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5 Simple Tips for Better Grades at High School

5 Simple Tips for Better Grades at High School
    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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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    Last Updated on November 11, 2019

    How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

    How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

    Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

    To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

    Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

    1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

    Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

    Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

    To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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    2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

    Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

    If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

    Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

    3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

    Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

    Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

    4. Feed Your Brain

    Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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    This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

    Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

    Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

    5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

    According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

    Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

    Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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    6. Write it Down

    If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

    It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

    You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

    7. Listen to Music

    Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

    8. Visual Concepts

    In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

    Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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    Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

    9. Teach Someone Else

    Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

    Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

    10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

    Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

    So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

    Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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