As the school year winds down, one of the issues that arises is that students begin to coast a little bit. While this is understandable, if they do this for even a relatively short amount of time, it can negatively impact their final grades in a substantial way.
It only takes a couple of poor quizzes, one gaffe on a test, or bombing a final exam to bring down the previous eight months of work.
This is challenging for kids to comprehend, and they often times don’t even realize what’s happening until the grades are in, at which time it’s too late. So, what are some things that can be done to help with this?
1.) Anticipate that it will occur and watch for signs of it happening.
By the end of the school year, you should have a pretty good idea of what your child’s workload is, so be on the lookout for any drop off you may notice. Also, start asking about a month before the end of the school year what they are going to have for final exams and end of the year projects. That way there isn’t a mad rush in the final days.
2.) Although it can be difficult, try not to lecture.
Nothing causes a student to tune out more quickly than feeling they are being lectured. Do your best to be inquisitive instead, and do so in a manner that doesn’t come across as checking up on them. Empowering them in the process is important, and lecturing doesn’t move toward that goal.
3.) Incentives can sometimes be great motivators for kids.
With Summer looming, you may want to consider utilizing this tactic. Whether it’s a special trip or destination, an item of clothing or sports gear that they have been talking about, or some other perk that you feel would be meaningful for them, incentives work with some students. Be open to that possibility.
4.) Approach it positively.
Trying to scare them by talking about failing or doing poorly isn’t a good motivator. Rather, if our ideas are presented in a positive light, such as letting them know that they have put in a great deal of effort throughout the year, and you want to see them finish strong and be rewarded for that effort, there is a far greater likelihood that they will be motivated by that. And if you have any ideas on how to prevent the dreaded Summer Slide, we’d love to hear them.