It’s holiday break, a welcome pause from school and extracurricular responsibilities for your child. While most children look forward to the chance to relax and unwind, Eileen Huntington, Co-founder and CEO of Huntington Learning Center reminds parents that holiday break is also a good time to gear up for a great second half of the school year. “If your child has gotten off to a rocky start or just wants to maintain momentum in the spring semester, holiday break is the time to reset and refresh,” Huntington says. How can parents help their children “recharge their mental batteries” and finish the year strong? Here are several tips:
Look back at goals set in the fall. If your child established goals at the start of the school year, revisit them now. Is your child on track to achieve some of the things he or she set out to do at the start of the year? What has gone well and what could go better? Talk about any previously set goals that need adjusting.
Set new goals. A new semester might mean new classes and certainly means new opportunities for your child to develop and learn. Have an open discussion about what your child wants to achieve in the remainder of the school year. Raise a grade? Work on his or her organization? Procrastinate less? Whatever the goals, encourage your child to lay out how he or she intends to work toward them.
Ask, “What have you learned?” Talk about what challenges arose in the fall semester and how your child overcame them, and any other meaningful experiences that had an impact. Remind your child that every failure means your child has learned something important. Where did your child become stronger as a result of overcoming something difficult?
Fine tune any study habits. Many children take a little time to acclimate to a new school year, so now that you’re several months in, consider what your child could use to improve any study or organizational habits like planner maintenance or the morning or homework routine.
This holiday break, make sure your child enjoys time with family and catches up on some relaxation, but don’t forget to take time to reflect on the last few months and set a positive tone for the rest of the year. “The start of a new year is an ideal time for both parents and children to get into a good frame of mind to make necessary adjustments,” she says. “If your child has things he or she wants to fix or just wants to stay on the same upward trajectory, sit down and make a plan together wherein your child takes initiative and you offer your support.” For more tips on how to keep your child on a positive path for the remainder of the year, contact Huntington at 1-800-CAN-LEARN.