Maybe you noticed that this blog hasn’t been updated in a few weeks? Just asking for a friend. This is the time of year when it is very hard for me to stay focused. It seems the busier I get, the harder it is for me to actually accomplish important tasks. I’m seeing (and fearing) the same for my kids too. If I can’t get away with mailing it in until the end of the year, neither can they. As a focused school employee—and motivated parent looking for ways to support my less than motivated student—I consulted with our Upper School Learning Specialists Anne Sellon and Kathryn Roessler, on how to survive thrive through the end of the school year.
Here are their tips to help students end their school year strong and with upward momentum.
- Establish a goal. Talk out, then write down the end of school goal so that it is in sight...literally. Submit all homework assignments on time. Meet with my math teacher once a week. Boost that B in Math to an A-. The goal will be different for each student. Perhaps there is an activity or trip at the end of the school year that can be visualized to help incentivize positive behavior.
- Spring clean and get (re) organized. Students can clean backpacks, lockers, cubbies, desks, etc. By this time of year, a student's backpack has some serious mileage on it. When was the last time it was emptied and cleaned out? What about the locker/cubby? Do they still need to carry around 2 hoodies, 17 pens, 8.5 pencils, 4 highlighters, and a broken protractor? Probably not. Reduce down to what is needed now so they can find what they need and focus on the end of the year.
- Reevaluate your after school routine and set aside a specific time for homework. By now the schedule established at the start of the year is likely stale or has been tossed aside. Writing out homework and prioritizing tasks will help with getting started.
- Reduce distractions by finding a quiet spot and switching off the phone. Break homework tasks into 20 or 30-minute chunks. Plan a short break after each chunk. Stay focused on one item at a time, so it can be crossed off the list.
- Fight boredom by actively engaging in class - students can take notes, make eye contact, and work with a buddy that keeps them on track. Still confused after class? Students can be proactive and check-in with their teacher. How do you know if the concepts were retained? Students can teach the concept to a classmate, parent, or older sibling.
- Practice self care. Get good sleep, eat more fruits and veggies, hydrate, and have some fun!
In spring, some say the days are longer. The reality is they are just busier. Help students feel positively about their workload and help them see what they have accomplished. It is important for them to end the school year feeling both confident and successful!