February 2013 Mid-Year Slump?
From Counsellor Linda Campbell
Parent Mid-Year School Check-Up to Ensure Kid Success
This is a time of year when parents often overlook a few important aspects of their children’s school experience that can greatly impact learning success. That’s why now is the ideal time to do a mid-year check up with your child’s progress. Here are some items to check and solutions if you note a problem.
Attendance and Lates
Next to parent involvement, the highest correlation to school success is showing up in class on time ready to learn. Many parents are shocked to discover their kids are “missing” classes and marked absent even though you thought you sent your child to school on time.
Solutions: Find out what’s going on why and find a simple solution.
- If your child is chronically late waking up, get him an alarm clock.
- Communicate with the teacher on a daily or weekly basis until the problem is resolved.
- Don’t overlook another cause: could his tardiness have anything due to your own behavior like you can’t find those car keys for the carpool or you’re always scheduling his doctor’s appointments during his crucial science class? Revamp your own behavior if needed.
Academic Progress Dip
Classes often get harder now. Better weather is coming. We might be all be a little tired.
Solutions: Set a conference with teacher and review your child’s progress.
- Find out what would improve school performance: a tutor, a class change, or hitting those books harder, then develop a plan together before you leave that meeting.
- If your child needs a tutor consider hiring a retired teacher or even a high school student if cost is an issue.
- Check upcoming class projects with your child like the science fair, extended book report, that social studies project and mark due dates on a calendar so your child can allow time and effort to complete those tasks. .
Lacks Friends or Rejected
Friends play an enormous part of not only our children’s self-esteem but also school success. A lack of friends or rejection makes concentrating on those school assignments a lot harder. While your child doesn’t need many friends he does need one loyal buddy and hanging around the kind of friends who value education does impact his learning..
Solutions: Contact the teacher for friendship-making ideas.
- Find group activity to support your child’s passion. School-aged children choose friends based on similar interests so identify your child’s passion or interests and then find a group activity with same-aged peers that support it. For instance, if he loves guitar, find him a group class where he’ll be more likely to make a new buddy.
- If bullied, sit down with the school staff and design a safety plan. See also my posts on How to Bully Proof Your Child, Signs of Bullying, What to Do If Bullying Intensifies (put Bullying into the search bar and choose from dozens of blog posts.
Many students are on activity overload taking on more activities after the holidays, which may contribute to stress and cut into energy and time needed to devote to school-work.
Solutions: Sit down with your child and cut one thing to free up time and give him a chance to decompress. Cutting just one thing can make a difference.
A lack of sleep can have a serious impact on children’s to learn and perform at school. Missing one hour of sleep can affect as much as one grade on the test the following morning. Make sure your child is getting enough sleep!
Solutions: Restore a routine bedtime schedule. Often after the holiday break that routine decreases and many kids are on jet lag. Research finds sticking to a routine bed time is the best way for a good night sleep.
- Watch that your teen doesn’t stay out too late on those weekends. Monday mornings can be deadly for those first period teachers if kids are asleep on their desks.
- Turn computer and TV off at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime –flickering lights affect sleep.
- Remove cell phones after lights out. Sixty-two percent of kids admit they use it after the lights go out and their parents are clueless.
A healthy breakfast is important for concentrating and keeping up with the stamina.
- Solutions: Find healthy options to grab on the run like ready-to-go bottles of orange juice or milk, low-fat yogurt, apples and whole-grain English muffins.
- Set up a basket of multi-grain snackbars right by the door or toss in one or two bars inside your child’s backpack to make it through the day.
- Watch for coffee, caffeinated sodas or energy drinks consumption -a growing teen trend for energy and can rob sleep and cause. Restock your fridge with easy to grab bottles of water for backpacks.
Eighty-five percent of teens say they are stressed and many say it is affecting their school performance.
Solutions: Look further to assess if it is stress-related. Identify what’s triggering the stress, reduce those triggers that you can (like that difficult of a math class).
- Consider yoga, exercise or healthy ways to help your child learn to decompress
- Check your family home climate to make sure it allows “downtime” and a supportive environment for your child
- Teach your child ways to handle stress so he can cope. See my blog posts on STRESS and ways to help children keep a lid on stress.
Final Thoughts: The secret is to identify simple things you may overlook that can affect your child’s learning success. Then find a solution that works for your family and commit to implementing it until you reap positive change. by: Michele Borba
Community Resources for Parents and Kids
StrongStart BC – School District No. 57
A free drop-in play-and-learn program for all families with children not yet in kindergarten.
The Village is a registry of programs, resources and services for parents in the
community. The Village is:
? A valuable resource for parents in the community
? An indispensable referral tool for service providers who work with parents
? A cooperative network to increase access to and knowledge of parenting services
Parent Resource Registry: to receive The Village contact Parent Support Services Prince George
Workshops this month at Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, February 8-9 Competition Introduction February 22-23 Run Jump Throw Certification Available to Aboriginal Youth 15-29
Northern Interior Autism Society, A parent led support group with monthly (kid friendly) meetings. Parents helping parents navigate the road of autism. Join us