Ah, the start of a new school year! A time of promise. Also, of peril. Many parents expect big things, but are anxious about their child’s knowledge and study habits. With college on the horizon, the demands of school will increase. If you are slightly concerned or curious about what to look for in the coming weeks, Ned Johnson, founder, and CEO of PrepMatters has two key areas to consider.
First impressions can be sticky. What one is your child making?
A great school year often starts with, just that, a great start—first impressions matter. While your kids may have spent hours pondering the perfect outfit for the school year, perhaps one that announces to peers, “This is who I am this year!” teachers are also forming first impressions. Those impressions can be sticky. When I was in high school, I was known as one of the more academic kids (aka a nerd), an impression shared by peers and by teachers. Once I was tagged as an A student, it became a reputation that was hard to shake, even when I handed in essays that I was confident weren’t A papers. Similarly, students whose first essays get slapped with a B- may work doubly hard on subsequent papers and still struggle to shake that first impression.
The best way for students to make an excellent first impression is to nail their first significant assignments, especially their first essays. There’s real value in helping kids have a strong start and the confidence it creates in the coming weeks and months
If you or your child are worried, reach out to schedule a call with a PrepMatters team member. Our tutors have years of experience helping students put their best feet forward.
Outsource the “homework manager” role
A new school year can be tough for parents. A new weekly structure and its demands replace a more relaxed summer schedule. The more you lean into playing “homework manager,” the more you risk fraying the emotional connection with your kids and the more likely they will reject advice that may be in their best interest. Wouldn’t you rather spend your energy and enthusiasm on conversations about things other than essays and test scores. You cannot force help on kids, but we know you don’t want to watch your child make avoidable mistakes. What’s the solution?
Hire a professional. Tutors are vital team members who provide structure and help set interim goals through an objective lens. Sessions allow your child to hear a reliable voice for coaching and help. If you need to build a house, you are likely to hire a builder. When you need to create a safe structure for your child to learn and grow, hire a tutor.
Let’s get a great start to the school year to nail those first impressions. And outsource all that worrying and nagging about homework. We’re good at it! Contact a PrepMatters team member to discuss your goals so we can put together an individualized plan for the school year.