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It may be a new calendar year, but the school year is getting old.  The half-way point has come and gone.  Your child's September enthusiasm has faded like the sun on a winter afternoon.

    Time for a new helping of motivation to see him through the winter and gear up for a successful spring.  Don't forget to:

Encourage and praise.  Look at your child as he is bent over his textbook and say, "I see how hard you're working and I know it will pay off."  Remember the rule of saying five positive things for every one negative follow it.

Stay involved.  Back-to-School Night and first-quarter teacher conferences are behind you, but your participation should be ongoing.  Attend a game or other school event together.  Call or e-mail his teachers to check in and ask how you can help him.  Let him know you enjoy spending time with him.

Give specific suggestions.  Does your child need to brush up on study skills?  Have him take notes as he reads.  They can help him learn key concepts.  Keep a separate list of vocabulary words and their meanings.  Refer to it when reading. Source: Working With Teenagers,Patchogue-Medford (New York) Congress of Teachers, Reprinted with permission from "The Parent Institute", a division of NIS, INC © 2006