The sun is shining, a sweet breeze is blowing, and temperatures are perfect for riding bikes, cooking on the grill, playing outside, and more! What could be LESS appealing at this time of year than piles of books and homework? 

We get it. The temptation to slack off these last few weeks of the year is strong, and it’s easy to think that a few weeks of light effort won’t make any difference. Students think, “I’ve done my homework all year long … what are a few missed assignments going to hurt now?” 

Here’s what’s wrong with that line of thinking. While, yes, the school year is almost over, the learning and exams are not. This is the time of year for major culminating projects and exam/SOL test preparation — big tasks that count for huge chunks of the final average, and test scores that become part of your permanent record. Just as students and parents start losing interest in the school year and setting their sights on summer, some of the biggest challenges of the school year are popping up! 

Here’s how to keep your focus and finish strong, even when Mother Nature and summer days are calling your name. 

1. Stay organized. That planner you’ve been using all year to track assignments and make to-do lists? Don’t stop now. 

2. Allow brief breaks. Nothing wrong with taking a quick walk around the block while you study for exams. Make a relaxing lap and get back on it. 

3. Get creative with your “office space.” Head out to the back deck to study, or meet your project group at the park. When the weather is glorious, you can enjoy it while still getting your work done. 

4. Remember all the work you’ve already done. You’ve worked too hard this year to blow it all on a few lazy weeks. Dig in and stay motivated. 

5. Make a great last impression. If your teachers, coaches, and counselors have been working hard to help you grow all year long – don’t sour their memory of you by tanking in the last quarter. Show your maturity and gratitude by finishing strong. 

6. Get some sleep. Longer daylight hours sometimes trick us into staying up late. Make sure you’re getting enough rest so you can be your best each day. 

7. Set goals. Yes, you’re finishing a year, but you’re not done learning. (Hint: you never are.) What goals can you set for the last quarter? For summer? For next fall? Be thinking of your next steps for success and how you can start working toward them now. 

8. Eat healthy. Study sessions are known for being prime opportunities to guzzle caffeinated sodas and munch on bag after bag of chips — but these foods leave you feeling bloated and gross. Take advantage of the season’s fruits and stay hydrated with plenty of water for energy that lasts. 

9. Treat yourself. Each time you knock out a major task – take an exam, submit that final essay – find a way to reward yourself for staying the course. Maybe that’s an Instagram break, a trip for ice cream, a Netflix movie, or a skateboard outing. Whatever it is, make sure you take a little time to celebrate your hard work. 

10. Envision the finish line. You are so close! When your motivation sags, close your eyes and imagine what it’ll be like to feel the sense of pride and accomplishment when you’ve done ALL THE THINGS. And done them WELL. It’s going to feel great! So just hang in there and keep plugging away. 

Teachers, parents, grandparents – share this with your hardworking kids! And tell us in the comments – what are your best tips for staying motivated through May and June? 

And as always, if your student needs more help than you can provide, give us a call. We can help ensure a strong finish.