Wiley Wednesday

Teaching and Learning

Avoiding the Mid-Year Slump

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What is the Mid-Year Slump?

We are all back from winter break and spring break seems ages away. The “new” has worn off the school year and students have become accustomed to a daily routine. Thus, the seeds of a mid-year slump begin to be sown.

As the days begin to grow shorter, the weather gets cold and dreary, and the lesson material becomes more challenging, it can be difficult to maintain as much enthusiasm as we all had back in August. Therefore, most students will need a boost to stay interested, motivated, and successful at school through June.

How You Can Help at Home

No matter what grade your child is in, it is important to begin the second half of the school year with a positive attitude and renewed motivation. However, students may need your help at home.

Tips for Avoiding the Slump:

1. Re-establish Routines

Re-establish family routines including time for reading, recreation, family meals, and sleep. Children, in particular, thrive on consistency and definitive boundaries. They often find comfort in knowing the expectations and routines. By placing importance on doing certain things at a certain time, parents are teaching time management skills and helping the student to determine the things that are the most important. Make sure your student is getting enough sleep. The winter can cause all of us to want to sleep more, but children really need additional sleep for healthy growth.

2. Show Some Excitement

In taking an interest in your child's days at school, parents and families can spark enthusiasm and lead them to a very important understanding - that learning can be enjoyable as well as rewarding and that is well worth the effort required.

3. Make Goals Together

Sit down with your child and help him/her develop goals for the second half of the year. In

what subject areas would she like to improve? In what ways can he help his classmates

or teachers? However, don't forget to check in on these goals from time to time to monitor progress.

4. Don't Stress

School can naturally come with stress especially as content becomes increasingly difficult. Try not to add unnecessary stress by putting irrelevant expectations on your child. A tip would be to talk to your child in a civil tone when issues arrive. Less stress can help them feel excited about the rest of the school year.

5. Communicate

Keep the lines of communication open between you and your student’s teacher. If you discover your child is sliding, conferences with the teacher can help you learn what you can do to help the situation. Teachers can provide helpful suggestions and incredible insight into the observed behaviors of your student. If a student is struggling with new material, you and the teacher can work together to develop a supportive plan.