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The information presented on this page was originally released on July 12, 1999. It may not be outdated, but please search our site for more current information. If you plan to quote or reference this information in a publication, please check with the Extension specialist or author before proceeding.
New School Year Offers Clean Slate
By Molly Kinnan
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The aftermath of a challenging school year can cause some students to lose their educational incentive, but there are a number of steps to prepare them for the upcoming academic experience.
Dr. Louise Davis, child and family development specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said resiliency is one good way to help a student regain and maintain a steady focus at school.
"Some children have a bad school year and feel that they are prone to failing. They need to learn that one bad experience won't hinder their academic future. Building up a child's resiliency level at an early age can help provide the tools needed to deal with the disappointment of bad grades," Davis said.
Helping a student improve in school should be a team effort between students, parents, teachers and school administrators.
The parent's role can be very beneficial to the child's preparation for a new school year.
"Summertime is a good time for parents to begin working with their child in the weakest academic areas," Davis said. "It is also good for parents to focus on the areas their child excels in to help broaden these skills. One way to do this is to involve the child in some sort of summer camp or activity that enhances their learning skills."
Many times scheduling advance conferences with future teachers can allow parents to inform the teacher how their child works best and can demonstrate the parent's concern and willingness to help their child.
"Teachers and school administrators also can be the key elements when it comes to helping a child feel better about school. By offering the student the proper amount of attention and encouragement, they can communicate that they care and believe in the student," Davis said.
The student's role should be to maintain study habits and techniques that can help them improve.
Through her pamphlet published by the MSU Extension Service, Davis suggested some helpful study tips for struggling students. They include:
- Gather and organize all work materials before beginning to study;
- Establish a consistent study time;
- Develop a positive attitude and consider school work important;
- Review information covered in class each day, even if there is no assigned homework;
- Make a list in a daily planner or calender of homework to be done each day;
- Take short breaks when you notice your mind wandering;
- Study the most difficult subject first, easiest subject last;
- Customize your study area to fit your study habits; and
- Do your own work and try your very best to understand difficult concepts before seeking help.
"Interaction between students, parents, teachers and school administrators can form a relationship that can be very beneficial to a child. If all the members of the team are successful at working together and don't lose sight of their goal, the student is sure to see results," Davis said.
For more information, contact your local County Extension Service office for publications on study tips and children, parents and teachers working as a team.