Photo credit: Max and Dee (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Even though your teen is out of diapers you still have a huge influence on them.

They still look up to you and want to make you proud.

Your support throughout their high school years will have an enormously positive effect on their grades and attitude towards school and studying.

It can be difficult to know just exactly how you can help your teen with their studies. After all, it’s probably been a while since you’ve opened a math or chemistry book!

So here are 5 practical things you can do with your teen to help them reach their academic potential at high school.

1. Figure out their learning style

Despite what many people think, anyone can learn how to study effectively. To do so, your teen simply needs to figure out what study habits and techniques work for THEM.

Part of learning how to study as effectively as possible involves figuring what your predominant learning style is. Once your teen knows what theirs is, they can integrate study techniques associated with this style into the way they study.

Never again will they have to be frustrated by not knowing what to do when they sit down to study.

Take our 5-minute Learning Styles Quiz here!

2. Make a weekly timetable

The most common topics parents ask us about are motivation and time management.

How can I get my teen to do school work regularly? How can our family fit everything in during the school week?

Sound familiar?

There’s something wonderfully powerful about scheduling study time in advance. So our answer is to draw up a timetable of your teen’s normal school week and let them assign the times when they’re going to complete homework and/or study.

3. Figure out some ‘Reasons Why’

There’s one very consistent difference between motivated teens, and not so motivated teens…

Motivated students have personal reasons WHY it’s important to do well at school.

Motivated students all have some idea as to what they want to do when they leave school. Either they have a career in mind, or a college they want to go to, or they simply know it’s important to keep their options open by getting great grades.

Unmotivated students who aren’t feeling driven to do well should think about THEIR future.

What are they interested in? What can they see themselves doing in 5-10 years time? Do they want to work at the supermarket for the rest of their days or would they like to get a good education and have the world as their oyster?

Have a chat with your teen about what reasons will motivate them to get off the couch and over to their desk.

4. Goal Grades

Another great motivator for any student is for them to decide what grades they want to aim for this year. This will give your teen a target to work towards – something to keep focused on.

Secondly, when they achieve their goal grades they’ll be so chuffed with themselves it will spur them on massively to keep giving school their best shot. There’s nothing like the sense of accomplishment and reward that comes with achieving goals.

5. Study with them

Studying can be a chore. Especially when exams are looming!

But it doesn’t have to be a total slog 100% of the time. You can help your teen study effectively and make it more enjoyable by getting involved.

Flash cards are a fabulous tool you can use with your teen, and they’re incredible simple to make!

We also found it really helpful to have our parents ask us questions from our study notes when studying for exams. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand the content of what your teen has been studying – just you asking questions from their notes will massively help their recall.

If you can talk about the real life relevance of what they’re learning it will show them WHY what they’re learning is important. This plays a huge part in keeping your teen interested in their school work. So sit down and have a chat about what they’re learning and why they’re learning it.

You know your teen better than anyone, so you may find that there are tons of other things you can do at home to help them enjoy what they’re leaning and improve their memory retention. If you have created any family study games in your household we’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

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