With the excitement of the holidays behind us, and the long, cold winter days ahead, it’s not surprising to see students begin to lose interest in school and to be ready for spring, sunshine, and being outdoors. This is what we often refer to as “the third quarter slump”.
After a long break, it’s often difficult to get back into regular sleep patterns, to adjust to a routine again, and to bring the focus back to daily tasks. The first week back from break is full of excitement, sharing stories from time away from school, and catching up. Once the second week hits, the winter doldrums set in. This is when refreshing those study habits is really important.
One of the easiest ways to start off on a good note is to be organized. Does your student have pencils, paper, and any other supplies he or she needs in order to be prepared in the classroom? Is it time to restock the school supplies he or she brings from home?
Is there a quiet place at home where your student can work and study? This doesn’t need to be a private room with extravagant furnishings and technology. It just needs to be a quiet, comfortable place where your student can sit and study without interruptions or distractions. It might be an area in his or her bedroom, at the kitchen table while you are cooking dinner and can answer questions he or she may have, or even a comfy corner of the living room where he or she can sit comfortably and work.
Organization is another key strategy in being successful. Does your student have a folder or binder where all of the important papers, homework assignments, and study guides are kept? Does he or she fill in a planner with important dates, deadlines, and daily assignments. Does he or she know where to find things needed in order to complete an assignment, or how to break larger projects down into smaller parts? These are all areas where you can share your own tricks and strategies with your student as a way to encourage him or her to try some of these things for themselves.
Lastly, please, always encourage your student to communicate with his or her teachers and please do the same as well. Open lines of communication and supports being provided both at home and at school are the keys to having a successful student who continues to grow and blossom even during the dreary days of winter!