As we continue looking at tackling our kids academic challenges, we know that it’s not enough to just get the ball rolling and walk away. This is the time to monitor progress by checking the school homework site, staying in touch with teachers and counselors, and remaining vigilant about helping our kids stay on top of the school work brought home everyday.
This is also a time to assist them as they learn more about themselves-the way they learn, the topics that interest them, the gifts and talents they’ve been given and what they might be able to do with all of it. It’s important to encourage them so that they see that even subjects and activities that might not seem to have any relevance today actually prepare them for their future, promote their mental development as well as help them gain a greater understanding and appreciation for the world around them.
As parents, we know all to well how important it is to cheer our kids on if they may have drifted a bit or reel them back in if they seem to have totally lost their way. We need to be their compass and offer them guidance and direction. Our input is so vital to their academic progress and success.
Once you know what the real deal is, you can then help them develop a plan and strategy to cope with their issues. Perhaps they need to stay after school or get a tutor. Maybe they need to hang with a different circle of friends or they need help getting organized. Whatever the case may be, we as parents can do more than just help with tonight’s homework; we can help set in motion strategies they will use in school and in life.
At times we may feel that we want it more than they do. I have been there more than once. It is here that we have to be prepared to implement short-term solutions toward long-term goals. It can be difficult to help a child think beyond next week. But as we talk with our kids and help cultivate their interests and strengths, we help them see that they are in the driver’s seat of their own future.
“How was school?” Now I’m not sure when that happens exactly. But one year along the way in their educational journey–we ask it and they hate it! So what’s a mom to do? I want to find out how their school day went. So I think to come at it from another angle. “What did you learn today?” They hate that even more–bad move Nancy Drew! Ok–so let’s put our heads together. We’re sharp, intelligent women! How hard can it be to unearth from a child how his or her school day went? Pretty hard–if they don’t feel like talking or telling us or both!
Here’s my attempt at cracking the code of teenage silence and getting inside the heads of my high schoolers–I confess–I use humor and I do my best to not ask questions when they first get home but confess again that I don’t always succeed.
I try to save questions like, “Do you have any homework?” till after they’ve had time to get in the front door, eat something and relax for a few minutes. The more space I give and the more accessible I am, the greater the potential there is for them to open up and talk when they’re ready. They’d probably prefer if I just text them instead!! Not likely! It’s just a thought–can’t wait to hear yours! Wishing you a great school year!!
If you’re kids are like mine, they reluctantly pulled themselves back to reality as they headed back to school after Spring Break. Now they only have several weeks left and yet another school year will be behind them. How will they wrap up the year? As the weather changes and our kids find it harder to sit tight and ride out the remainder of the year, we have to do all we can to help them finish well. A few suggestions…
Ask–if they have assignments on the deck, tests coming up or projects that may be due.
Encourage–them to do their best and hang in there since the finish line is just up ahead.
Assist–them with what they may need to complete their tasks and stay on track.
Engage–them in conversation about how they are doing and help them stay motivated.
Allow–some break time so that they are refreshed and can focus on the tasks at hand.
Enjoy–the rest of the school year–summer will be here soon enough.
REMEMBER–what is was like to be their age and to hear the warm weather and outdoors calling your name.
Helping our kids finish well and keep their priorities straight will benefit them as they close out the school year and as they prepare for the real world just up ahead. With you in the homestretch!