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News from Mathnasium of El Segundo

Finish the First Semester Strong!

Dec 3, 2020

Can you believe we are only weeks away from the end of 2020 and the beginning of a new year?  Hopefully, your children have adjusted to virtual learning and settled into their daily routines. However, as enthusiasm for Winter Break builds, your child’s motivation for the remaining weeks of the semester may be rapidly declining. How can you help your child stay focused to finish the end of the semester strong? Let’s go over some tips to help your child stay the course so they can enjoy a stress-free Winter Break.  

1) Set Micro Goals

Micro goals are small goals that you set for tasks or results that you want to reach in the here and now. Like a “to-do” list, micro goals break down your bigger goals into calculated and actionable steps that can be completed in a short timeframe.  When you can see the finish line it's a whole lot easier to get there.

Take time with your child to set micro goals for the end of the semester. Is there a big final exam or final project coming up that they need to do well on? Do they need to bring their grade up a few points? An example of a micro goal for these bigger goals would be to set a study schedule or project schedule to begin working on these tasks right now, with a completion deadline. Encourage your child to put their goals on paper. Writing them down increases the likelihood of reaching them.

2) Take Time to Reflect

Over these next few weeks, help your child reflect on what did and did not work for this previous quarter. Maybe their study schedule wasn’t successful or maybe a new study setting is needed to help them minimize distractions. It’s never too late to hit reset and make changes to ensure their current routine is working for them. Designing a schedule and an environment that is comfortable will help them stay invested as they finish up the this semester and mentally prepare for the next.

3) Check-In with Your Child

Check in with your child’s mental health. Are they feeling anxious or bothered about anything?  We are still amid a pandemic and your children do see and feel what's going on and it does impact them academically and emotionally. Make sure your child has an outlet to channel any frustration or anxiety they may be feeling.

If you notice they are less motivated than usual or lacking in enthusiasm, help them articulate their feelings and what may be keeping them from feeling secure. If they have experienced difficulties this past semester, encourage them that they can still achieve a positive end to the school year.

If your child has entered a new academic level, such as transitioning from elementary to middle school or middle to high school this semester, check in with how they are feeling about the changes in coursework and the new expectations. Make sure they are feeling challenged enough and are not bored. Asking now still allows time for interventions, if needed, to be put in place.

4) Meet with Your Child’s Teachers

Whether it’s virtually, by phone or by email, schedule time to meet with each of your child's teachers. Have a list of questions prepared to ask about your child's progress and any resources they can suggest to help your child improve. Are there any extra credit assignments they can complete to boost their learning and their grades?  Ask about any upcoming major exams or projects to prepare for so that you and your child are on the same page about expectations and priorities for the end of the semester and prevent any unwelcome surprises.

5) Forecast for the Future

If you have high-school-aged children, make sure they are still on track to meet their high school and post-graduation goals by discussing the following questions:

  • Do they have at least a passing grade in every class? 
  • Are they on track to graduate on time with their class?
  • Do they need to register for any test preparation or college entrance exams?
  • Have they began sending out college applications or applying for internships

As your child gets older and becomes more independent, they may be less forthcoming about their academic struggles, so make sure you are communicating and working with them to manage their time and obligations.


To make sure your child stays on the right track for the remainder of the semester and to ensure a great start in 2021, contact us here at Mathnasium by phone or email. We specialize in math instruction and can create an individualized program to meet your child’s math needs.

Mathnasium of El Segundo

P: (310) 616-3181