25 September 2008 09:17 AM

Month by Month Planning for a Successful Year continued...

by Dr. Rick

A few weeks ago, I went over planning tips for August through December of the school year. Now, I'll pick up where I left off...



Second chance for New Year’s resolutions. That’s the beauty of school: two chances to turn things around! Parents and students, review goals and needs. Need help? If so, get it.  Check the calendar with the long-range assignments. How are you doing? Parents, time for another backpack pop quiz.


Juniors, how’d you do on the PSATs and PLANs? They’re a good reflection of what the SAT and ACT will be like. Prep now if you have to.


This can be a difficult time of the school year. I call it the Winter Doldrums. Parents, encourage new hobbies, new interests to learn about. Keep up the daily conversations about school. Don’t settle for monosyllabic answers. This can be hard, but keep at it.




Parents, time for another grades review. Communicate with teachers again. In yet another reminder – as if we needed one – that time passes quickly, it’s not too early to start thinking about spring break, coming up next month. Students, what needs to be done before then? Parents, how can you help your kids stay on schedule?




If you’re a senior in high school, beware of “senior-itis.” It’s deadly. The end of the school year is near, but it’s not here yet. You’re understandably eager to get on with the next phase of your life. You’ve worked hard. You’re impatient. But there’s still much to be done. Ask your study buddy for support. Support your study buddy. Parents, watch for signs of senior-itis: impatience, lethargy, slackening of effort, eye-rolling when you ask about school. This is not the time to surrender.




Stick with it. Students, with your study buddy, review for finals and other end-of-year projects. Get ready. Get help if you need it. Parents, review your student’s grades, communicate with teachers. It’s not too early to talk about next year’s goals. Parents, meet your kids’ teachers for next year. Help your kids choose the right classes for next year.




Routines matter. Count on those routines you’ve established to help you through crunch time: exams, state tests, projects, school play, concerts, and other end-of-year events. Never forget that, important as academics are, extracurricular activities will form many of your unforgettable school memories. Enjoy the games, the plays, the concerts, the proms.  You’ll enjoy them even more if you’ve done your best with the academics. That’s all anyone can ask of you – your best. Only you will know whether you gave your best.


June and July


Summer. Have fun, students, but don’t allow your brains to turn to mush, either. Parents, encourage lots of exercise, fun, and indulging of interests that aren’t part of school. A little time reading, expanding the mind a bit, couldn’t hurt. Take advantage of getting some extra help in those difficult subjects, if necessary. A “leg up” for next school year can boost confidence. Let kids be kids in the summer, but remember “balance” is key.


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