As the days get longer and warmer, we all begin to look forward to Summer vacation. The anticipation of impending freedom can make it very hard to keep your children motivated as the school year ends, particularly during this time of at home learning. We’ve all experienced this “slump” at one time or another, but it’s so important to keep kids on top of their work near the end of the school year. The finish line is in sight!
To help your kids reach that finish line a winner, follow these tips:
- As a start to each day, check in with your child on how they are feeling emotionally. Empathize with your child. Acknowledge the frustration and lack of motivation that they might be feeling. If they are anxious or worried, explore why and try some mindful breathing to get them focused. It is always a good idea to understand their feelings and behaviour before taking any action.
- Start your day by planning what the day will look like and build in priorities and outside breaks. Set goals and a plan to reach those goals. Set only a few goals at once.
- Provide brain breaks. A brain break is just what it sounds like—a break from whatever kids are focusing on. Short brain breaks during work time decrease stress and frustration and increase attention and productivity. Brain breaks can be quiet and relaxing, or energetic and physical.
- Provide opportunities for outdoor play throughout the day
- Have your child rate their tasks to be completed from 1-10. Easy tasks are scored a one and a score of 10 is given to a hard and challenging task. Provide choice in the order in which your child completes them. Sometimes a good strategy is to complete the hardest tasks first, rather than leaving them until the end when fatigue and frustration sets in.
- Break large tasks into manageable chunks. Instead of writing a whole essay in one sitting, plan to write one paragraph each day. By the end of the week, your child will have finished their entire essay. For your younger child break the task into small bite sized pieces.
- Set up a reward system. An example of this might be a deal that you make with your child that for every 30 minutes of work they complete, they can take a ten- minute break. It is a good idea to set a timer to help your child stay accountable.
- It may be necessary to let some things go and work with your teacher on what is essential. Be flexible when possible. Work with your child to make it all work.
- Prioritize your child’s biggest needs, interests and passions. Getting to the end of the school term will mean paying attention to passions and weave them in where you can and to use them as incentives.
- Remember that all learning is not formal so take the time to plant seeds, be outside and live life. Learning happens all the time so do the best you can and just relax.