Whether you are in 6th grade, 8th grade, or even in high school, finishing the school year well can often be a difficult task. Many students struggle to finish the year with the same effort and enthusiasm that they started out with. Understand that this is normal, and they are not the only child that has a hard time pushing to the end. Quite often, many feel like they “just can’t take much more” or are “limping to the finish.” With that in mind, here are 5 helpful tips that you can use to try and help your children make the end of the year a success rather than barely making it by:
Stay Positive: Middle school students are often like roller coasters--they have rapidly changing highs and lows throughout each day. It is our job as adults to do our best to be a voice of stability and support that is a buoy for them when they feel unsteady. Many of them will feel apathetic toward school or possibly overwhelmed at times. Do your best to focus on the positive and encourage them when they don’t feel like finishing.
Don’t Procrastinate: Some students are perpetual procrastinators, but after the relaxation of spring break, many students will begin to slack off and put things off until a later date. Continue to be a source of encouragement, all the while reminding them that they are accountable for their work and preparation. It is important to continue to work on reinforcing the correlation between their preparation, effort, and end result. I see procrastination happen regularly, but this is especially true for AR reading requirements. It will be valuable for your student to finish this requirement early as it will give him/her more time to focus on other classes and preparing for final exams. Continue to encourage your student to use the OnCampus assignment calendar regularly and stay on top of work before it piles up and his/her best effort isn’t given.
Take Attendance Seriously: Not many things can be more detrimental to success at the end of a school year than attendance issues. When students are not at school, it can often take multiple days for them to “catch up” or get back on track in class. This is another thing that can cause them to feel stressed when they return or not even try because they feel too far behind. Yes, everyone does get sick and has to miss school occasionally, but the more it can be avoided and the student can stay on a regular schedule, the better the student will perform.
Focus on the Finish Line: Even though they may become apathetic and frustrated at times, remind them that there is an end in sight. Also if they have been successful all year, encourage them to continue doing the things that helped them be successful before. If your student used a planner during the first three quarters, the fourth quarter is not a good time to quit that discipline. Conversely, if your student has not been as successful as he/she would like, help your student set new goals for the remainder of the year and discuss what it will take to achieve those goals. Continue to help them see that they can do it, and it may even help to start a countdown at home. It is always nice to for us to check things off a list; the same feeling can happen as they count down the days until summer break.
Make Time to Talk About School: The end of the school year can be tough on everyone involved, and I know that it may seem like your student doesn’t want to talk with you, but staying connected at this time in his/her life is really important. This can be difficult at times, but how we as adults model communication is often where kids derive their skills from as well. Take time for everyone to put down their phones, make eye contact, and be great listeners. The more we as adults reinforce this with them, the better they will get, and when students know they can talk openly with their parents or adults, the pressures and challenges of finishing a school year well can be a little easier to overcome.
Cory Martin is a 2003 graduate of Calvary Day School and is the Middle School Principal. For Mr. Martin, the best aspect of his position is the opportunity to build relationships with students all the while helping each student reach their academic goals.
Calvary Day School offers a Christ-centered educational experience for grades Pre-K – 12 through the development of the total student- spiritually, academically, socially, and physically. We provide the best, most affordable private education in Savannah, Georgia.