TIP SHEET #2: Suggestions by Teachers for Parents
1. Start strong during the first month of school each year by laying down the Rules of the Game to every class, but leave a little wiggle-room because if momentum trickles off later in the semester, as demonstrated by not turning in assignments on time or doing poorly on some (but not all) tests, the student has some cushion. This flexibility benefits both student and teacher: once kids get behind they feel overwhelmed, and even if they really try they may still only get to a ‘C’. But an opportunity to make up the shortfall is not only deserved, it can serve as a great motivator in later grading periods.
2. Organized notebooks help tremendously. Encourage your student to use color to highlight, underline and make symbols only they understand. Provide them with colorful tools. My seventeen-year-old neighbor uses the mirrored closet doors in her bedroom to make outlines, schedules and notes with colorful Dry Erase markers. It’s an entire wall of school stuff!
3. Don’t let your student cram-study on the night before a big exam. Instead, spread the study time over five days of shorter study sessions and re-reading during the week just before the exam.
4. Flash cards are great for certain subjects. Parents: don’t make the flash cards for your teens. The act of writing down the facts is part of learning. I tell my students to study the questions at the beginning or end of the textbook sections that might be covered in the exam.
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