We are all celebrating the budding of trees, blooming of spring flowers and the return of warmer temperatures! It's such a fun time of year! This is also one of the hardest times of the year, trying to keep our kids focused on school. Instead of math facts and science projects, students are thinking about unscheduled days and fun in the sun! Quite honestly, who can blame them?!
As one dad shared, this is the time of year when the battle of wills peaks! How do you stick to the homework routine when everyone (including mom and dad) wants to go out to play?
How do we help our kids finish the school year successfully?
As with many parenting struggles, I suggest using the A,B,C’s of Parenting (Acknowledge, Be clear about responsibilities, Consider options).
Begin with acknowledging their feelings… “I understand that it’s hard to stay focused when you would rather go outside to play.” Share with them that you’re feeling the same way, it may help them to know that even grown-ups want to enjoy the sense of freedom that summer weather brings.
The next step…
Be clear about responsibilities, in this case: finish the school year strong.
Younger students may want to set the goal of matching their current good grades or to beat out their previous 3 quarters with grade improvements for the fourth quarter.
Athletes may have eligibility requirements for the following school year based on their fourth quarter grades
High school students also need to keep up their G.P.A. for future college applications. While that may not seem important now, in a short time that number may be crucial for getting into their preferred colleges.
High school seniors need to know that many colleges reserve the right to revoke a student’s acceptance (it’s in the fine print of many acceptance letters!).
Finally... Consider options. While homework is still a requirement, this may be a time of year to adopt some flexibility in the routine.
If your child has been responsible all year then perhaps the two of you can agree to a little play time outside right after school. Homework can be done while you prepare dinner and/or immediately after dinner.
Reading can be completed on a blanket in the backyard or in their favorite sunny spot
Spelling words can be practiced with sidewalk chalk instead of pencil and paper
As a family, you can set the standard that homework gets done before dinner so that the family can go out after dinner and play together. For a more detailed explanation of the ABC's of Parenting strategy, click here.
One last thought... Just like adults, kids feel a surge of energy when the weather takes a turn for the better. A little play time either right after school or after dinner will help burn off the extra energy and allow them to sleep better at night. Parents, make sure to give yourself some play time too! Time spent playing with your child will strengthen your bond, build your child’s self-esteem and help both of you begin to enjoy what summer will soon bring! If you have a parenting question or concern, I'm here for you! CLICK HERE to book a Discovery Call and we'll get you on the path towards a solution. Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam on Unsplash