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7 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in the Second Half of the School Year

7 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in the Second Half of the School Year

As we get into the second half of the school year, maybe you’re trying to think through everything you can do to make it easier than the first half. We get that school stress, homework power struggles, and a lack of organization wear down every member of the family.

And we also know that helping your family stay motivated and engaged with their learning through the spring months, standardized tests, or exams can be like herding cats.

Establishing some routines and taking some proactive steps to support your child through this season can go a long way to reducing everyone’s stress and making this spring semester a great one!

Here are 7 tips for second semester success:

→ Designate an at-home workspace for studying.

Whether your homework space is a desk, your kitchen table, or the couch, making some adjustments to your child’s studying workspace can help make them more productive and motivated.

Set your child up out of sight of temptations like TV or tablets; if they are not within reach, they’re less likely to feel drawn to them.

Keep the workspace clear of clutter that may distract or frustrate your child (or you). If you can both give your full attention to the task at hand, homework time will likely feel smoother all around!

Finally, reserve some fun stickers, pencils, pens, or other special supplies that your child can only use at this workspace. Especially for younger kids, this may be an extra layer of motivation to keep them engaged!

→ Sort through materials weekly.

Whether your child’s backpack comes home looking like a recycling bin or like a well-ordered file cabinet, help him or her sort through materials weekly so that assignments don’t get lost. Even going through your organized child’s papers with him or her will give you a glimpse into how they’re doing and weed out issues before they start.

For most of us, this may look like pulling up a trashcan and a color-coded folder system (more on that below) and then going page by page through their materials to see what’s there.

→ Create a schedule at home (and post it where everyone can see it).

Having a designated “work time” where your kids have the opportunity to complete homework without sibling distractions or other commitments creates an environment where they won’t feel rushed. If you have a speedy finisher, have this be a reading or chore time so there aren't any distractions for siblings who are still working.

For example, if everyone is working on homework from 4:30-5:30 (adjusted based on sports schedules and typical homework loads), your child will eventually get the picture that this hour is not for TV, video games, or toys. It’s go-time to knock out the homework in one sitting so there’s more flexibility for fun later on!

→ Get organized the night before.

Packing lunches, picking out clothes, and ensuring all necessary school supplies are packed and ready before the morning will result in less scrambling or extra trips to school to deliver forgotten assignments or gym shoes. Teaching your kids to do this for themselves will go even further toward relieving your stress!

→ Color-code folders and notebooks.

Assign each subject a color. For example, the yellow folder and notebook are for English and the red notebook and folder are for science.

Color-coding subject materials makes it easier for your student to locate the correct notebook to write in or the correct folder to put homework in, helping them feel more competent, prepared and organized.

→ Set mini-goals as the end of the school year approaches.

Getting through testing, exams, and end-of-year activities can feel overwhelming for both students and parents. Set weekly (or daily) goals with your family for completing assignments, grades, effort, behavior, or other milestones and celebrate each of them along the way!

→ Give a brain skills check-up.

Have you considered that your child’s school struggles may actually be caused by weak brain skills?

Cognitive skills are the gatekeepers to learning. Information goes into your child’s brain—and what happens next?

If the new info remains scrambled and your child can’t make sense of it…

Or if they can’t seem to remember a thing they learned all day…

Or if something is just not “clicking,” they can’t seem to pay attention, or there’s some other block, addressing these brain skills can make a world of difference for your entire family.

Think of it like a sports physical or a yearly checkup, but for your child’s ability to learn and focus effectively. You can complete a free brain skills quiz here to get an initial idea of which skills may be causing extra stress and struggle for your children.

But the gold is really in our cognitive skills assessment—this in-depth peek into how your child’s brain works is invaluable to help you understand why reading, challenging behavior, attention struggles, memory lapses, and other struggles are such a big part of your life right now… and the great news is that these weaknesses can be strengthened!

Contact us today to learn more about our cognitive skills assessments and take the first step towards an easier and more successful second half of this school year (and for the years ahead)!