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Finishing the School Year on Top is a guest blog post by Jennifer Campbell, from RedAppleReading.com.

If your kiddos are like mine, they weren’t overly excited about getting back to the grind after the holidays. It can be tough to inspire children to finish the second half of the school year well! What can parents do to motivate their kids to do their best in school? Red Apple Reading has 4 easy steps you and your child can take to finish the last half of the school year like a champ!

1) Think Short Term – It’s easy for kids to get overwhelmed when they only focus on the end result. For instance, your child may think it’s impossible to finish the semester with a B in math. Consider helping your kid reframe how he looks at school. Instead of one big long term goal, encourage your kiddo to take the second semester of school one week at a time. As adults we know how crushing it can feel to look at all that must be accomplished by the end of the day. But when we break the day down into small tasks, we feel empowered as we check one thing off at a time. Taking small bites instead of big ones is a skill that will serve your kiddos well for the rest of their lives.

2) Set Goals – After helping your child reframe the way she approaches the second half of the school year, it’s time to make a list of weekly goals. Sit down together and discuss what she would like to accomplish for the week. If she is struggling with spelling, a reasonable goal would be to study her spelling words for twenty minutes each night. Is your kiddo having trouble completing her homework in a timely manner? Then set a goal to begin homework thirty minutes after returning from school. A plan is empowering. If your child feels she has some control over her circumstances, she is more likely to rise to the occasion.

3) Conduct Weekly Reviews – Goals are great; but if we don’t periodically check our progress, we often veer off course. At the end of the school week, sit down with your little one and discuss how the week went. Did he meet his goals? If not, what hindered him? If the goals were met, did accomplishing them help improve his school experience? Questions like these will help you and your child evaluate if real progress is being made. Don’t be discouraged if things didn’t go as well as the two of you hoped. Use a weekly review is to tweak and fine tune short term goals. If you and your kiddo consistently meet and hash out the details, eventually you will see progress!

4) Offer Incentives – If your child has made real effort to accomplish her weekly goals, then a treat is in order! Decide beforehand what incentive you want to offer your little one. When you make weekly goals, tell her what she can expect if she cooperates. Don’t worry! You don’t have to break the bank to inspire your child to work hard at school. Simple incentives will do the trick! For example, if you typically eat out on Friday nights, let your child choose the restaurant the family eats at. Do you see what just happened? You took something you were planning to do already and turned it into a treat!

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Jennifer Campbell is a mom of 4 and blog writer for RedAppleReading.com. RedAppleReading offers online learning fun to help get kiddos up to speed by the end of the year.

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