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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 September 18, 2020

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

    Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

    1. Exercise Daily

    It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

    If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

    Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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    If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

    2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

    Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

    One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

    This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

    3. Acknowledge Your Limits

    Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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    Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

    Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

    4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

    Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

    The basic nutritional advice includes:

    • Eat unprocessed foods
    • Eat more veggies
    • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
    • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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    Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

      5. Watch Out for Travel

      Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

      This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

      If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

      6. Start Slow

      Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

      If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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      7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

      Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

      My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

      If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

      I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

      Final Thoughts

      Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

      Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

      More Tips on Getting in Shape

      Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

      Reference

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