What is the best time of the year to study and improve at school? How can I help my child advance in school?
As a teacher, I feel that the school year has its ups and downs both for teachers and students. There are the times when everybody is fresh and ready to learn. There are also times in the year when the students are tired and instruction is difficult. The younger the students are, the more they get affected by their surroundings, holidays, breaks, the lack of breaks for awhile…their focus is different during the school year.
If it was up to me to arrange school calendar and breaks I would probably do it very differently. I feel that there are “pockets” of time in the school calendar where the student are tired and instruction is so much harder. Many of these “pockets” happen in the Fall.
What happens for students in the school year:
October – it is Halloween! Life is too exciting for HW!
The week after Halloween – too much sugar! We cannot focus even if we want to!
November – it is almost Thanksgiving, we are so tired!
December – Christmas is a busy season, both students and parents are so tired and over-booked!
But come January….there is nothing…
We come back from the break fresh and rested. January and February seems to be relatively free of holidays. Soccer and sports after – school activities usually happen in the Fall and later on in the Spring due to weather. At the same time, the students have already accumulated knowledge from the first semester. They know which direction they should be going and what are the weaker spots.
This is a GREAT time to step up studying and HW!
To me as a teacher I feel that the months of January and February is the time I get the most work done with my students! I am sure this is the case with other teachers as well. If this process is backed up by parent support with home study, then students can advance quite a bit this time of the year.
This might be a good time to:
Look at your child’s grade book and compare with the Fall ones. Even though grades are not the only indicator of students’ success, they do give parents an idea about what needs more attention. Email the teachers and politely see what your child needs to do in order to be successful in their subject.
See how your step up the difficult subjects for your child such as math and science studies. Not sure how to help your child? Go to the Khan academy and use it as an extra resource.
Seek help. By this time in the school you know which teachers provide support. Seek the ones who have, Drop the one who haven’t. Seek extra opportunities for your child to get support. Support sometimes comes from unusual sources, an older student, a sibling, a site? If you homeschool, that may be a good time to examine your role as your child’s teacher. Teaching is always best when consistently examined. It is never a bad idea to get opinion from someone else.
Look into additional educational materials that will challenge and excite your child while providing good explanation of concepts at the same time. Often the right book or educational materials makes a difference.
Think about the after school activities and special interests you child has talked to you about. If your child is doing well in school, then they might need some extra challenge.
Help your child get (even) more organized!!! This will help them in their studies!
The new year is the time we set up goals and new expectations. Use that time to help your child advance. Let that goal be getting grades up, getting organized about home study. If your is child on the right track, perhaps they can pick up a musical instrument, a more challenging piece of music, challenging reads, or explore a new interest.
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