As the end of the school year rapidly approaches, students are naturally getting excited and impatient for summer to arrive. However, this is when encouraging your child to finish the school year with a positive attitude is a particularly smart idea. Any project or life stage that ends well has a huge effect on how we remember it and how motivated we are to proceed. A student who ends 3rd grade in a strong and positive way will feel more confident and excited about becoming a 4th grader, for instance.

Below are some tips for helping kids stay focused and motivated as we move into May, the last month of the school year.

  • Set goals. Have your student think of three things he or she can do to “go out with a bang.” Write them down, or let your child draw, cut out pictures, etc. to illustrate their goals.
  • Set shorter-term goals to help reach the more long-term ones. If your student’s goal is to finish the year with an A in math, for example, generate three intermediary steps that can get him/her there. This will make progress and accountability more manageable.
  • Don’t fight spring fever. Allowing your student extra time to play outside has a good effect in the long run, in terms of energy and willingness to get back to work after break time is over. Fresh air and exercise improve brain power, too!
  • Try to keep bedtime schedules and other household routines consistent until school is actually over. Giving in to later bedtimes as the days get longer can backfire, making the student tired and therefore less focused at school.
  • Have your student thoroughly clean out his/her backpack. Getting organized and tidy can make school feel “fresh” again. A few brand new school supplies, like new pencils, erasers or notebooks, can perk up the student’s perception of the last few weeks of school.