It’s the end of the semester. You feel like your family should be able to celebrate and maybe even take some time off. But the end of one semester signals the start of another, whether it’s the short weeks that makeup winter break or the long summer break between school years.

As a parent, the end of the semester puts you in the position of supporting your child during the transition. It’s important to enjoy the break, while also making sure you’re both ready for the upcoming school term. Here are four ways you can help your middle schooler relax, unwind, and prepare.

Take Some Time Off

Stress-free breaks are essential to mental health, both for teenagers and their parents. Yes, it’s important to spend some time preparing for the upcoming semester, but you should also take a few days off. During the December break, take some time to do a few holiday errands together. Tasks like shopping for gifts, making cookies, or decorating the house can be a great distraction from the stresses of the school year. You’ll both return in January refreshed and ready to get to work.

Reflect on Last Semester

Having semesters divided into two sections is handy. It allows you time between each semester to reflect on the ups and downs of the previous few months. Parents can borrow some handy teacher exercises to help encourage the reflection process. Have your middle schooler write down the most positive things that have happened this semester, as well as a few things that might be getting in the way of success. Putting these things in writing can be very effective in deciding how to tackle next semester.

Make a Vision Board

Goal setting helps you decide what you want to accomplish together, but why not make it fun? Go to a craft store and buy some poster board, colored pencils or markers, and glue sticks and make a vision board together. By laying out your own goals for the upcoming semester, you can show by example that vision boards are useful at every age.

Prepare for Success

Once you’ve assessed the previous semester and set some goals, start lining everything up so you’ll be ready to hit the ground running. Set a meeting with teachers and counselors if there’s anything you need to discuss. This is also a great time to make sure your student has a fully-stocked designated work area, as well as the best equipment necessary for researching and doing schoolwork. It’s especially important that online students have a space that they can call their own, similar to the home office you have if you work from home.

BlueSky’s middle school is set up to help students succeed, with a full support staff ready to provide assistance. In addition to schoolwork, students are encouraged to develop skills that will prepare them for success long after graduation. A productive, restful break is part of that preparation. If you need one-on-one assistance at any point during your student’s journey, contact your advisor. We’re here to help.