25 January 2010 12:07 PM

Checklist for Academic Success, Part 2

by Dr. Rick

In the last Dr. Rick Blog, we were discussing simple checklists to help ensure our children’s academic success.  Lots of people use checklists – pilots, surgeons, engineers, technicians, nurses, and other professionals and service providers.  Why not students and their families?


Last time I suggested a checklist that could be helpful at home.  Today, let’s concentrate on a checklist for school.


At School:

  1. Insist on good habits.  That means putting forth effort and persistence, good attendance, punctuality, turning in assignments on time, paying attention in class, and participating in class discussions.

  2. Encourage participation in extra curricular activities.  These after-school experiences enrich learning, promote friendships with kids of similar curiosities, encourage discovery of new interests, and often lead to increased success in school.

  3. Balance life.  Show how to balance school/social life.  You don’t want your child to be all-school-all-the-time any more than you want him to be all-play-all-the-time.  Balance.  It’s the secret of life.

  4. Look up to someone.  Encourage your student to have mentors to support and encourage him, study buddies to learn and compete with, and “heroes” to admire and emulate.  With any luck, you’ll be among the heroes.

  5. Help with time management.  Everyone needs help with time management.  Show her how to prioritize and plan ahead to save time and energy now.

  6. Insist on a strong work ethic.  Encourage good study, listening, and note taking skills.  As he studies, make sure he regularly reads, reviews, highlights, identifies main ideas and important points, and uses chapter headings and illustrations to help him understand material in his texts.

  7. Nurture healthy, supportive friendships.  Friends support and encourage each other, want success for each other, and compete good naturedly to keep each other sharp.  “Friends” who want to do otherwise are not worthy of the term.

  8. Monitor courses.  See that they’re taking the right courses in school.  Match the goals you’ve made together with the preparations you’re making now in school.

  9. Show that you take schooling and lifelong learning seriously.  Give your child the great good blessing of coming from a family who respects learning and recognizes its benefits throughout life.

  10. Get help when necessary.  When you suspect an academic problem, get help early.  Check out the company I work for, Sylvan Learning, or ask for help from teachers and guidance counselors at school.

Use these checklists – today’s to use at school, my previous blog to use at home – to help you and your student stay on the right track toward academic success.  I also invite you to click on the Archive section above and read other tips from the Dr. Rick Blog and its readers.




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