School Year Reflection and Preparation

4 Tips for Reflecting on the School Year & Preparing for the Next | Sidestep the Summer Slide

By:  John Halloran of SnappSchool.com

The school year is over, and students are rightly looking forward to a summer free of homework and tests. But regardless of how your child did in the classroom this year, it makes sense to review the year with them and to put into perspective all that’s been accomplished. Below are some thoughts on how to help your child celebrate their success and get ready for the challenges of the year to come.

Review expectations for your child’s grade: for most children in the US, chances are, the Common Core Standards (http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards) will offer a reasonably accurate picture of what the expectations were for your child in math and English language arts (but keep in mind that your state or school may cover more or less than the standards). A conversation with your child’s teacher might fill in some of the blanks and clarify the fine points.Review performance: with the full scope of the year in mind, take an honest review of how your child performed in school this year. Consider in-class tests and quizzes, standardized tests, projects and performances. And don’t forget to think about how your child did with turning homework in on time, completing assignments without drama or stress, and generally handling his or her own workload.

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Take a moment to celebrate success: no matter how your child did during the school year, take a moment to consider with them how far they were able to come since September. Students cover a lot of ground over the course of a school year, and should be proud of what they accomplished.

With the entire year in mind, consider whether it makes sense to focus on any particular skills over the summer: If there are areas where performance needs to be improved, consider creating a plan for your child to work on these areas. There are plenty of online sites to find exercises, including Khan Academy and IXL.com. Even if your child did well over the year, a bit of exercise can help to keep things fresh and allow your child to start next year with more confidence.

Set expectations for the coming year: again, taking a look at the Common Core Standards for next year’s grades is a great place to start setting some expectations about what next year has in store. Some parents may wish to talk with their child about this now, at the end of the current school year, while others may want to wait until some of the relaxing effects of summer have had a chance to work their magic. Regardless, giving your child an overview of the next year at least a few weeks before school starts can be a great way to build confidence.


John Halloran is the proud parent of two children in New York City’s Public Schools. He is also the Co-founder of SnappSchool (http://www.snappschool.com/), a startup developing content and tools that allow parents of elementary students to support their children’s educational success. He can be reached at john@snappschool.com

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