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Monday, March 14, 2011

School Bell: A Mid-March Pep Talk

This is school prime time.  For most school systems, the stretch between February vacations and April vacations is the longest uninterrupted teaching time.  No mid-week federal holidays. No Mondays off. Straight teaching time.  And pressure time too. When I taught I was always told that you need to get all the new material covered before Memorial Day, because after that the kids shut down with the end of the year so close in sight. After Memorial Day you reviewed and reinforced, but didn't introduce new things.  But as I taught longer and longer it seemed to change.  By the time I stopped, it seemed that kids started to slow down after April vacation. Especially adolescents and teens!

So keep your children focusing on school, on progress. Don't start talking summer vacation early. Work even harder to celebrate their school accomplishments. Give a little extra help and support to keep them on track with homework and studying.  Remember how tired of school  you were by the end of each year?

Change up the homework routine a bit.
• Surprise them with a study treat.
• Invite a study buddy over once a week and plan a reward for them when the work is done.
• Rent a movie about the time in history they are studying.
• On a nice day, pack the backpacks in the car and go study at the beach, or in the park, or just in the backyard on a blanket together.
• Alternate reading out loud with them on that book they are getting bogged down reading.

What are your favorite tricks for re-booting their school efforts?  Share!

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