Assess Mid-Year Academic Success at Huntington

While the winter holidays offer a great opportunity to relax, they should also be a time to reflect on the progress students have made so far in the school year. Huntington Learning Center, 7116 S. Mingo Rd. Ste. 105, can help students achieve the best grades possible.

Huntington’s recommendations for assessing a child’s readiness for the months ahead are paying attention to poor grades and grades that dropped noticeably from the first quarter to the second. A drop in grades means a student is heading toward trouble, particularly since future assignments will build on the knowledge and skills a child is supposed to have gained thus far.

Test scores are another good indicator. While it’s natural for parents to simply look at the scores for the assurance that students are “measuring up,” it can usually be helpful to look more closely at the areas in which a student excelled or faltered. If a child has scored at the top percentile in reading or mathematics, this should encourage parents and teachers to consider Advanced Placement or Merit courses that will make the most of these skills. Poor scores call for extra attention to ensure that the student catches up before the work gets much more difficult.

Assess the impact of attitude and study habits on a student. Sometimes bright students get bad grades for behavior-related activities. Does the child hand in his or her homework? Is it correct and on time? Is the child bored with schoolwork and not paying enough attention? These are not excuses, they are symptoms of different problems. Parents and teaches must identify these issues before they can remedy the problems.

Another important factor is study habits and the studying environment at home. Many parents kick off the school year by talking with teachers about how much homework they expect to assign and then set up firm schedules for “homework time” after school and in the evenings. But by mid-year, many of these schedules become a bit more flexible. If a student tends to be self-motivated and is showing strong progress, flexibility can be a good thing. If he or she is faltering, it’s time to put that schedule back in place and stick to it.

Broaden the lines of communication with children. If a child received poor grades, have a frank discussion about why. Let the child know his or her parents are supportive and that they believe in his or her abilities.

Always remember the power of praise and make sure the student knows the parent is a watchdog for both problems and progress. The mid-year check-up should also be an opportunity to acknowledge the special skills and qualities that are unique to a child. Recognizing and nurturing all of these qualities will give a student solid footing for years to come.

For more information about Huntington Learning Center in Tulsa, call (918) 252-1200.

Updated 12-17-2007

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