And just like that— we’re in 2024!
The beginning of a new year is the perfect opportunity to get your child organised start the year strong and get ahead of their peers. But importantly, it is THE most critical time for making sure they’re motivated to consistently power through the year to finish the year stronger and more confident than ever.
If your child didn’t have a great run in 2023, that’s ok. The first week of January is one of those unique transitional windows to set your child up for success — to tie off 2023, clear the air and start with a fresh slate for the new year.
As humans, it’s natural for us to carry our baggage from the past with us whether we mean to or not. But there’s no good strategic reason to taint a brand-new year by continuing the trajectory of 2023. Because believe it or not, we don’t have to pick up where we left off. So, if you want your child to leave behind the procrastination, distractions and poor study mindset, let’s talk about how to make sure what happened in 2023 STAYS in 2023.
At Kalibrate-Ed, we’re ready to kick off the 2024 school year by helping students and parents start the year strong with higher motivation so that rather than burning out too soon, they can finish the year with more results than ever before and with more confidence for the road ahead. Read on below as we share some of the techniques we use with students, parents and schools to give them the start of a strategic plan for the school year ahead.
First, look back. Reflect and collect what’s useful. Clear out the gunk.
An excellent first step is to look back at some things that happened last year. I know what you’re thinking, “Shouldn’t we just move on and start fresh?” While that’s true, having a bit of an evaluation, particularly of the things that didn’t go well, is useful to bring new insights and solutions.
At Kalibrate-Ed, we implement the same first step as part of our decompression protocols, a process of releasing stress from a period of intense academic focus, like the end of the school year. We use a dual system to review student results and evaluate their performance and self-reflections. It’s like checking in on an electric toothbrush to ensure there’s no build-up stuck to it up to its charging base. We want to process our toothbrush to eliminate the gunk, but we also want it to recharge once plugged in actively.
You can gather so much timely information at the end of the year like a cognitive walkthrough of an exam to improve their ability to problem-solve and answer exam questions, micro-analysis of the preceding term to streamline knowledge retention or real-time exercises to anchor motivation before it fizzles out… so many parents let this information go to waste and often it’s irrecoverable after a few weeks has passed. But probably the easiest way to tie off 2023 well is to get a copy of the exam paper they completed in the exam — not just the questions, the actual paper they completed with the responses, working out with the teacher’s mark allocations and comments. It’s a literal data time-capsule into how your child’s processed no matter how their results landed, and a gold mine of simple ways to improve. So, if you haven’t grabbed all their exam papers yet, put this on top of your list for 2024 and watch how reviewing these will pay you dividends and save so much money on tutors!
Next, validation and reframing for success.
Once our students have completed decompression protocols and reflection, we let the information settle. We allow the child to rest and recharge while we analyse the results before we enter the validation phase. An important part of Kalibrate-Ed’s data-driven methodology, we independently confirm the accuracy of their reflections and assessments in a slightly more distanced context to provide a safe, non-judgmental space to identify the key areas to improve upon without raising the student’s defences.
When completed properly, students progress smoothly into the improvement phase and are self-motivated to implement as part of an overall study strategy. This process is particularly with students who struggle with anxiety, low motivation or sustaining consistent study habits throughout the year.
When we help students properly reframe the conversation about their performance, that’s when real change and outcomes are achieved. Students are more likely to self-identify opportunities to enhance themselves and devise more creative solutions to improve their studies from last year. By placing them in a position of confidence and distanced reflection, students easily take ownership of their choices and results, leading to less defensiveness and fatigue over time. That’s why we designed our process like this. We want to take advantage of timely information, but we also want to put students in the best position to take ownership of their learning.
Before you know it… they’ve got a strategic plan.
Using this process, students are naturally guided toward a completed strategic plan for the year — one that they designed and personalised for them. So naturally, it’s one they’re more likely to follow. Many of our students report telling us how it makes the year much clearer and reduces the sense of ‘overwhelm’, and that they’re glad they had something to keep them anchored when things get stressful.
Having a strategic plan doesn’t mean that things are set in stone, rather you can use it to stay organised and focused as things pop up or circumstances change. Because what typically happens with most students is that even with a well-intentioned list of resolutions for the year, they gradually lose continuous drive and enthusiasm along the way. They get burnt out or disappointed because of a mismatch in their academic results and the amount of effort they put in to achieve these goals.
Reviewing and adapting your child’s strategic plan is an essential part of ensuring it’s optimised to give them the best result. Through this exercise, our students actually own their learning strategy and become driven to take steps, keeping them motivated throughout the year. It also enables them to proactively identify the key areas they need help with to create a chain of smaller wins that suddenly reach critical mass to turn into an outstanding result that they can really be proud of.
Bonus: Customise for your child.
It’s always important to remember that each teenager is different from another. Analysing your child’s learning experience, academic performance, and other learning nuances is essential to help them set up for 2024. If you want to know more about this type of analysis, we have a diagnostic tool for parents that only takes two minutes.
Last year we shared our Academic Focus Prioritiser with the community for parents who wanted to prepare for the year. It’s not too late to run this little diagnostic to identify the key areas of learning to focus your child’s learning so they achieve better results, and understand more about your child’s learning!
If you’d like to know more about this and get a personalised plan for your child’s 2024, reach out for a quick chat with one of our education strategists. Book a Brainstorming Call