Keeping a monthly checklist during the academic year is a great way to make sure your kids are on target for school success. The November checklist is below, and if you missed the October checklist, you can find it here.
This will be an ongoing activity. You’ve made goals together about grades, class participation and behavior, extracurricular activities, and personal objectives. How are they progressing? Discuss, and then ask for evidence.
Prepare for report cards.
Depending on when your school year began, it’s either time for the first report card or close to it. Report card grades are rarely a surprise for students. They shouldn’t be a surprise for you, either. Keep the conversation going.
Prepare for parent/teacher conferences.
Tell teachers about the goals you’ve made with your kids, about your expectations, and about any considerations they need to know about. Ask how you can be helpful. This is a partnership, remember.
Update the family calendar.
Report card dates, science fair, book reports, special projects, extracurricular activities like concerts, school play, or sporting events. Everyone up-to-date? Everyone knows what his or her responsibilities are?
Follow up on important deadlines.
For high school kids, know the timelines for PSATs, SATs, ACTs, application dates, technical school requirements. What about college and tech school investigations and visits?
Evaluate home and school routines.
How are they working out? The routines for homework, study time, bedtime, family time, and curfews should be set and monitored. Don’t forget reasonable rewards and consequences. They work.
This is important. Without interrupting, listen as they talk about their school days, their teachers, their concerns, their triumphs, their friends. Support them. Congratulate them. Get tutoring help if necessary.
Our kids take their cues from us adults. Stay positive and focused, keep up a can-do attitude, and guide them through the hiccups that occur often. There’s nothing they can’t accomplish, especially with your help.