Keeping Interest Peaked in School  
 
Sam Glyn Nava, B.S.Ed, M.S.CCC-SLP
Director of Educational Resources
 
With the school year at just about the half way point, winter in full swing and standardized testing likely right around the corner, it's important to help your kids stay interested and focused in school.  With the Super Bowl behind us, think about this time of year as a good point for a half-time show to keep your kids excited and enthusiastic for the last half of the school year.  Here are some ways to keep your students interested: 
 
  1. Celebrate Successes: From a correctly completed math problem to a good grade on a test to a tough word being spelled correctly - make sure that you recognize accomplishments big and small with words of praise or a small treat that your child enjoys. This will encourage them to keep striving to achieve those successes.
  2. Pop into School: Clear it with the child's teacher before doing this, but kids will get excited to see a parent or important adult in their life in school at an unexpected time, find out if you can visit during lunch or a reading time and read with your child and some of his/her classmates. This will show your kids that you are interested and get them excited based on this mid-day surprise.
  3. Rev Up Practice & Studying at Home: At this time of year it's easy to fall in to a slump or cut corners with school work.  Now is a great time to do just the contrary. Find some down time and rather than watching television or surfing the web, focus on school work. Alternate between a subject your child already excels in and one that they may need some additional help in.  An extra boost at this time of year will help to keep your kids motivated.
  4. Stay Positive & Excited Yourself: It's not just the kids who may be losing steam at this time of year. By demonstrating that you are still as excited about school now as in the beginning of the year, you set an example that they are likely to follow. Continue asking about how school is going and stay in touch with your child's teacher.
  5. Keep Studying Fun: Don't stick to the plain old memorization and drills for studying and doing homework. Figure out ways to make practice more fun - use games and songs, maybe after every section of focused studying you can listen to music and dance for a few minutes or play a favorite game. This will help to create excitement for studying and therefore excitement for the material that your child are studying.
  6. Make Learning Challenging: There is a lot of review going on in the classroom and it's easy for kids to lose interest simply because they are bored. In addition to making studying fun, make it challenging, give your child a few math problems or reading passages that are a little bit harder than they are used to. You will definitely need to be by their side and keep a close eye on your little one to make sure he or she does not get frustrated, but a little challenge can help to keep kids involved and excited in school.