The start of a new school year is such an exciting proposition. A clean slate. A fresh start. The opportunity to learn from last year’s mistakes and integrate last year’s successes. You are confident that this year your child will complete his homework on time. And remember to hand it in. He will manage his time, study well and give his best effort. You’re sure of it.
And all goes according to plan for the first few weeks. But wait. What’s that “0” for yesterday’s homework assignment? You didn’t hand it in? And what’s this “50/100” on the history project? You forgot to write it into your planner? A “D” on the pop quiz? We’ve talked about this. You need to review your notes every night. What’s going on? This is supposed to be a better year. What’s happening?
While this is incredibly frustrating for you, and presumably (hopefully) for your child, try to take a step back. First, it is likely that with a year of maturity and last years’ lessons under his belt, your child has made progress since this time last year. Try to identify areas of improvement, maturity and academic success. There may be more work to do, but it is important to keep in mind that this is a process. Often a slow one. Maybe your child comes home this year and starts homework independently, without needing to be reminded. Or perhaps he is better about writing down his assignments. Does he seem more interested in school? Have a more positive attitude? Seem more confident? Look for some improvements and you will likely find them.
Then address the areas which still need work. Are there successful strategies your child used in the past that you haven’t yet put into practice this year? Are there additional strategies that you should try? Talk to your child about the areas in which he is succeeding and the areas that could use some work.
Remember, slow and steady. It can be frustrating, exhausting and overwhelming, but keep at it. And let your child know that you are there to help in any way you can. Focus on the successes, no matter how small they may seem, and build on them. With continued support and encouragement, you will hopefully experience less “What’s going on?” and more “Now that’s what I’m talking about! I knew you could do it!”