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How to Turn Your Child Into a Straight-A Student

                                    How to Turn Your Child Into a Straight-A Student


                                                                                                     By Dr. Judy Flury



It’s that time again!  Back-to-School.  This is a time of new clothes, new school supplies, new teachers, new friends, and fresh beginnings.  This is also the time to start off strong for a great school year.


The following 7 steps below will go a long way towards giving your child an awesome school year, and helping them get, or stay, on the honor roll!


1. Read to your child every day.
Most of the learning your children do in school involves reading, and rock-solid reading skills are essential for top success in school (and for top success in college as well.) The positive experiences that your child will get from you reading to them will help them develop a love of reading, and will also stimulate their brains to be constantly receptive to new information. 

Frequent reading causes the brain to function like a thirsty sponge -- always ready to enthusiastically absorb and process new information.

If your child is too old to be read to, then establish a "family reading time", where the family sits around and reads for 30 minutes.  Everyone gets to read whatever interests them -- from books, to magazines, to comics.  You will be shocked at what a "family reading time" will do for your child's reading skills, and for their school grades!  (Not to mention some wonderful family togetherness time as well.)


2. Teach your child to be organized.
One of the best ways to teach the skill of organization is to model it yourself. Have your child get with you each evening, and both of you organize your supplies for the next day together. Then sit down with your child and both of you fill out your to-do list for the next day, and make out a blank assignment sheet for your child also -- on this assignment sheet, your child is to write down all of their homework assignments as they come up during the next day.

Start using little organizational tricks such as color-coded folders for each different subject, so that your child can easily connect a color with a subject and find material quickly. Of course you can modify this plan according to the age and needs of your child, but the point is to make “being organized” something that you and your child do together. Children who experience a sense of order and who feel organized also feel more in control of their own success, and more motivated.


3. Create an environment in your home that encourages learning. 

This will be a major influence on how well your children do in school. Provide them with many different opportunities to become excited about learning in general. Make sure that appropriate materials from puzzles to paints to books are available to stimulate their curiosity.

Engage your child in dinner-table conversations. Share your own interests, such as what you’ve learned recently about gardening or playing the piano. Talk about current events. Make sure they take part in intellectually stimulating pastimes, such as learning a complex skill such as martial arts, playing chess, or doing brain-teasers. Nourish your child’s curiosity about the world, and you will instill a love of learning.  


4. Provide your children with a well-balanced life.

A stable home, filled with love, serves as a solid foundation for getting straight A's. Establish routines so your children get enough sleep, eat nourishing meals, and receive sufficient  exercise. Your child should know what to expect day-to-day, and setting up routines is the way to accomplish this.


5. Teach them effective study skills.

Good study skills are absolutely essential to get A's. Make sure your children know how to read their textbooks, prepare for tests, memorize facts, and use their time efficiently. Give them a regular time for studying and homework, and provide a comfortable study place with all necessary supplies, free of distractions.

Often what's missing from kids' school life is academic discipline, which means training children to acquire the self-discipline to concentrate, stay on top of assignments and master certain skills and information. Just as you train your children to tidy their bedrooms, write thank-you notes for gifts and groom themselves, it's important for you to expect a daily disciplined routine for schoolwork.


6. Limit television viewing and video games.

One of the most insidious problems with television and video games, which many parents don't realize, is that they create a mindset in children that makes school seem boring. “TV encourages children to be passive recipients of information and trains their brain to pay attention to rapidly changing, highly stimulating information,” says Robert Needlman, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. “As a result, kids tend to turn off and tune out from less highly stimulating information, such as someone reading to them or a teacher talking to them.”


7. Develop a good relationship with your children's teachers.

Good communication between home and school helps children do well in school and makes it easier to address problems. Parents cannot afford to wait for schools to tell them how children are doing. Families who stay informed about their children's progress at school have higher-achieving children. Be sure to attend parent-teacher conferences, visit your kids' classrooms, and volunteer to help their teachers if you can.


There you have it!  7 techniques that go a very long way into helping children achieve straight-As! 

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