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Helping Your Students Finish the School Year Strong

by Jessica Parnell | Apr 01, 2016 | 3 min read

Spring is here, with its sunny weather and warmer days, which means summer is right around the corner. For many homeschoolers this season also comes with a side of spring fever for parents and students alike. Motivation is lost, minds wander, and everyone is dreaming of school free summer days. It can seem impossible to create homeschool excitement in March when we’re all dreaming of lazy beach days! But, it’s possible to stay motivated and achieve success at the end of the year by helping your child finish the school year strong. Here’s your guide for combating spring fever, homeschool style!

How to Help Your Child Finish the School Year Strong

  1. Keep them engaged by focusing on lessons and topics that interest them, especially with the subjects your students dread most. Writing and grammar practice can be focused on what they want to do this summer or their latest video game obsession. The key here is to consider what really brings a smile to their face and orient your lesson around this topic. Not only will they finish the school year strong, they’ll enjoy it along the way!
  2. Let them drive their day. Giving students the ability to make choices is empowering. Allow them to set their daily or weekly schedule and goals. Sharing power means your students will feel a stronger sense of responsibility and motivation to complete the tasks in the order and time they’ve set for themselves.
  3. Get out and about. Take your textbooks or reading to your favorite park along with a blanket and enjoy the sounds of spring while you read! Plan a field trip each week and use it as a way to motivate your students to complete their daily lessons and assignments. Click here for a fun list of field trips! Of course you can make it a learning experience and visit a place that fits into what you’re studying. But, feel free to go off track and have a “fun Friday” trip that’s simply about enjoying spring without the schooling!
  4. Work less and less each day. Spend less time each day on school, cutting down your day by 15 minutes every few days. Make it a game to see who can finish their school work under the new “time crunch!” I know it sounds strange, but they’ll be motivated to finish the school year strong when they know they have less and less time to spend on school.
  5. Do more hands-on projects. Project based learning is one key way to keep students engaged and help them to finish the school year strong, and retain their love of learning! Need ideas? Check out this article 62 project ideas for more creative ways to keep them focused and creating!
  6. Take lots of brain breaks. Spring tends to make our brains a little fuzzy and our attention spans much shorter. It’s easier to stay on task if you’re allowed to take a break. We’ve made a list of the best brain breaks for you to choose from!
  7. Take a look back at this year and plan for your exciting future. Motivate your homeschoolers to finish the school year strong by showing them just how far they’ve come. Discuss and list each student’s academic accomplishments of the year and have an awards ceremony. Then help your students to create and set goals for the last few weeks of school. Create a fun “finish line” race chart for the entire family. As goals are met, each runner moves forward towards the finish line. Plan to celebrate with a special event, field trip, or party when everyone reaches their finish line goals!

Spring has sprung, but that doesn’t mean you can’t finish the school year strong. Use these strategies to keep your homeschoolers on task and headed in the right direction despite spring fever. If all else fails, you can always motivate your students with popsicles!

How do you keep your students focused and finish the school year strong? Tell us in a comment below!

Jessica Parnell
Hello everyone! I’m Jessica Parnell — mom, homeschool evaluator, teacher, and CEO of Bridgeway Academy. In my 20+ years of experience as a homeschool mom and evaluator, I have had the privilege of meeting homeschoolers that take a variety of approaches to their education. It is their many stories and successes that inspire me in my own homeschooling and I love to pass on the knowledge that I have gained from them to other homeschooling families. The one constant that always remains true is that there’s no such thing as a “cookie cutter child.” Each child is fearfully and wonderfully made and as a result, learns and functions differently. It’s our job to ensure that we’re raising each child to fulfill their individual purpose and when we can teach in a way that inspires them, we are on our way to homeschool success. When I’m not writing or teaching my children, I like to ski, write and participate in triathlons. I graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters in English and I am currently pursuing a degree in Neuroleadership.
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