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From Sizzle to Fizzle


Every school year begins with students, parents and teachers who are full of optimism and committed to making this the best year ever. Unfortunately, for some, it doesn’t take long for the sizzle to fizzle and for students to fall behind, leading to anxiety, stress and frustration for students, their parents and even for some teachers.

Too often parents expect miracles.

Chances are that if your child had trouble with a subject last year and didn’t work on it over the summer, the challenges could be even more overwhelming and demoralizing in the new school year. If you wait until the first report card, it’s often too late. Parents can help their children avoid the vicious cycle of falling behind, then playing catch-up for the rest of the year, by reviewing last year’s report card before school begins and quickly recognizing the symptoms of academic challenges.

Parents often allow six to eight weeks for a “settling in” period before they begin to monitor their child’s grades and school performance, but doing so can be detrimental to a student’s learning momentum. By the time October rolls around, some students are already becoming frustrated and the learning curve is too steep. All of a sudden, minor problems become major obstacles to success, and very stressful situations develop for everyone involved.

Setting goals is critical to success.

It’s critical to set goals early to ensure your child is happy and has the confidence and know-how to thrive and enjoy school. An objective third party, such as Oxford Learning, can help open the door of communication to set goals and rekindle confidence and a willingness to step outside of the comfort zone when it comes to tackling academics.

Once you’ve identified your child’s goals, strengths, weaknesses and learning style, make sure that you share this information with your child’s teacher(s), who can help guide and monitor progress. The more professional the support you can have on your child’s learning team, the better.

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