative to get together with his teacher(s) to get their perspective and advice. An experienced teacher has watched a wide variety of students struggle and overcome obstacles, and can offer suggestions which may work for your child, too. Remember—you’re on the same team, and together you can do great things to help your child!
3. Recommit to Good Habits. We all start the school year with good intentions and lots of enthusiasm for homework and study routines. But like all things, the “new” tends to wear off over time, and we find ourselves failing to do the basics to help our kids make the grade. Make sure you know the answers to these key Homework Questions for Moms, and get the kids back into a good routine with iMOM’s Homework Magic.
4. Eliminate Some Distractions. For a growing number of kids, the biggest problem is their over-commitment to extra-curricular pursuits. Children who are worn out from constant sports practices, play rehearsals, and piano lessons can’t be alert and do their best each day. Take a look at your child’s schedule and see if there is adequate time for rest and homework each day. Another distraction is technology: phones, video games, TV. Use iMOM’s screen time tracker to help get it under control.
5. Consider Some Incentives. It shouldn’t be your first or only strategy, because kids need to know that they have a responsibility to do their best in school without a pay-off. But if your child needs a little something extra to strive for, an extra incentive can be a major motivator. Maybe a good report card earns him a special privilege or a gift that he really wants. Find what makes his heart sing, and sweeten the deal! Our You Can Do It! charts will help your child keep track of his progress.
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