Start The New Year S.M.A.R.T.!
January 9, 2016
Here in North Jersey, the start of a New Year gives us the opportunity to reflect and find ways to improve ourselves academically as well as personally. It poses an interesting time for new beginnings and a clean slate. Has your student been struggling? Has homework been a challenge? Is your student working at their potential? Here are a few resolutions that can help motivate your student to improve their grades and confidence.
Talk About It
It’s normal for bad grades to create tension, as parents want to see their student succeed and work to his/her potential. It’s vital to keep the lines of communication open and most importantly listen to what your student tells you. If your student is reticent to talk about school work because it’s a source of anxiety, consider presenting the idea of getting academic support from a one-to-one tutor who can also act as a personal mentor.
As your student‘s grades increase, their confidence builds. The strain on the family is often reduced as lines of communication open and your student feels understood and supported.
You want your student to succeed, but without a roadmap and goals, those dreams are just wishes. Plan a meeting with your student and their teacher to talk about areas where they need academic support. Then let your student formulate SMART goals.
S.M.A.R.T. goals are specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time- bound. These goals should be set by your student so that they are more likely to take responsibility for fulfilling them.
Studies find that students who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them. Those who tell a friend increase their odds to a whopping 78%, so get them writing and talking about their goals. Set long- and short-term goals so that little victories along the way fuel their enthusiasm.
One of the most important things to remember is that you are not alone. Your student is exceptional in their own unique way and capable of accomplishing their goals, one step at a time. It is important to find the best way to teach them in a way that resonates with their learning style.
Like you, teachers really want your student to grow and learn. They are invaluable partners in your student’s success, so speak with them about what goals are realistic so your student sees and feels improvement. Check in regularly with them to ascertain progress and continually update your strategies.
If your student needs more time than the teacher can give, one-to-one tutors are there to re-teach, and fill in the missing building blocks of knowledge that your student may need. They teach in a way that lends itself to each student’s individual learning style.
Encourage, rather than criticize and believe in your student. Offer rewards when goals are reached and praise when even small improvements are made. Changing the conversation about school and being positive and encouraging may change their attitudes towards school.
Be a Homework Helper
If homework is a daily struggle, help by creating an atmosphere conducive to studying. Create a workspace that is well-lit and comfortable with a few distractions as possible. It is best to keep siblings away when your child is studying and offer help and support when needed. Homework time should be free from social media, technology, TV and other distractions.
Let this year be your family’s best ever. Foster a positive atmosphere for learning and support your student’s need to achieve their goals.