Maybe your teen had started out the school year full of enthusiasm, but now you notice that exams scores had been plummeting and your teen seems to be falling through cracks. You are worried that your teen won't pass to the next grade level.
How can you help your teen cope up with school work before it is too late?
Here is a fact that you should know about. According to the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, one out of every ten high school students will have failing marks on their report cards and subsequently won't pass to the next grade level. Students who fail to pass to the next grade level or graduate will likely become dropouts.
Every child has the power to succeed in school but in almost every case, they need parents to give guidance, show them how things are done, and just back them up and give moral support. If you are stumped as to what to do at home to contribute to your teen's academic success, try these tips for starters:
Help Your Teen Develop Good Study Habits
Designate an area as a study. This could be a room, a library, or the dining table or anywhere where there is the least distraction and where you can easily check on your teen.
Establish a daily study period; for example, you can designate the hour before supper, during school days, to be your teen's regular study period.
As a rule, the area should be free of distractions, i.e. television, loud music, cell phones, video game devices, entertainment magazines, etc. This room should be stocked with books, dictionary, office/school supplies, etc. that your teen might need. You can even stock the area with a light snack so your teen does not have to leave the area to get something to eat.
As a process of teaching your teen how to dedicate time for studying, as well as make good use of study periods, it is imperative that you enforce the study time rule. Ergo, you are to check on your teen if he or she is conforming to the rule, or if your teen is truly using this time to study and not just passing time doing nothing, see if he or she needs help in certain areas.
Make Consistent Follow-throughs
Parents who make it a habit of checking their teen's progress at school rarely encounters teen academic difficulties. This is because parents who do so can see in advance potential problems before they take root.
Check on your teen's school progress. If you can check his or her homework, test papers, and projects. Monitor test results and grades. During study periods, make your teen go over past quizzes wherein he or she got poor marks, let him or her redo poorly prepared assignments. If you can, archive test papers so that it is easier for you to keep track of your teen's progress.
Also, if possible, contact your teen's teachers once in a while to talk about his or her academic performance.
Teach Your Teen Organization Skills
Organization is a very important life skill that can not only benefit academics but other areas as well. You may need to teach your teen to make good use of personal planners, diaries and events calendar to keep track of "to-do"s and important stuff. You can even teach you teen to make use of personal planner widgets in mobile phones. You can also install a corkboard in the study to be used for posting "to-do" notes and keep track of progress.
Good organization skills usually manifest in the teen's penchant to put things in order, cleaning after mess, and creating a system for doing things.
Limit Your Teen's TV and Video Game Time
According to Dr. Michael Rich of the Mediatrician, developmentally, teens are no more in a position to effectively control how much time they spend on the computer or to understand the physical, psychological, and academic consequences of failing to do so, than when they were at 6 months old. It is the parents' role to teach their teens about moderation and balancing time to fulfill different obligations.
The American Academy of Pediatrics states that two hours of entertainment media is more than enough for kids during school days. If your teen habitually spends more than two hours each day in front of a TV or a computer whether to watch shows, browse the internet, or play video games, then it probably won’t be easy to get them away from it.
The first step is to move the TV or computer into public family space. You will likely hear some complaining out of your teen for this one, but it is important. The intention here is to bring media out of the bedroom, where its usage can be easily monitored. You can then set time for your teen's internet or TV usage, preferably after finishing his or her homework, or after dinner, etc.