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5 Ways to Help Your Teen Get Great Marks at High School

5 Ways to Help Your Teen Get Great Marks at High School

Graduation Day

    Studying is usually defined by the same, old, boring methods – reading, writing study notes, and rote learning.

    While these tasks should take up the bulk of your teen’s studying time, there are certainly other less well-known methods that effective studiers use to make sure they get the grades they’re aiming for.

    The five methods below are all things YOU can encourage them to do and help them with, and will contribute massively to your teen’s studying success.

     

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    1. Help them make a study timetable

    Your teen’s study timetable only needs to be very simple, yet the benefits of having one (and using it!) are huge:

    • Your teen is much more likely to complete the study they need to if it’s planned in advance and written down. A timetable achieves both these things immediately.
    • By marking out when they will study each subject, your teen will ensure they study everything they need to in time for each exam.
    • Quite simply, having a study timetable = more study done

    Making and sticking to a timetable is Organization 101, and being organized does absolute wonders for stress levels. By helping your teen get organized, you’re helping to keep their stress levels down… something the whole family will benefit from!

     

    2. Implement incentives where appropriate

    Many teenagers need a good kick up the bum leading up to exams. If this sounds familiar then we suggest using a few simple incentives to give them the boost they need.

    But, they need to be the right kind of incentives…

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    Harvard Educational Professors have shown that incentives based on a child’s inputs [work done] are far more effective than those based on their outputs [grades].

    This means you should base your incentives on the number of hours of study done, rather than the grades your teen ends up getting.

     

    3. Introduce them to handy websites.

    The web is a goldmine of fabulous free resources designed specifically for high school exam study, of any schooling system.

    To get you started here are a few of our personal favorites:

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    • Khan Academy: This site has thousands of free videos covering everything from math to chemistry to finance at a level that’s perfect for high school students.
      It also has a ‘Practice’ section that acts as a personal math tutor. All free!
    • GCSE Bitesize: Based on the British curriculum, but a fantastic website bursting with resources for any high school student anywhere.
    • YouTube: Yes, it is one of the best tools for procrastinating, but if your teen can resist their browsing urges, YouTube probably has at least 10 videos explaining any topic they could ever need to master.

     

    4. Past exam papers

    We credit a lot of our own exam success to studying from past exams. Not every teacher will provide them, but it never hurts to ask.

    They’re a wonderful study tool because:

    • The questions and format of the exams this year will probably be very similar to those in previous years.
    • They’ll give your teen the best idea of what to expect in the exam, and they’ll want to avoid any nasty surprises!
    • Going over past exams will very quickly show your teen what they need to brush up on.

     

    5. Test them

    A great tool for studying is getting someone to test your knowledge.

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    As a parent, you may not know what protein synthesis or differentiation is, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help your teen memorize those definitions.

    As long as you can read, you can ask questions from their study notes. Flash cards could also fit in very well here.

     

    As you can see, just because your teen is growing up and studying for subjects you haven’t thought about for 30 odd years, it doesn’t mean you have to be a spectator of their success.

    Behind every successful high school student are very proud and supportive parents. We hope that the tips we’ve outlined here help you help your teen reach the level of academic achievement you know they’re capable of.

    It’ll be YOU they thank first at their high school graduation.

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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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