School Year’s Midpoint Doesn’t Have to Mean Playing Hooky

Published March 1, 2006

With the halfway point in the school year quickly approaching, parents might begin to notice their children are suffering from “morning sickness”–headaches, sniffles, sore throats, or stomachaches–more and more often. Oddly, however, the symptoms seem to disappear not long after the child gets permission to skip school for the day … only to reappear the next morning.

With 100 days of school already down, it is common for children to become less motivated and excited about the remainder of the school year, a problem that can be highly frustrating and challenging for a parent.

In the following list, Smilemakers, a Chicago-area business supply company owned by Staples, Inc., offers tips for keeping your kid in school and smiling about it, even when the doldrums hit.

  • Hit the mall. Take your child shopping for new school supplies. Back-to-school items often signify a new beginning and fresh outlook.
  • Learn together. Read a book or watch a movie with your child about a subject he or she is learning about in school.
  • Reward your child. Create a rewards system for academic performance by using prizes and stickers for good grades (check out for the coolest stickers).
  • Role play. Have your child teach you what he or she learned in school during the week
  • Play games. Play educational games with your child to reinforce the fact that learning can be fun (Monopoly, Life, and Scrabble are great choices).
  • Challenge your child. Make vocabulary and math flash cards and hold a friendly competition at your home.
  • Host a study group. Invite a group of your child’s classmates over for homework and after-school snacks.
  • Visit a museum. Go to a local museum and teach your child about a subject such as history, nature, or art to generate excitement about this in the future.
  • Turn to the tube for educational programming. Watch “Jeopardy” or “Wheel of Fortune” to stimulate your child’s mind.
  • Have a 100th day of school celebration. Send your child to school with a special snack to share with classmates.