London, Dubai, France, Italy or is it Bahamas…..Where are you jetting off to this summer? Or have gone on your vacation already? I am yet to make up my mind on what to do or where to go but I’m definitely looking forward to a “me” time. Is it Cancun….Gosh! I’ll love to visit Cancun someday 🙂 . Summer is always fun and I know everyone is bringing out their calendars to plan vacations, trips to water-parks, etc. In the midst of these beautiful plans, allow me to be a little thorn on your side 🙁 ; take a pause and think of your child’s education and where you think he/she would or should be this time next year. Ask yourself these questions;
- Has my child performed up to expectation this year?
- What improvement do I want to see in my child in the next academic year
- Where do I see my child next year?
- What is that one thing I wish I had done better for my child this year?
Be honest with yourself in your reflective moment. No matter what your answers may be, every child needs to prepare for the following academic year. Today I want to share with you what you need to do NOW to prepare for next year.
Achieving academic success is not a one day thing. Neither is it a one month preparation. It pains my heart when I see parents who don’t take time to plan their children’s academic life way in advance as they plan parties. Success we all know is not for the indolent neither is it for the weak- minded.
Psych Yourself up– Achieving Academic Excellence requires discipline, hard work, dedication and commitment. I’m sure you know nothing good comes easy in life. Know that you have to make some adjustments to accommodate your child’s needs. Prepare yourself, mentally and physically. Pray for grace as well.
Talk to your child about the current school year- A lot of parents don’t have tête-à-tête with their children about school work, friends, classroom etc. This actually should be an all year round discussion, not just one day. You can ask your child questions like;
- Which subjects do you like best in school now
- Which one do you find challenging (though as a parent you should know this but then if you don’t, this exercise is for you)
- Do you like your teachers? If yes or no, ask why? The aim is to find out if your child is comfortable in class or not and the reason for this is because a child’s psychological state plays a huge role in his/her success
Research online about the next grade your child is moving into- I want to believe you have internet at your disposal. If you are reading this blog then obviously you do. Find out the subjects your child will be taking; if you want to go granular like some of us do, take a peek into the topics in the subjects. The reason for this is for you to be informed so when you go and meet with your child’s class/homeroom teacher, you will speak from an informed position. Make notes if you have to. This shouldn’t take too long. All you need to do is set a day aside, maybe a Saturday to get this information together. Then proceed to the next line of action.
Request for a Parent-Teacher meeting- Request to meet with your child’s class/homeroom teacher. Every school gives parents the opportunity to speak and have a relationship with their children’s teachers. If you don’t have a good or no relationship at all with your child’s teacher, please consider developing it as soon as possible. It will help your child have a smooth academic sailing. When you communicate constantly with your child’s teacher, they will be able to inform you fast if there is a shift in your child’s emotional, social, or academic status. Go there with questions like:
- What subjects will be offered next academic session
- Will the school provide any extra-curricular activity for the children
- Are there any academic clubs for the upcoming school year
- In comparison to where my child is now, what will you advise him/her to work on academically and socially
- Ask for the textbooks to be used the following year
Reorganize your summer- With all the information you’ve collected above, it’s time to
- reorganize your summer to accommodate your child’s schedule.
- Buy textbooks for the upcoming grade level (You should aim at completing or almost completing the textbooks before school resumes). If you can afford private tutoring, please do.
- Allot a time every day for your child to study. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time. 1-2 hours/5 days a week should be fine. Morning time is mostly the best.
- If your child is struggling in a particular subject, increase the hours the child will study that subject
Reorganize your home structure- Just because its summer time does not give a child license to play indefinitely or sleep at 3:00 AM everyday. Please don’t get me wrong, I support freedom during summer time but for the sake of academic excellence, a little time in summer should be carved out for studying especially for a child who struggled in the previous academic year. Play and sleep time should still be monitored, though not as closely as during school time…..my thought anyways.
Talk to your child again- Explain expectations to your child. Why you are doing what you are doing. During summer time, what children care mostly about is play, play and play. Do you blame them? Absolutely not. Especially after the rigor they have been made to go through during the school year. To get a child to study during summer time requires tactic and strategy from the parents. Explain to them that they will still get to play a lot and watch TV. They cooperate better when carried along.
If your child is in higher grade (e.g. 5th-11th grade), consider placing your child in an academic summer program. I always advise people that if you want your child to be good in Math, have your child do math problems 30 mins every day. 30 mins is not too much. You will be amazed at what this can do for your child on the long run.
Remember, with discipline, commitment, focus, hard work and good home structure, every child can excel. I wish every Tolusworld parent and your child the best preparing for the next academic year. Our children are destined to succeed.
So what about you? How do you keep the flag flying for your child. Let other parents learn from you. Leave you contribution and comment below. Looking forward to reading your comments.
Read my other posts on Academic Success here:
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