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End of the School Year Blues

by Ronald A. Rowe | May 19th, 2010 | Elementary

The end is near… of the school year, that is. As the end draws closer, parents are faced with a new challenge – keeping the kids motivated and focused on their schoolwork. It seem like it is getting harder each year. There is a real danger of children checking out mentally with several weeks of homework, tests, and grades still on the horizon.

It can sneak up on you. I happened to our third grader before we knew what hit us. His usually stellar grades slipped abruptly. He wanted to stay up late and struggled to get out of bed in the morning. His mind is not on his schoolwork; he’s already planning summer vacations.

He’s thinking about video games, swimming, Bakugan, and Silly Bands. He’s anxious to read, to play, to get out of the classroom and into the world. He’s in the third grade; he’s got to be responsible for himself to a degree, but it isn’t time to kick him out of the nest just yet. I’m not willing to let his grades for the session depend on his self-motivation at 9 years old.

I’m stepping up the parental involvement in his homework. “Yes, I did my homework,” is no longer a valid answer. I’ve got to sit down with him and go over his assignments each night. I’m trying to model for him the difference between doing just enough to get by and doing his best work.

There’s almost a month left in the school year. After several rough weeks, I think we’re back on track. The damage is done; he won’t be getting straight A’s this time around, but he can pull all A’s and B’s if we keep on track.

It’s hard to compete with the lure of summer vacation. I can only imagine how hard this is going to get when girls enter into the picture.

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