If you’ve got kids in school, you’ve probably seen a report card or two by now. Unfortunately, so-so grades in school can add a note of gloom to the holiday break for kids who dread going back because they struggle in one or more subjects.
However, a kid doesn’t need to be the smartest in the class to do well in life. Studies show that the real secret to success is grit – the will and motivation to succeed.
Many parents hire tutors, but not everyone can afford those. Here are some tips to help motivated kids get back on track after the holiday break without breaking the bank.
Do your kids have textbooks? Mine don’t. I have one in elementary school and one in middle school, and neither brings home any sort of textbook like I used to have.
Last school year when my older child had trouble in a particular class, I bought a textbook for that subject at a used book store for about $6. You can often find textbooks even cheaper than that by checking thrift stores. You wouldn’t want a textbook that’s too old, but sometimes you can find one written less than 5 years ago that someone donated just to get rid of it.
Middle School Big Fat Notebooks
Workman’s offers a selection of Big Fat Notebooks for middle schoolers. They’re fun and engaging while teaching kids the main things they need to know in their core subjects – history, math, language arts and science.
Encourage your child to practice writing by penning thank you notes for Christmas and birthday gifts and by writing about interesting topics. Together with an online writing guide, help him or her put together a paper on a favorite topic.
It’s really important that kids learn how to write well in middle school and high school. This will serve them well when they apply for college and while they’re attending college. I’ve always loved to write, and being a good writer has been a tremendous asset at every job I’ve ever had.
Maintain a Sleep Schedule
This is tough one in my household since my older daughter prefers to stay up half the night and sleep half the day. I don’t plan to make her get up at 6 a.m. every morning during Christmas break, but she won’t be sleeping until noon, either.
Once kids get too far off kilter, you’ll have a devil of a time getting them back on a normal school schedule when the time comes. Kids really need their sleep in order to do well in school.
Praise Hard Work and Effort
Decades of research have shown that it’s better to praise hard work than to tell kids how smart they are. Praise kids for their persistence and strategies.
Kids should believe they can do things even if they don’t have an innate talent for it. In my own life, these are the tasks that give me the greatest feeling of accomplishment.
I spent many years thinking that I couldn’t do my own home repairs. A few years ago, with guidance from knowledgeable friends, I decided to try some DIY repairs on my own.
Now, I can’t believe I used to pay someone else to do these things! I’ve touched up paint, replaced my doorbell and fixed my own dishwasher, among many other tasks. There are still some repairs I’m not brave enough to take on, but I’ve come a a long way from thinking I’m just not that handy around the house. I’m making sure that my girls don’t believe that they can’t do something if they don’t try.
This post was underwritten by GoodWritingHelp.com; please read my disclosure here.
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