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Starting The Second Semester Strong

Starting The Second Semester Strong

Thursday, December 07, 2023

The holidays have come to an end, and the kids are returning to school. After all the excitement of Christmas (with some rest mixed in, hopefully), students should be ready to start a new semester strong and finish the school year well. However, they are somewhat sluggish as they attempt to get back into the swing of things. 

You may ask yourself if they had too much screen time or too many sweets, but the simple fact is it’s challenging to go back to school or work after being out for several days or weeks. 

If your child’s first semester was difficult, they may feel a sense of dread about the new semester. However, parents have an opportunity to help students wipe the slate clean and embrace the second half of the school year. 

You should be more able to assess their goals and needs going into the upcoming semester. This is an opportunity to pause and reflect on both the positive and negative aspects of the semester so that the next one will be even more fruitful than the previous one. 

You can approach the rest of the school year with hope. In this article, we’re discussing how to start the second semester strong. 

Five Tips For How To Make The Second Semester Great

1) Assess What Went Right (Or Wrong) During The First Semester

Your child either had an amazing first semester, struggled to keep up, or, likely, fell somewhere in between. 

If Your Child Had an Amazing First Semester: For those who excelled during the first half of the school year, it’s vital to keep the momentum going. It would be easy to assume that the next semester will be more of the same, but you’ll want to make sure you prepare just as diligently. 

If Your Child Had a Difficult First Semester: For those who struggled during the first semester, you can take the opportunity to start afresh. This is a new day and a chance to get right what went wrong before. 

If Your Child Had a So-So First Semester: Some things went well, and some things went poorly. That means you have data to help you determine what should change and what you should continue doing. 

Don’t wait till the end of the school year to make your assessments and adjustments. Use the new semester as a fresh start. 

2) Adjust First Semester Goals And Set New Goals

Did you set goals for the first semester? Were you and your child able to keep those goals effectively? Did you meet some of the goals but not others? The new semester represents a chance to evaluate your goals and set new ones. If your child didn’t meet your goals, it’s important to figure out why:

  • Were the goals too ambitious?
  • Was the effort put forth to reach the goals?
  • Should the goals change, or should the student try harder?
  • Can the same goals be amended, or do you need new goals altogether?

3) Take Time To Improve Your Organization

Get organized. Make it a priority to include all of your assignments, upcoming due dates, and important dates in one designated area. Whether you use an "old-fashioned" handwritten planner or an online system like Google Calendar, it doesn't really matter how you do it as long as it works for you.

Make sure to make as many advance notes on the tasks, projects, exams, and important dates as you can. However, as the semester progresses, keep an eye out for changes and periodically update your schedule. 

Make a note of any extracurricular activities you may have. Any after-school commitments, such as those to extracurricular activities, organizations, classes, and religious outings or events, should be listed. It should be included in your calendar if you have an obligation to be someplace.

Getting organized will help your child meet their goals. 

4) Help Your Child Take Care Of Their Mental Health

Burnout is similar and a potential contributing factor to anxiety. Per Binghamton University, “Academic burnout can be defined as a negative emotional, physical and mental reaction to a prolonged study that results in exhaustion, frustration, lack of motivation and reduced ability in school.”

Some signs indicating anxiety and burnout include:

  • Excessive exhaustion and fatigue
  • Ongoing issues with insomnia
  • Frequently clenching their jaw and grinding teeth
  • Struggling to find the motivation to do schoolwork
  • Poor diet and nutrition habits
  • Irritability with family, friends, and teachers 
  • Poor performance on school assignments, especially those on which they do not typically struggle

You wouldn't believe how much proper nutrition and exercise may affect anxiety and burnout. Remind your child that eating well and exercising frequently is as important as doing their schoolwork. This is important and will assist in reducing stress while also calming anxious sensations.

If your child is showing any of these signs, it is important to ask for help. 

5) Know When To Ask Teachers And Administrators For Help

Before a student begins to feel like they’re falling behind or experiencing burnout, it is important to ask teachers or administrators for help. Sometimes, it can seem intimidating for students and parents to reach out for assistance, but your child’s teachers and administrators want your student’s success. 

Rather than falling behind or experiencing burnout like the previous semester, ask for help early. 

St. John Lutheran School Defiance, OH

If you want your student to thrive in a supportive environment with teachers and faculty that show the love of Christ to every student, reach out to St. John Lutheran School today!