Getting From Mid-Year to the Finish Line

As children reach the mid-point of the school year, their energy and motivation may start to wane. Depending on the year level, there is also still a lot of learning to be done and plenty of assignments, exams and assessments to complete.

We've all been there and know what to expect. But as parents, what can we do to help keep children motivated and engaged with school? How can we help our children to find a healthy, happy balance between school and life outside the classroom?

Here, three of Haileybury’s staff, share their thoughts on how to help children manage that mid-year feeling.

Michael Odachowski is Haileybury’s High-Performance Coordinator. 

  • Make time for children to exercise and encourage them to stick to an exercise routine. When it is wet and cold, try an online workout program like Pilates, yoga or a high-intensity workout.
  • “As a family, get into nature and go bushwalking or bike riding and get rid of social media for an hour or two,” says Mr Odachowski. “Being in nature is a chance for children to be with their own thoughts and to be present in the moment.”
  • During winter it’s easy to over-indulge in comfort foods so ensure children eat plenty of salads, vegetables and fresh fruits. “Stay hydrated and encourage children to sip water throughout the day,” says Mr Odachowski. “In summer it’s easy to drink water because we get hot and thirsty, but it’s important in winter, too.”
  • Help children to understand the importance of getting enough sleep and encourage them to go to bed and to wake up at a similar time each day.
  • When children might have exams and assignments ahead and are spending long hours revising, remind them to make time to exercise, eat well and sleep. Help them to find a healthy balance in their day.

Maria Bailey is Director, Counselling Services at Haileybury

  • Remind children to have wellbeing moments during their day when they can recuperate, rejuvenate and reset.
  • Encourage children to be kind to themselves. It’s so important to remind them to focus on what they have done well, what they’ve learned so far and what they can build on. And celebrate successes, too.
  • “Enjoy family moments when you can share stories and experiences. Share suitable memories of how you have worked through issues, challenges and accomplishments that children can learn from,” says Mrs Bailey.
  • “Help children work towards the finishing line by suggesting they review and set goals for the end of the year. They can break those big goals into smaller monthly and weekly steps that are more manageable and give them a clear plan,” says Mrs Bailey.

Catherine Johnston is Haileybury’s Careers & Pathways Coordinator

  • Have regular conversations about the future with your child, particularly in the Senior School years. This can help to keep students motivated, says Ms Johnston. “If there is a goal you can clarify with your child, or if you can establish what they are curious about, it may act as motivation for study,” she says.
  • Use school resources to get accurate information about post-school pathways and the labour market so you can support your child’s choices. Families can also connect with a careers practitioner to discuss options.
  • Take part in open days and other events held by schools such as Haileybury, universities and training organisations. “This can be motivating for students as they can see the relevance of what they are studying at school and how it connects to post-school options,” says Ms Johnston. The Careers Team at Haileybury provides regular updates to families and students. VTAC Careers Hub maintains a calendar of events including open days and course information webinars.