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Mid-Year Elementary School Blues: How to Keep Your Kid Motivated for the Remainder of the School Year

Packing lunches, doing nightly homework, studying for spelling tests, and scrambling about during the morning rush; the thrill of a new school year has long worn off and your child is dragging their feet a little more on school mornings during the second semester. How do you keep your kid motivated to finish out the last months of the school year strong?

Set goals. It’s important to let your child know you have high expectations for them throughout the year. Work with your child to set goals for success and reward them for meeting their goals. For example, your child may need an academic goal or need a goal such as no tardies or turning all of their assignments in on time. Communicate with your child’s teacher to come up with some beneficial goals for your child. Rewards could include your child picking out a special toy, going out for a special outing as a family, like going out for ice cream, etc.

Stay positive. It can be difficult for you to stay positive when you are tired of packing school lunches and reminding your kid to put their shoes on for the fifth time in one morning. However, a positive attitude can go a long way for you and your child. Focus on the excitement of your child’s learning, seeing their friends, and upcoming social events to encourage your child that school is still as fun as it was back in the Fall. Your positive attitude will become contagious and your child will start to get excited about school again, too.

Show an interest. One thing that can have a huge impact on your child’s excitement about school is your interest in school. When your child returns home from school, ask them about their friends and the highs and lows of their day. Listen attentively and ask your child questions. When it is homework time, be available to help and answer any of your child’s questions. When you are excited and interested in the goings-on at school, your child will be, too.

Get involved. Kids who are involved in school activities tend to be more excited about school. Encourage your child to join clubs and after-school activities where they will be around their school friends. You can also get involved at your child’s school to break up the mid-year blues. When kids see their parents working at their school, it shows them that you value their time there. Check with your child’s school to see what volunteer opportunities are available.

Continue healthy habits. Encourage your child to get a good night’s rest, eat a healthy breakfast, and focus on good study habits. An after-school routine to complete homework and chores will help your child finish the school year strong. Set aside time for free time as well. For example, host a playdate, have a movie night, go to the park, and schedule time for fun and relaxation so your kid doesn’t get too bored with their routine.

If the mid-year blues are still getting to your child, don’t hesitate to contact your child’s teacher to discuss a plan to get your child back on track. Soon enough, the days will get longer, the temperatures warmer, and school will be out for summer once again.

Sarah is a wife and a mother of six children, including triplets.

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