The start of a new year for many kids means coming back from winter break and being confronted with the end of the second quarter. Rather than starting the new year with a fresh clean slate, your child is being hit with homework assignments, project deadlines, and end of the quarter quizzes and tests. With the end of the quarter looming overhead like a dark cloud, even the best students can feel overwhelmed so now is a perfect time to make one of your New Year’s resolutions to review how you’re supporting your child’s academic progress. Here are 3 ways to ensure mid-year school success, regardless of their age and grade.
3 Ways to Ensure Mid-Year School Success for All Ages
Ask Open Ended Questions to Check In About Their Day
How many times have you asked your kids about their day and only gotten a one-word answer? The way we talk about school with our kids matters, especially since it becomes increasingly difficult to know what their day is like and how they’re doing in school as they get older. This year resolve to ask open-ended questions to help ensure mid-year school success.
Open-ended questions require your child to give you more than a yes or no response that can provide helpful insight about academics, social challenges, and more especially as you keep the conversation going. Here are some examples of good open-ended questions that help you check in with your child:
- What was the best thing you did at school today?
- When did you feel the proudest today?
- What was the best thing that happened in school today? What was the worst?
- Which teacher are you learning the most from?
- What’s coming up at school that you’re excited/worried/nervous about?
- How can I help?
Review What’s Working and What Isn’t
By asking “How can I help?” you’re providing an important lifeline to your child. You’re letting them know you’re there to listen and support them which is critical for tweens and teens. Asking this question is an opportunity to let your child state what’s not working, problem solve together, and strategize about if they think there’s a time that it might be beneficial for you to step in. Since they’re well into the school year, asking now helps achieve mid-year school success and helps support them as they finish their year.
Get Them the Support They Need
Our kids need us at every age and stage and it’s important to provide them with support, even though they don’t like to admit it’s needed. Physical support in the form of hugs, emotional support through your presence, and academic support are critical to raising healthy and confident individuals.
I’m constantly asking Emily, my 15 year-old high school freshman, how I can support her in her magnet engineering program. She’s taking 4 college level classes that includes AP Physics, magnet pre-calculus, and two college level engineering classes. She loves the challenge of her program and does a great job balancing her course load with downtime and fun, but we make sure she knows we’re here to support her in whatever way we can, and recently that’s involved encouraging her to to seek assistance from Varsity Tutors as often as needed.
Emily loves using Varsity Tutors Instant Tutoring, a live-learning platform that matches elementary, middle, and high school students with vetted subject matter experts to help them learn anything anywhere. Families can access Instant Tutoring on desktop or mobile devices 24/7 which means the tool provides an on-demand connection to qualified, experienced tutors for 1:1 on-demand live learning or tutoring experiences. In less than 15 seconds families can access 1000 subjects in as little as 15 seconds!
Instant Tutoring can be used for school-focused New Year’s resolutions, such as raising GPAs, or even by parents who might want to learn a new skill in 2019. It’s also useful for all stages of the resolution process, from identifying and setting achievable goals to learning new subject matter.
For more information about Varsity Tutors Instant Tutoring, visit their website and read my post: Build Academic Confidence with On-Demand Help from Varsity Tutors.
Varsity Tutors is providing us with complimentary access to Instant Tutoring. No compensation was received for this post and all opinions are my own, based on personal experience.