5 Strategies for a Successful 2nd Term

Whew!  The 1st term is finally over! How did your child do?  Here are 5 ways to help your child improve or to stay steady.  

#1. Clean out the backpack.

Remember the “dump and go through?”  Well, this is the final one for term 1.

  1. Go through each folder, taking out everything that is from 1st term

  2. Don’t recycle it just yet. Instead, put it in on a shelf at home, just in case it is needed for a future test

  3. There should not be any changes in the schedule yet, so the folders can keep the same labels.  All that should be in the folders is the class disclosure in the “done/graded” side.  

  4. Pull up the report card online. A printed copy will be mailed, but you can view the grades as soon as the 1st day of term 2.

  5. Celebrate successes first!  Praise your child/teenager for the hard work and effort they put in.  

  6. Now look at the low grades.  Ask questions rather than place blame. “Remember how your science starters brought your grade down?  Let’s make a goal to ace those starters in term 2.” “How about we make a goal to practice 3 mock test questions every day for math this term.  Maybe we can bring up your test scores that way.”

#2. Plan ahead for the next Parent/Teacher Conferences.

Did you go to fall parent/teacher conferences?  Did you go with a chip on your shoulder or with a goal to understand the teacher?  Did you take your student with you?   

PTC is a great opportunity to learn more about how your child is doing in class. Put it on your calendar and make sure you and your child are both free to attend. Take mental or physical notes for the next few weeks in preparation for the event.  

#3. Evaluate your IEP or 504 plan (if applicable).

Pull it out and look at it.  Were goals met?  Do accommodations need to be tweaked?  An example is this:  Your child failed all of his science tests.  Were accommodations made to give him extra time or to complete test corrections last quarter?

The beginning of a new quarter is a time to email teachers, thanking them for their efforts and reminding them of the accommodations your child needs.  You can even add new accommodations based on past results.  Just contact the file holder to help you.

#4. Assess your involvement.

As a parent, do you need to pull back or dive in more?  

If your student really struggled during the 1st term, maybe you need to step in a bit. Maybe your child needs an extra day of tutoring, or maybe you need to put your foot down and curb the screen time/insist on more homework time.  If your student did great, step back a bit and see how he does. Still monitor grades behind the scenes, or trust your child’s tutor to monitor them, but a bit of independence can be a good thing for a student with recent success.  

#5. Be prepared for the upcoming holiday season.

School is still going strong until the day your child is excused for Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. Encourage your kids to work hard, so they can relax over the holidays.   Pulling your child out a few days early for a family vacation can have devastating effects on grades.  Vacations are a blast, but the after effects can cause stress for your child.  Be prepared to do double the work when you return from vacation.

Take some time to reorganize, evaluate past grades, prepare for future events, and enjoy!  

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