“No more books, no more pencils …” Not much can make students as giddy as the last day of school and college! But, not so fast! As the school year winds down, here are some things your kids can do to finish strong and get a head start on the upcoming school and college year before summer break.
- Focus on finals:
It is so, so easy to sort of glide through the final few weeks of school and college, but many students have final projects and final exams due which all count toward their final marks. In high school those marks go on their college transcript. How can you keep your child prepared? A count-down calendar is a big thing even for older students. Put it in their room and the kitchen with their final paper or exams deadlines clearly marked. Make a plan to do something awesome like a movie night, dinner out, and fill-it-to-the-top frozen yogurt outing once all of the studying and test taking is over to kick off summer break!
- Touch base with their tutors:
Study after study shows that most students score lower on standardized exams at the end of summer than they did at the beginning. What a bummer to waste all that tough effort they have put in all year! We are not suggesting your child buries her nose in a textbook and assignments all summer, but it as a smart plan to talk to current tutors and get a summer reading list and suggestions for camps, sites and apps that can assist keep skills fresh. Some sites provide you online tutoring, you can also get help from those sites. Cannot get your child to speak up? Check the teacher’s site or shoot them an email to ask what they suggest.
- Confirm next year’s plan:
By now your child probably has their plan worked out for next year. If not, be confident to sit down with them and figure out what classes they are taking. This is so vital for the high school and middle school years. If your child is planning on attending university, ensure he is taking the classes he needs – this generally means taking some academic courses a year in English, social studies, math, foreign languages and science. Keep in mind to check in with your school counselor if you have any issue.
- Update their resume:
University applications will be coming sooner than you think. By starting to make a college resume early in their high school career, your kid can make sure he is tracking details about his involvement in extracurricular activities, interactions with tutors who might write university recommendations and other information that will eventually help create a strong application and essay.
Keeping a running log of success and activities stories starting in fresher year can make it that much easier to recreate the high points when it is time to write a college essay – one of the three most vital items in the application process.
- Make a quick list of achievements and your goals for next year:
Most of us build our resolutions on December 31, but for students, the year revolves around the school calendar. It can be a fun and eye-opening experience for your kids to create a list of what they have accomplished, it is great fodder for that college resume and capture what they want to do next year. This can be anything from making the varsity basketball team or get a role in the school play to getting A’s in their AP classes. Setting goals works great for many students and gives them something to revisit when classes get tough or they want to skip a practice session.