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Helping Your Student Through Crunch Time

April 13, 2016
By Heather Souders

Wow! Can you believe we’re down to the last quarter of the school year? As of this posting, there are only 40 days of school left. I don’t know where the time has gone. I must have blinked.

These next 40 days will be filled with field trips, essays, final projects and final exams. I don't know about you, but my new junior high student has quite a bit on his to-do list to finish off the school year. As parents, there are many things we can do to help our students succeed. Here are just a few suggestions:

  1. Encourage them to get it done early. This will take a lot of stress and anxiety off their mind. If they have a larger project and feel overwhelmed by it, help them break it down into manageable parts to work on each day.
  2. Create a “Call List”. It happens. Someone is sick or misses the last class of the day because of sports. Make sure your student has someone to call for notes or to ask questions about the class he/she missed. 
  3. Build their confidence. Sometimes kids get discouraged if they don’t understand a new topic or concept right away. This often leads to them shutting down. Help your student through the first problem and then heap on praise when it’s solved. Or perhaps encourage them to take a short study break, grab a snack and refocus.
  4. Change of scenery. For younger students, perhaps creating a special work space will do the trick. For older students, take the work outside, to a local coffee shop or library will encourage a reboot.
  5. Help them keep their schedule manageable. This is a challenge for those with students in upper grades when sports and extracurricular activities come into the picture. During crunch time, you might have to help them prioritize what’s important and what is not.
  6. Sleep & Water. Sleep is vital to good health. On average, a child between the ages of 12-18, needs 8-9 hours of sleep per day. Also, don’t forget the importance of keeping your student hydrated – water is proven to help improve mood and decrease tension.