Before your teen gets started on tomorrow's homework, she should spend a few minutes focusing on what she learned in today's class. Have your daughter spend a few minutes looking over her notes. Have her make any corrections. (She will still remember what those chicken-scratches mean!) It may be a good idea for her to rewrite some sections. She can also add any other thoughts that will make it easier for her to review the notes when test time comes. If she's unclear about anything, she should mark it and ask the teacher about it. Reviewing notes takes only a few minutes. But it will make it much easier to study for the test.
Source: Gordon Green, How to Get Straight A's in School and Have Fun at the Same Time
Do you know what your teen is doing after school?
Research shows that teens who spend after-school hours in structured activities do better in and out of school than teens who don't.
It doesn't matter what they do-it can be a sports team, a church group, a homework club or a part-time job. But kids who organize their time will do better than teens who spend their after-school hours just hanging out.
Are you helping your teen make the most of out-of-school time? Answer yes or no to each statement:
1. My teen has a structured activity for after-school hours nearly every day of the week.
2. I set limits on the time my teen can spend just “hanging out” with friends.
3. I check up on my teen after school so she can tell me where she is and who she's with.
4. I sometimes give my teen an extra “push” to make sure she gets to her after-school activity.
5. I have looked for after-school programs to help my teen with homework.
How well are you doing?
Each yes answer means you're helping your teen make the most of after-school time. For each no answer, try that idea from the quiz.
Source: The January 2007 issue of Parents Still make the difference newsletter.
Encourage teens to believe they can be successful in school
The best kind of self-esteem comes from accomplishment. Make your teen believe that he can succeed in school. Stress the good things that education will do for him. Every time he accomplishes a goal, he will shine inwardly. Here are some ideas:
Look for mentors and examples. No one is more important to your teen than you are. But teens benefit from knowing another older person, even a college student, who believed in himself, worked hard and experienced the pride that comes with school success.
Set goals. Saying “I can do better in school” only goes so far. Teens need to quickly experience evidence to back up these words. So help your teen set small goals and gradually work up to bigger ones. A small goal: I will do all my assigned reading this week. A bigger one: I will bring up my next test grade by one letter.
Talk often about the benefits of graduation. Clearly, school success means your teen must stay in school. High school graduates have more job options-and better job options-than non-graduates. They also have the chance to enter higher education, including college and trade school. Or they may qualify for job training programs. This is nearly impossible without a high school diploma.
Source: Jessica Martin, “Promoting students' belief in their academic abilities is key to curbing African-American high school dropout rates,” Washington University in St. Louis News & Information
“Pile it & forget it” method can help teens deal with stress
Today, most teens feel stress-about school, about friendships, about where they'll go to college. Some stress can be good. But when stress piles up, it can cause problems. If your teen is a worrier, she may find that it's hard for her to concentrate on her studies. Here's a technique that can help.
When she sits down to study, have her keep a notepad handy. If a worry pops into her mind, she can write it on a piece of paper, then put it on the corner of the desk, turn it over and go back to studying.
Each time a worry crops into her head, have her write it down, turn it over and get back to the job at hand.
At the end of her study time, have her look at the papers. Pick one thing she wrote down. Is it still worrying her? Can she fix it? If she can, have her start on a solution. Help her find other ways to reduce stress. Exercise works. So does spending time with friends. Sometimes just listening to music will relieve stress enough to get back on track.
Source: Mike Riera, Surviving High School: Making the Most of the High School Years
“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill
Mary Susan Hale is the coordinator of the parent/community involvement program for the Middlesboro School System