Last Updated On: March 10th, 2023
During the month of February, schools around the country celebrate the 100th Day of School. Activities range from art projects using 100 items, dressing like a 100-year-old, and math lessons in which students add and multiply to reach 100.
For parents, the 100th day of school is also a great time to gauge student progress and set goals for the remainder of the school year. By now, every student should have received at least one report card and had at least one parent-teacher conference. While you may already have an idea of your child’s strengths and areas of need, there’s still enough time in the school year to address shortcomings.
If your child isn’t meeting grade level standards, there are several steps you can take to turn things around before the end of the year. First, review your child’s most recent report card, along with any notes from their parent-teacher conference. Also, consider consulting graded work or assessments that have been sent home. If any major assignments or assessments have been kept at school or recently entered into the computer, ask your child’s teachers for more information about their performance. What, specifically, does your child need to work on? If they haven’t been keeping up with the homework, consider how you might adjust their activities and schedule so that they can make more time for academic work. Alternatively, if they’ve been completing the homework but haven’t excelled on tests, you might ask their teachers for additional practice or seek out review materials on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Next, sit down with your child and set goals for the remainder of the year together. For students who need an extra nudge, you might consider offering an incentive or using a chart to track progress on smaller goals. If your child is struggling, consider whether he or she might benefit from tutoring or other help outside of school. For a student with significant deficits, you might also consider requesting an evaluation to test for a learning disability. This process can take several weeks, so making the request now will help to ensure that it’s completed before the end of the school year.
Finally, consider making a plan for how to maintain learning during vacation time. While spring break should be fun and relaxing, a student with academic deficits will likely benefit from at least 30 to 60 minutes of daily academic work during their time away from school, whether that means completing homework (for students who are assigned work during the break), meeting with a tutor, working with an educational computer program, playing math games, or reading engaging material at the proper instructional level. Moreover, it’s not too early to think about the summer, as registration for many programs has already begun. Along with family vacations and the activities that your child enjoys, consider how you might maintain or even accelerate learning over the summer and incorporate that into your vacation plans.
If your child is ahead academically, look for enrichment opportunities that will keep them challenged and engaged. Are there clubs or extracurricular activities that will allow them to expand on their strengths and pursue their interests? Are there learning opportunities that can be built into your vacation plans, such as researching a landmark you’re visiting, helping to map the route, or visiting a museum? You might also look into summer programs, such as those offered by the John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, that will challenge your child.
If your child is making steady progress at their grade level, it’s still a good time to check in. How can you build on their strengths and address any weaknesses to ensure continued academic success? What could keep them motivated to finish the school year strong? You should also look ahead to any standardized tests and think about how to help your child review the corresponding materials, since even students performing at or above grade level might have trouble remembering concepts from the beginning of the school year.
Even as the 100th Day of School elapses, parents and students should remember that there are still many school days left—and therefore many opportunities for learning and progress—before the end of the academic year. Consider how to make them work for your child and their needs.