What’s the square root (√) of 16? Don’t panic if your brain is still on holidays, it can take a while for teens (much like adults) to get back into high school mode after weeks of R & R. To help your teen make the transition that much smoother, check out these super astute tips…
Big changes can be super stressful for teens starting, or returning, to high school. There’s new teachers and teaching styles, timetables to learn, classrooms to find, fresh face classmates, advanced maths, science and English to get their heads around, and higher expectations to live up to – either placed on themselves, or by others. But as parents, there are things you can do to help guide your kids, without actually escorting them to class. Teacher and education expert at yourtutor.com.au, Ciaran Smyth, has these top tips to surviving the back to High School slump…
1. Get Organised
“It’s incredibly important to ensure your teen starts the school year with all the tools they need. You’ve got to make it as easy as possible for your child to organise their notes from day one, because once a week or two has passed, it becomes difficult to try and systemise loose scribbles and worksheets. Some essentials that I swear by include pens, notebooks, binders, filing systems and colour coordinated sticky notes, but check with the school for any other items that you might need to purchase.”
2. Find a Few Study Spaces
“Despite what most people believe, your home’s traditional study room is not the best space for your child to complete their school work.
“Kids should study in an area that is quiet and clear of distraction, including TVs and computers, which offer far too much temptation to flick to Facebook (unless of course computer work is required as part of the studying). I’ve found that the kitchen bench is a great alternative. Parents are generally within close enough reach to help out with any tricky questions and can also make sure their children stay focused. It’s also easy for your teen to refill their water or access snacks if they need. Don’t be too stringent with where your child studies, if it’s a nice day outside, encourage them to head on to the balcony. If your child is always heading to the study room at the back of the house, it becomes a place that they dread and will cause them unnecessary stress when they have to go there.”
3. Get Into a Routine
“Never underestimate the value of a routine, especially when it comes to school work and study time. I recommend encouraging your teen to spend the first 30 minutes to hour after they arrive home from school doing something they enjoy – be it sport, video games, the gym or TV. This allows them to relax and disconnect from school. Then, spend a solid hour or two on homework or study before dinner. The key is to be flexible with what subjects your child studies each day. If there’s a big maths exam coming up, encourage them to spend the entire evening on maths and work on the other subjects tomorrow.”
4. Know Your Resources
“Most parents don’t realise just how many educational resources are available to themselves and their children. Start with your local library which is a treasure trove of books, DVDs and CDs to help with every school subject you can think of. Libraries also offer free Wi-Fi and is one of the best environments for group study sessions around; they’re quiet, free from distraction and have the space you need.
“Ask your school about tutoring options, as most will have teachers available before and after school for extra help. Also check out online tutoring service which allows your child access to accredited teachers between 3pm and midnight – perfect for those times your child has left their assignment to the last minute and needs some extra help.
“Check with teachers regarding extra credit options that your child can participate in. You never know when they might need to use it! Finally, encourage your teen to get copies of all the quizzes they do throughout the year. That way when final exams come around, they can use all the mini quizzes as study materials.”
5. Encourage Social Activities
“Besides getting an education, school is all about developing social skills and (believe it or not) having fun. Encourage your teen to join a sports or social club, as these ‘team’ activities will help them make friends (who can support them during the tough academic times) and develop a healthy school/life balance. It doesn’t have to be a tough football or cheerleading team, I have it on good authority that the chess teams are closet party animals!”
Yourtutor.com.au is a one-to-one tutoring service that connects students with some of the country’s best, brightest and rigorously screened teachers, lecturers and PhD students. The program is open six days a week from 3pm-midnight, giving students unprecedented access to education professionals when they need it most. Founded in 2003, yourtutor.com.au has become the most trusted online tutoring site in the education industry and was previously only available through Australian universities, TAFEs, schools, libraries and governments. In 2015, yourtutor.com.au will be accessible to every around the country, helping Aussie children make the most out of their education.
Do you have any of your own back to school tips? Tell us below!…