Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Get Focused on Good Grades Before Going Back to School

Get Ready. Get Set. Go Back to School!

Summer is winding down and a new school year is just around the corner. It's time to start preparing your students. Here are a few things parents can do to make sure their kids begin the new year focused and ready for success. 

1.  Examine where you’ve been: before moving forward, sometimes it's good to look back; take time to sit down with your child to discuss...

  • Report cards- have another good look at last year's report card:  grades, conduct, attendance, GPA, credits earned, etc.; talk about academic strengths and weaknesses; if needed, work together to outline strategies for improvement

  •  Test results- review results of any standardized testing with your kids; compliment them on their success but gently point out areas for improvement; work together to create a plan for catching up, if necessary

  • What worked last year- brainstorm all of the habits, routines and activities that added to success during the previous school year; commit to continuing with those same habits

  • What didn’t work last year- were you always rushing out the door? make a plan to adjust your morning routine; were assignments turned in late or projects completed the midnight before they were due? purchase a calendar or assignment book to keep track; there's a solution to every problem

2.  Take a look at what’s to come:  here are a few suggestions...

  •  Back to school activities or meetings- check the calendar and mark important dates for orientation, meet the teacher, registration, booster club meetings, etc.

  • School schedules- decide on your day to day routine: when to wake up, when to leave, etc; set out a plan for pick ups and drop offs; start now to make your arrangements for time off during school holidays

  • Practices, games and meetings- as soon as possible, get a master calendar started, plugging in information for routine practices times, game dates and club meetings; it's much easier to maintain your sanity when you know where they are and what they're doing

  • Logistics- discuss family responsibilities and set a plan for  transportation, before or after school child care and carpools

  • Upcoming class schedules- talk about the challenges that a new school year and more advanced classes can bring; discuss the need for tutoring; review expectations for school performance; if you anticipate your student will need a schedule change, contact his counselor or adviser now; provide encouragement and be enthusiastic  

3.  Set goals and expectations for the new school year: every successful school year begins with a thoughtfully considered plan of attack...

  • Help your student get clear about what they want to accomplish- better grades, fewer tardies, more organization

  • Consider what you, as a parent, want your student to accomplish- more involvement with school sponsored clubs and activities; better study habits; taking steps toward career/ college planning

  • New responsibilities- as children get older, they are more capable; help them grow and mature with new responsibilities:  household chores, meal preparation, waking up with an alarm clock

  • Monitoring grades- inform your student that you will be monitoring their school performance by completing routine grade checks; set up weekly meetings to discuss what you find

  • Study habits- set expectations for when and where your student will study and complete homework assignments; if necessary, prepare that space now

  • Limits and boundaries- take time to get clear about your student's screen time privileges; establish limits for use of electronic devices; set curfews to keep things from getting out of hand; the beginning of a new school year is a wonderful time to make changes

4.  Get help from a professional: when it comes to strategies for academic success, students may be more receptive to advice that comes from an expert.  

For this reason, Spontaneous Speech Coach is offering a series of new workshops for students who want to get focused on good grades and success at school.

Designed to assist middle school, high school and college students, these workshops build key academic skills: 

  • Time Management
  • Prioritization
  • Organization
  • Concentration
  • Motivation
  • Socialization

Learning how to develop these skills now helps students stay on track all year long

We'll begin hosting workshops in September, and will be sending out specifics regarding dates and times in the next few weeks.  Stay tuned!

Who do you know that might benefit?  Please share this information with friends and family that are preparing students to... get ready, get set, go back to school!

Education is a shared commitment between dedicated teachers, motivated students and enthusiastic parent with high expectations.