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It’s easy for kids to get into a “school slump” when the weather warms, state tests wrap up and the final weeks of school start to fly by. The final semesters can be a tough time for students to remain focused, but here are a few easy tips to beat the end-of-year fatigue and help your child finish strong!

Set Goals & Make a Plan

Use a calendar to map out the remaining tests and big assignments coming up. Have them set a goal for achieving these big milestones. A great way to break them down is to set them up as S.M.A.R.T. goals.

Ask Questions

Keep an open line of communication with your child about their school day, assignments, progress toward special deadlines. Are they getting assignments done and turned in? Going to class? Taking good notes? Ask to see the notes from today, the first draft of the book report or the progress toward the social studies term paper.

Just as you’re talking with your child every day, communicate occasionally with the school, with teachers, with guidance counselors and with administrators if necessary.

Stick to Routines

There will be time to enjoy downtime in the summer months so until school lets out, make sure to keep up the routines for success in school – specific times for study, homework, recreation, meals, sleeping, church, sports, etc. They’re more important than we realize!

Talk About Responsibility

Especially at this time of year, talk with your child about potential rewards for showing they are being responsible about schoolwork. Consider rewarding with extra curfew time or a little extra spending money if your child gets good grades or tackles a particularly difficult project.

Introduce Effective Study Strategies

Introduce these habits to get them ahead of the CLASS:

  • Clarity: Ask the right questions to understand the assignment:
    • What directions did the teacher give?
    • When will the test be?
    • What types of questions will be on the test?
    • What topics will be covered?
    • Is there a study guide?
  • Learner Variability: Kids learn and study differently and this can even vary subject by subject, assignment by assignment and test by test.
    • Being aware of a variety of ways to study is helpful to assist your child. If one way doesn’t work—there are plenty of other options. Studying is not one-size-fits-all.
  • Assigned Study Time: Kids should study when they’re most productive (morning, afternoon, evening)
    • Every child is more productive at different times. Got yourself an early riser? Have them review some tougher concepts right before school. Not a morning person, then perhaps right after school. Find what works for them and have them stick with the time that they’re most focused.
    • Allow breaks as needed. Many kids need a break or lose focus after 20-30 minutes of solid studying. Allowing a quick break will allow them to focus better once they settle back down.
      • This quick break could involve texting a friend, watching a quick video, having a chat with you, jumping jacks or walking around the block to get some fresh air. Let’s support whatever gives them the refreshment they need to get back at it.
    • Schedule: Use a planner and make sure everyone is aware of important deadlines.
      • Encourage kids to use a planner so they can block out when big tests or assignments are due and back out enough time to complete them efficiently and without stress (or as stress free as possible). These can also be used to set goals and milestones for completing long-term projects.
      • Click here for ideas on how to use a planner.
    • Study Area: Create a comfortable, distraction-free area to optimize studying
      • Study areas are important because they help a child get into a “study mode” quickly without wasting time on gathering all their supplies and settling in. A designated study spot will have everything that they need.

Help Them Avoid Test Anxiety

Kids can experience anxiety before tests or major deadlines. Help your child combat test anxiety by:

  • Preparing: One of the best ways to prevent test anxiety is to be prepared. Careful preparation will give you a sense of control and power. Be sure to do these things:
    • Study for the test
    • Know where and when the test will be held
    • Know exactly how many items will be on the test and what format it will follow
    • Know what materials you will be allowed to use and have those materials with you
  • Teaching them to breathe deeply whenever they feel tense during the test
  • Using relaxation techniques to imagine or focus on a calming or happy place
  • Having them visualize success. As your child to:
    • Visualize yourself getting your test scores back. Make sure you see the giant, red A+ on the top of the exam or the amazing number of points on the test result sheet.
    • See yourself jumping up and down with excitement!
    • Imaging the pride you will feel in yourself for succeeding. Carry that feeling of success back into the test with you.

Need Extra Support?

If your child could use a boost to get through the rest of the school year, it’s not too late to get support!

  • Help during homework time?
  • In-depth skill mastery in math, reading or writing?
  • Improving study habits and time management?

Sylvan has you covered. Dedicated learning time with our team of experts can help your child finish the year strong! Reach out to your local Sylvan team today!


Call us today: (888) 338-2283

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