Most grade slippage happens in the third quarter of the school year, and it’s no wonder — with all those fresh holiday toys at home and summer so far away it can be hard to stay motivated and on track with schoolwork. And hectic family schedules combined with shorter daylight hours can make it tricky to find time together for important conversations. Here are three simple things parents can do to make sure your kids start the New Year off on the right foot.
1. Get them organized.
Even if your kids keep their room on the cleaner side, January is the perfect time to make sure everything else is in order for the year to come. Replace busted binders, worn out notebooks, and pencils that have lost their erasers so they’ve got the tools they need to excel in class. Ask what their biggest roadblock to staying organized is; they may need an adult to suggest a system like color coded folders. It’s also a great moment to take inventory of any appointments they need scheduled in the upcoming year.
2. Evaluate their extracurriculars.
Being stuck inside during the long winter months is a great time to try a new hobby. Then, ask if there’s a free drop-in class or lesson to test the waters. If your child already has a packed after school schedule, use the calendar changeover as the time to have an honest talk about whether she’s still finding joy in her hobbies or if it’s time to switch things up.
3. Check in on their emotional health.
Progress reports, report cards, and online school portals let us know how our kids are doing academically, but it can be harder to know how your child is doing socially and emotionally, especially if they are the shyer type. A quiet car ride is a good time for a casual conversation about who he’s been spending time with in school and whether they have been experiencing any friction in their relationships.If anything concerning comes up, try to help him work through it, and don’t be afraid to reach out to the teacher or a counselor for extra support.