Local Tutoring News in Walnut Creek

Don't Let the Season Spook You: An October Checklist to Stay on the Road to Success 

Oct 21, 2019
For those of us here in the Walnut Creek area, we’ve already received or are about to receive our child’s first report card of the year. While there is hopefully lots to celebrate, it’s beneficial to take a look at the road ahead and make sure that we have our gear in order.

By having a simple checklist of behaviors and responsibilities to guide us on our year long road trip to success, our children will be better prepared to meet all the bumps along the way. Plus, October is the perfect time to reassess the school year, while it’s still early, and easy to fix any “flat tires” that students and their families may have.

So use the following checklist to see if you are headed in the right direction.

Updates. Has your child’s teacher updated you about their progress? Are your kids having conversations with you about their daily growth? It’s important to have meaningful talks with your child on a daily basis to get a better idea of where they stand - and not only about academics.

Make sure to ask questions about their social life and extracurricular activities that can affect their success. Be specific and ask questions like, “What did you learn in math? How was P.E.? How are your friends doing?”

If you haven’t had any contact with their teacher, make sure to reach out to them immediately and schedule a parent-teacher conference. Now is the time to get help if needed.

Goals. How are goals coming along? Are they sticking to their own personal targets and the ones you set together? As you’ve likely already received their first report card, October is the perfect time to see where your child stands, and to recognize if there needs to be some adjustments made.

Attitudes. Attitudes are the unspoken game changer. A bad attitude can have a negative effect on your child’s work, so it’s important to help them remain positive. This goes the same for you, Mom and Dad. Your job is to be a cheerleader, supporter, motivator, and listener. Getting frustrated will only increase their anxiety and this can spiral into an unhealthy cycle. So stay positive and be their number one fan.

Classroom participation. A child’s participation in class, or lack thereof, can provide some meaningful insight. Are they not being vocal because they don’t fully understand what’s going on in class? Are they nervous or afraid of getting the answer wrong?

Let them know how confident you are in their abilities and give them a push in the right direction. Being timid is natural, but sometimes a lack of classroom participation can mean more than just having a shy child.

Look in that backpack. With nearly 2 months of school behind them, your child’s backpack is likely beginning to fill up with papers, folders, old lunches, and a plethora of random notes from school that just never made it into your hands. Take a look in their book bags and help them to organize so that they’ll be better able to find what they need, when they need it.

This can also help to lighten their load and keep them from having to carry an oversized backpack that can hurt their shoulders.

Let them be passionate and explore. All work and no play can make boys and girls awfully grumpy. It’s important that your child have an opportunity to explore their interests and join extracurricular activities that they may be passionate about.

Being able to release some of that frustration and extra energy can go along way in keeping them engaged and motivated at school. Especially when participating in an extracurricular activity means they have to maintain a certain grade level.

Daily routines. How are your daily routines coming along? Keeping to healthy routines can help your child understand expectations and eventually create their own without much guidance.

Do they need help? Most pertinent on your checklist should be your child’s need for assistance. Have you noticed a slip in their grades in comparison to last year? Are they having problems in a specific subject? Well, it’s October, which means you should already know how they’re performing in class.

If you already know they need some support, then get them the help they need.

By keeping up with this checklist, you’ll be on your way to another great year. Just remember to constantly refer back to these points every couple of weeks to help keep a tab on your kids’ social lives and academic progress.

And remember. Your Sylvan Learning Center of Walnut Creek is here with you every month of the year, January through December! So if your child or teenager should need a little bit of support, then reach us at (925) 478-3903!

Oh...and have a Spooktacular Halloween! Stay safe!