With the second semester of school on the horizon, there is a chance to turn around the fall grades that might not have met expectations. A poor …
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With the second semester of school on the horizon, there is a
chance to turn around the fall grades that might not have met
A poor report card can put a damper on holiday break. Now that
deficiencies have been identified, organizing a formula for success
with the student can turn a failing grade around and instill
confidence for tackling future challenges.
Be a supporter, not the enemy
Those in the education field refer to the constant barrage of
negative feedback as the “failure chain.” A student struggles in a
subject and continues reliving their failure through negative
comments or consequences. Amy Stallcup, managing director of
Huntington Learning Center in Castle Rock, encourages parents to
act as an ally.
“When you’re reviewing an employee, you don’t point out the 20
bad things they do and only bring up one good thing,” she said.
Positive reinforcement for classroom successes can become a
motivating factor when work becomes difficult. Stallcup said
parents, students and teachers should work as a team; adversarial
relationships and punishments only further push the child to the
point of frustration and eventually giving up.
A parent should first recognize what motivates the student, but
Stallcup warns that monetary rewards are typically the wrong way to
go. Academic achievements should be attached to personal
privileges, such as having a friend stay the night. A high school
girl who wants her nails manicured, for example, should follow a
strict homework schedule for at least a week before getting
“It’s not instant gratification; it gives them something to work
for,” she said.
Blocking out homework and study time, no ifs ands or buts
The phone rings. It’s your child’s friend, and they have an
extra concert ticket for that night. It just so happens that the
child has put off doing her homework for the night until later.
Now, an opportunity has presented itself.
It’s recommended that parents stick to their guns in these
situations. Finding a consistent daily homework time is crucial to
building solid study habits. The student should be expected to work
around their previously scheduled homework time. Whether it’s after
school or after dinner, the rule of thumb is 10 minutes of homework
for each grade level.
Following through using calendars, parent portals
Perhaps the best way to keep everyone apprised of school
assignments and their due dates is to have a community calendar on
the family refrigerator. It makes everyone accountable for
maintaining a steady work flow, Stallcup says.
Parents are encouraged to visit parent portals, which give
adults more access to school work, with the student to review
upcoming assignments. Losing steam at the end of the school year is
typical, but it is important to follow through, particularly
because end-of-the-year assignments and tests can be such a large
factor in the final grade. Those who struggle to help their child
can find resources within the schools and outside help from private
tutors and learning centers.
“You have to help them work toward success,” Stallcup said.
Making a joint New Year’s resolution to perform better is the
first step. Sticking to the rules is the only way to ensure
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