30 July 2009 10:53 AM

How to Have a Successful School Year II

by Dr. Rick

On Monday of this week we began discussing ten tips on how to have a successful school year.  (See the Dr. Rick Blog for 27 July, 2009, for tips 1-5.)  Today here are tips 6-10.  

6.   Set goals.  Parents and students, set goals together.  A higher algebra grade, a position on the soccer team, increased reading for pleasure, anything that will help you in school  and increase your confidence.  Goals should be a bit of a stretch to create a feeling of accomplishment.  Parents, support your student as she works toward that goal.  Consider a fair "reward" for success as well as a "consequence" for not making the goal.


7.   Stay positive.  This is true for parents and students alike.  There will be good days and weeks, and there will be not-so-good ones.  Keep it all in balanced perspective.  What can you learn from your mistakes?  Talk with one another.  This is another opportunity to show you care and are positive about the possibilities of the new school year.  Students, maintain friendships with those who care and support you.  Stay away from those who don't.  You know who they are.


8.   Be prepared.  If you’ve read any of my blogs, you know how much stock I put in preparation.  When we’re prepared, we feel much more confident than when we’re just winging it.  So, parents, give your child the confidence she needs by helping her prepare for this new adventure.  If she’s going to a new school, visit it.  (See my blog of 16 July, 2009, for tips on school transitions.)  Learn where the classrooms are, the bathrooms, the lockers, the cafeteria, and any other places where she’ll be heading.  Get all the materials she’ll need for class.  Review the school calendar with her and mark your own kitchen calendar – displayed where everyone can see it – with important dates like report cards, due-dates for projects, PTA meeting, and the like.


9.   Review regularly.  Every day, parents, review the day with your child.  Ask him what he’s learning, reading, writing about.  How’s he coming on that assignment due next week?  What happened today that’s funny?  Show him you’re interested and that you’re going to be talking about this every day.  Expect conversation, not just one word answers.  Be patient.  It’ll work eventually. 


10.  Stay involved.  Parents, stick with it, even when your adolescent seems he’s not interested in your help.  It’s an act, required by the Adolescents’ Pact to Drive Parents Crazy, which all kids secretly sign.  Students, yes, we adults know you want independence, but we care about you and want to be nearby when you need us, which you will.

For more tips on school success, routines, study buddies, and setting goals, click on Archive above.  As always, we welcome comments and tips from our readers.


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