Even though school isn’t quite out of session yet, our kids are already on vacation…they just haven’t told anyone! It’s a time of year where we are all taking a deep breath. One more year is in the books. What kind of year was it for you and your kids? …struggle? motivation? light bulb moments? nagging? or …OMG, where’s the Margarita shaker? Its a 183 day experience for all of us. But it won’t be a successful one unless everyone is committed to it. It’s like a three-legged stool. If one of those legs is missing, the stool will fall. The teachers, students, and parents all need to be onboard. Our job is to make sure that children are learning the material that they need to know. In turn, children need to be prepared. The last and most vital leg is YOU! Your days are long and filled with all kinds of demands from all kinds of places and people. Then you come home to either beautiful faces filled with smiles and a gazillion questions or a mumbling teen who would rather talk to his sister’s sleeping Barbie, than talk to you (all normal). The essential thing is that you find out what they are up to in school. What long-term projects are on the horizon? Are they supposed to be studying for a test or a presentation? who are their team partners? Many teachers post this on their website or send it in an email each week. Check with your child’s teacher. Just take a few minutes a week to see what’s going on. Otherwise many kids find themselves in overwhelm and like a deer in the headlights, just check out and don’t know what to do. If you know what’s on the agenda, you can support them. If you don’t have the time, you can find someone who does. Many schools have after school homework programs. Recently a parent asked me if I could come to her home a few times a week to work with her daughter who was not getting any homework done. “She just won’t listen to me.” This is a 7th grade child who I already give educational therapy services to twice a week. I told her that the school has an after school homework club that is free of charge. I told her there is no reason for her to have to pay me to do that. She had no idea that the program had begun. Then I suggested that we all meet with the headmaster and find a good solution for the homework and nagging dilemma. This meeting included the 7th grader. It gave her a stake in her own learning. It was also an opportunity for her to nicely get called out for giving her mom a hard time. That’s ok. They can take it.So, if what you are doing is not working, please ask for help. We love that and we love seeing that three-legged stool sitting upright, ready for that two-legged child to sit on it and listen or to stand on it and reach that book sitting on the library shelf.