How to Ace the School Year
Every year, whether in middle or high school, academic expectations continually rise for students. Ever-increasing responsibilities are penciled into a student’s already hectic schedule. That’s why, for most students, successfully getting through each year of school is a significant milestone in and of itself.
As a parent, what are the best ways to build positive habits and lay down a solid foundation?
Read on to discover our favorite tips on how you can help your child ace their school year.
1. Nurture key time management and organizational skills.
Time management and organization — these are words your child will see again and again throughout their entire education. But guess what? Your child will encounter similar concepts when pursuing future careers as well! In reality, it’s hard to manage time and be organized, even for adults. Emphasizing time management and organization now can help your child later in their adult life.
So how can you provide guidance?
Get your child in the habit of outlining their daily schedule. This gives them a better idea of the time they have, so they can plan or accommodate accordingly. Begin by listing your child’s schoolwork, homework, tests, extracurricular activities, team practices, volunteer hours, and other commitments. Once you have the list, organize it in a planner or calendar format.
Sometimes, your child simply might have too much on their plate. If you notice your child is struggling with overbooking, don’t hesitate to assist them with prioritizing the most important activities.
2. Encourage class engagement and participation.
Active engagement in class discussions and activities will trigger a valuable feedback loop for your child from their teacher. Why does it matter?
Feedback is crucial for learning effectively. Your child can better understand classroom material and receive the right guidance to improve their learning. It can further help them build confidence, self-awareness, and an enthusiasm for learning.
The practice of active participation also helps to build leadership and initiative. Such qualities carry over to your child’s involvement in clubs, organizations, and teams that can later become a huge advantage when it’s time to fill out college applications.
If your child shies away from engaging in class because they’re afraid of being embarrassed, assure them that letting go of the fear is the only way they can receive the help they need.
3. Help them build important relationships.
Finding new groups of friends and forming lasting friendships are what make middle school and high school so memorable. However, your child should not forget to befriend other figures in school — counselors and teachers.
Without a doubt, teachers and counselors remember details from past conversations, interactions, and impressions of students. In fact, letters of recommendation from counselors and teachers are top factors for college and high school admissions. Encourage your child to make time to engage and visit their offices. More often than not, teachers and counselors are more than happy to mentor students who approach them.
On your end, plan for periodic visits to speak with teachers and counselors. Make the effort to share interests, goals, and other aspects that can further establish a strong relationship.
You can’t control what the counselors and teachers will write about. However, interactions with your child can help them come up with more personal, genuine future letters of recommendations, which are ultimately the best kind.
4. Pay attention to daily wellbeing.
The hardships of middle and high school can be overwhelming. However, staying on top of self-care is a significant part of preparing for success in school. Learning to manage stress is important, but getting enough sleep and eating well are the driving forces behind staying healthy day to day.
We’ve all heard about how getting enough sleep has a direct correlation to good performance, especially in tests. Let your child understand that there is absolutely no benefit in losing sleep over additional hours of studying. If not having enough time is their reason, work with them on improving their time management skills.
Studies show that sleep debt is a real condition. It’s important to realize that the more sleep debt accumulates, the more likely it is to affect academic performance and overall health. Encourage your child to stick to the habit of getting around 7-9 hours of sleep, then build a schedule around it.
5. Seek support.
Not everything pans out the way you or your child wants it to. Sometimes, your child’s academic performance is something that’s simply out of your control. Therefore, it’s important to quickly pick up on the signals that indicate any academic struggles your child is having, early on.
For example, regardless of the amount of studying and reviewing, students can still end up doing poorly on tests. On the other hand, students may do well on tests but they struggle to complete their homework and other tasks. Without any action taken, your child’s grades can drop, impacting their overall GPA.
As a parent, how do you balance between giving enough space to allow your child to develop independence but also providing the right amount of guidance and supervision?
Proactive steps include creating study plans, talking to teachers, and identifying core problems. You can also seek additional help, tutoring or classroom support to get your child back on track, so they can master difficult concepts and practice important skills, such as time management, test-taking, and studying.
To Sum Up
Use these tips to lay a foundation that your child can build upon as they continue their academic journey through each grade. In reality, there are many factors to consider. The entire journey can sometimes be intimidating not only for students but also for parents!
Success requires an immense amount of work and effort. Our team at MEK Review is here to share the workload and support you in your endeavors. If you seek additional guidance for your child, or if your child needs to transform their grades, test prep, and study habits, we’re here to help you every step of the way.