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Lifestyle

January 17, 2014

Gearing up for the second half of the school year

The second half of the school year is typically more challenging than the first. Parents are more tired, kids are coming off one break, only to head into two more, and in between, they have school exams and MCAS exams. Also, the school curriculum typically is more challenging during the second half of the school year. Oh, and don’t forget the dreaded school projects coming down the pike.

Back in September, the kids were coming off a summer break and excited to go back to school to see their friends and learn what the new year would be like. Many were optimistic that whatever wasn’t so great the previous year would be better this year. In January, kids already know what to expect, and whatever isn’t so great, they have to endure until June, when school breaks for the summer.

How can parents motivate their kids to stay engaged and actually ramp up their efforts during this more intense remainder of the school year? And how can parents keep their own energy levels up when they are juggling even more than they were during the past four months?

It seems everything comes at once between now and June, and parents have to see it all through and make sure their kids are successful despite the increasing frenzy and pace. How can parents approach this portion of the year and be more successful than last year, while still keeping sane, calm and connected? Here are some tips to help you start now:

1. Identify what’s working and what isn’t. Evaluate now what’s gone well and what hasn’t thus far and choose a couple of areas that you think need improvement. Review your children’s goals with them and ask them what they think. Questions to ask are things like: Is the routine working, are my kids in bed on time, are they getting enough activity, are they maintaining their daily habits of reading, chores and social life, etc.

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