It’s Easter break and when we return to school next week, there will be just two and a half months left to the school year. Between the strange return to school this fall and the 5-week lockdown in February and March, this year seems to have both flown by and gone painfully slowly, all at the same time.
In my experience, this is the time of year when parents start to reflect on the progress their child has made since September. How is reading going? What about math? With only two months left, it’s a great time to encourage your child to focus on one or two areas that need work between now and June.
Here are the steps that I recommend:
- Have a look at your child’s most recent report card to see how they are doing overall. I suggest that you do this on your own first. If your child is struggling, it may be discouraging for them to see multiple less-than-ideal grades.
- Discuss with your child how they feel things are going at school. What things are easy? What things are hard? What activities are they liking the most? What activities are they liking the least?
- From there, you can ask your child to choose something that they would like to get better at between now and June. Since you’ve already reviewed the report card, you’ll likely have several suggestions in mind if your child is having trouble thinking of something.
- Brainstorm with your child ways that they can improve in that area. If you’d like to move up a level in reading, how can we do that? What if we started reading an extra 10 minutes, 3 evenings per week? Encourage your child to ask their teachers for suggestions, too! They may have some reading games or activities that your child can bring home for extra practice.
- Choose one or two strategies with your child and help them put in the work. You can even have a weekly check-in to see how progress is going. Did we read an extra 10 minutes, 3 nights last week? No? Maybe we should try to do that on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays instead of Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays when you have basketball. This is a team effort and it’s okay to tweak the game plan! Bonus points for you, as the parent, if you share a goal that you’re working towards and the obstacles that you encounter along the way. Kids need to know that adults find things hard too.
- Celebrate the win in June! Keep in mind that the win doesn’t have to be leaps and bounds of progress, it just needs to reflect that your child has worked hard and is moving forward.
By helping your child set and achieve goals, you are letting them know, from a young age, that they are capable of shaping their future. Is math hard? Yes! Can I improve my math skills, though? You bet! This process helps your child build resilience as they acknowledge what they find challenging and learn to develop a plan to succeed.
Mme Michelle is an Instructional Resource Teacher in St. John’s, Newfoundland and is passionate about helping students with diverse needs thrive at school and in the real world. She started French For Life in 2012 with the goal of helping French Immersion students get the support they need to become bilingual, despite academic challenges. Interested in learning more about French For Life virtual or in-person tutoring? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.