Sunday, August 21, 2011

What to Do the First Two Weeks of School to Get Off to a Good Start

Think of beginning a new school year the way a good athlete faces a game. The athlete understands the challenges of the other team, carefully prepares, knows what strategies to use, and is ready when the whistle is blown. Similarly, well-prepared students succeed now and in college.

Before the first two weeks of school, talk to your student about doing these things:

1. Carefully preview text books and class calendars for each new course. Get a good idea of what classes will cover and what teachers expect. Mark important dates on a calendar so tests and major assignments don't catch your teen unawares.

2. Have at least one private conversation with your teacher. Talking with your teacher early on gives a student a higher comfort level and starting a dialog early helps when you need to talk with them about problems later. Conversation starters: Tell a teacher what about the course interests you; ask for tips on how to study for the course; ask how the subject relates to 'real life' and how you'll use the information later.

3. Plan a study schedule for the semester. Because education is a climb and not a walk, your student should study more at home than last year. Help your teen control time and the number of activities to make room for study.

4. Think about the previous semester. Any problems with a certain subject? Has your teen talked to his/her former teacher or guidance counselor about these difficulties? A new teacher should also know about past struggles. Get a jump-start on getting help and heading off problems and discouragement before they begin. Explain that "tough" subjects take more study time. Make time for it.

5. Chart Grades: Yes the teacher does this, but students should also keep track of every grade so that they always know where they stand in a class.


How younger students use the first two weeks of each semester is essential to their success. What's more, ultimately, your student is getting ready for college, which requires many hours of independent study, time-management, and planning.

Students as early as middle school must begin to learn how to control themselves, their courses, and the learning process. They need to begin "training" now.

For more information check out, Dr. Robert Neuman, former Associate Dean for Student Academic Development at Marquette University and author of ARE YOU REALLY READY FOR COLLEGE: 12 SECRETS FOR SUCCESS.

1 comment:

Frugal in WV said...

My oldest just started kindergarten last monday, so I have while until to college :) Great tipe! New follower from the wild weekend hop, have a great day! You can find me at

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