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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 January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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