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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

School will be starting again before you know it, and kids who struggle academically need help learning life skills they need to overcome test anxiety and make good grades in the new school year.

It’s a well-known fact that students lose an average of two months’ worth of instruction over the summer, forcing teachers to spend the first few weeks or more of the school year remediating instead of introducing new concepts. Luckily, staying sharp academically during the summer months doesn’t have to be a grueling process.

Here are some pointers for parents to help kids return to school ready to make great grades:

Reach Out to Your Child’s Teacher(s): Find out which skills are necessary for your child to have in order to succeed academically in the coming year. The teacher may also be able to give you insight into which areas your child needs to work on in order to be proficient in the next grade level. You might also ask your child’s teacher to point you in the direction of useful resources and possibly summer enrichment activities and programs to enhance your summer learning efforts.

Keep Kids Reading: Encourage your child to read at least an hour each day by offering him reading materials directly related to his interests and appropriate for his reading level. Engage kids in activities such as summer reading programs for young children at the library These programs often feature crafts, puppets, singing, and other such activities that help your child associate reading with having fun.

Teach Kids to Prioritize. It sounds simple, but kids don’t naturally know how to set priorities and goals and this key skill is often overlooked in school:

  • Define goals, especially short-term goals to prevent them from becoming overwhelmed. For instance, you may not know where to begin when it comes to achieving the long-term goal of increasing your overall academic success, but you likely know exactly what to do to increase your grade in math class.
  • Make a plan including all of the ways to accomplish the goal.
  • Create a daily task list to break up tasks into smaller, more doable steps (it might include items such as completing an assignment, studying for 30 minutes, or asking a teacher for extra help.)

Teach Kids to Manage Time Effectively. Basic time-management skills include taking small steps to reduce the need for cramming for exams. Teaching kids how taking a little time each day to study for a major test or project can save them from getting stressed out later.

Eliminate Distractions. Help your student make a list of time-wasters that can eat away productivity such as watching TV (keep the TV off during study hours). If your student is bombarded with phone calls, text messages, or emails teach them to turn off their phone and close their email when studying.

Identify Sources of Unnecessary Stress.  Help kids identify and get rid of sources of stress such as extracurricular activities that interfere with their schoolwork. Teach them to manage stress through  regular exercise, adequate sleep and nutritious foods.

Students who learn to study strategically can actually decrease the amount of time they spend studying while simultaneously improving their GPA. It’s all about making the most of each moment of study sessions by using efficient and effective study strategies.

About Rick and Teena Kamal: Award-winning study and life skills experts Rick and Teena Kamal founded EduNova to prepare students to lead and thrive in the global economy. They worked with 33 top university education experts and many successful senior executives to produce resources that empower middle school, high school and college students to succeed. Edunova’s The Most Complete Student Success System (MCS3) has won three awards from distinguished parental review organizations: Parent Tested Parent Approved™, Mom’s Choice Award®, and Mom’s Best Award. Learn more at www.HowToStudyBest.com.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want their kids to be successful in school.