SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

January 17, 2014

Gearing up for the second half of the school year

(Continued)

2. Establish an action plan. Look at what needs improvement and pick two or three priority areas. Make plans as to how to address these and then present them to your children. Maybe they need to practice their instruments more, or to review their homework more carefully. Address these concerns with your children and together develop a plan for improving things.

3. Stay on top of things. The things that are going well need to be managed more closely during this half of the school year. Perhaps you haven’t needed to check the homework planners daily or the teachers’ websites, but this half of the school year, you need to be more on top of things. It’s not a good time to play catchup — things will pile up, and you need to keep a steady pace for your own sanity and to stay ahead of the curve for your kids.

4. Project planning. Don’t let school projects leave your family crippled from conflict and all-nighters. Talk to your children about keeping pace and how, because this part of the school year is busier, you all need to work together to be in front of any challenges instead of behind them. Let them know you’ll be asking them to jump-start projects that may not be due for a while because you want to avoid falling behind, leaving you frantic and impatient with them. Remind them of what that’s like and they won’t balk too much.

5. Stay well. Do everything you can to keep healthy. If you do get sick or if one of your children is sick, accept it and rest until people are healthy. There is no point in fighting illness — it only prolongs it.

6. Practice saying NO. Get a “NO” button if you have to. You will have to limit other activities more as things get busier between now and summer. Even with this, recognize that some days may be longer, and there may be even more squeezed into less time. Being prepared for the frenzy is easier than being blindsided. Try to prevent this, but it may happen.

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