Breaking the Midyear Rut
This time of school year, it can be hard to keep motivation up – for parents, teachers, and students alike! It’s been a while since winter break, and for some schools, spring break is still a ways off, then the long stretch until the end of the year. Here are some tips to help you keep spirits high and break out of any academic slumps that are happening now.
To help yourself as a parent:
- Check your own mood. Are you tired of the routine? If so, it’ll show to your kids. Try to maintain a positive attitude, even if things at your child‘s school are getting to you.
- Engage with your child. Ask them different questions than just, “How was your day?” Think of specifics like, “What is one thing you learned today you didn’t know before?” or “What is the funniest thing that happened today?”
- Engage with your child‘s work. Look at it as if you were learning the material for the first time – or try to find something that you yourself didn’t already know.
To help your kids:
- Try a rewards system. Good habits may be flagging, so it might be a good time to add some incentives to stay organized and stay on top of work.
- Point things out that you find interesting. They may roll their eyes, but inwardly they’ll realize you’re taking interest in the subject, and it may pique their interest as well.
- Help them make connections with things they like. This is a good idea at any time, but can really help break up the rut this time of year.
It may seem odd to think about, but there are things you can do to help your child’s teachers as well, which can provide a much needed burst of energy this time of year:
- Ask them questions about the classroom. Showing interest is a great motivator for anyone.
- Volunteer, even if it’s in a very small way. Teachers have a lot of non-classroom duties that can seem overwhelming at times, and even if there’s nothing you can do, they’ll still feel better if they’ve been asked. Sometimes there are things that don’t require physical presence in the classroom, like looking up information or coordinating extra-curricular tasks, that can be handled by someone else.