So our kids are well into the thick of things at school. But has the excitement of a new year dissipated? Is that new leaf, which was turned over in September, starting to flip itself back over?  I went to Laura to help us out here on how to keep that love of learning spark hot. “As a mom and a teacher, what are some common issues you see at this point in the school year with kids?

This is one of the trickiest times of the year for both parents and teachers.  For teachers, the newness has worn off and students who come into the classroom in September eager to learn and anxious to please sometimes get stuck in the rut of routine.  It is up to us to re-invigorate the schedule within the comfort of that routine we cherish. It is easy for teachers and students to “slack” between Thanksgiving and Winter holiday breaks because parent-teacher conferences are over and less is expected in terms of testing. But a good teacher can turn out some incredibly valuable activities during that time, much in part for that same reason- the children learn not because they are being assessed, but because they are interested and their thoughts are arrived at organically.

Similarly for parents, once the excitement of the unknown that comes with starting a new school has worn off, all those well-intentioned promises like “I’m going to practice the violin every day” and “I’ll get my homework done before I play,” can quickly become daily battles.  I find my kids work best if they have a written schedule of expectations.  Figure out each task that needs to be done and write it down on a list, a chart or in a planner, depending on your child’s age and organizational style.  There’s something about checking off completed tasks which is simply and amazingly satisfying.