Seven Tips for Finishing the Second Semester and School Year Strong
1) As a parent, do not panic.
It may come as a surprise to you how far behind your child it seems to be with their assignments. It is not, however, your job to panic. Your role is to facilitate their success. Your child can do it. You have to resist the temptation to impart your anxiety to them. Instead, you must help them get back on track.
2) Develop a plan.
Whether or not your child has due dates piling up, with three-quarters of the school year already gone, they are probably experiencing at least some level of mental fatigue. For many students, this is the part of their semester where they begin to lack motivation. Parents can counter mental fatigue by helping their students set up a plan to finish well. Here are some tips for that plan:
- Be realistic. If your child has fallen behind on due dates, they are not going to make it up in one day.
- Get them involved in the planning. Do not simply make the plan for your child. Make sure they are involved and have plenty of input.
- Find every due date. Make sure the calendar has both immediate and future assignments, as well as upcoming tests and any other projects with future due dates. Plan to give every assignment plenty of time to complete.
- Make plans that seem doable. It is not just about setting a realistic plan but making your calendar seem possible to accomplish by your student.
As the semester and school year draw toward a close, help your students plan for their success.
3) Take plenty of breaks.
Taking breaks is going to seem counterintuitive, especially if your child appears to be falling behind on their due dates. However, no child will make up every assignment on the first day of the plan. Fatigue and anxiety will only be exasperated by a relentless schedule with no breaks. Make sure your child is getting plenty of outdoor exercise as our area springs to life.
If you have to take away something to ensure there is time to focus on academics, let it be screen time, video games, and television.
4) Feed them nutritious foods.
When time is of the essence, it is easy to rely on fast food and takeout. However, as you near the sprint to the end of the school year, it is important to help your child fuel themselves with the right foods. Help them choose nutritious options over sugary, fatty, and unhealthy choices. This will not only be better for their health in the long run, but it will help them feel less fatigued and more focused.
5) Make sure your child is resting.
The temptation will be to push your child to work through the night in order to complete every assignment. However, lack of rest will exasperate fatigue and likely undermine your attempts to get back on track. You need to make sure your child has every opportunity to rest.
Furthermore, you must look for signs of anxiety as the spring semester draws to a close. If your child is up all night worrying about getting everything done, they are going to struggle to do the very thing about which they are concerned.
6) Talk to your child’s teachers.
At a school like St. Paul Lutheran School, your child’s teachers are advocates for their success. Their assignments are not meant to burden students but help them grow into the people God wants them to be. If your child is struggling or showing signs of anxiety about the end of the semester, one of the best steps you can take is to talk to their teachers. They will help you develop your plan for getting back on track and finishing the school year strong.
7) Remember that you are doing a great job.
The fact that you are reading this article and striving to implement these strategies means that you are invested in your child’s academics. That is a good thing. You are doing a great job, Mom or Dad. Take a moment to give yourself a pat on the back, and then get back to work encouraging and cheerleading for your child. They can make it to the end of the semester, and so can you.
At St. Paul Lutheran School, we are preparing your child for today, tomorrow, and eternity. If you would like to know more about how your child can become part of our amazing school, please reach out to us. We will be happy to answer your questions and tell you more about what sets our school apart.
Check out our article, How To Help Students Experiencing Anxiety and Burnout for more helpful tips.