One very important thing that you should know about high school is that if you don’t care what your marks are, it’s very likely that your teachers are not going to care either.
And why should they? They teach three to four classes a day with at least twenty students in a class. It is rare for a teacher to ask you to stay after class to discuss your bad marks, or help you better understand what you are learning. This year I was struggling in two of my classes: French and math.
In math class, I didn’t ask for any extra help, and my teacher didn’t offer any—even when my grades started to drop. But, my French teacher was great. She allowed me to stay after class for help, gave me tips on how to better take tests, and she even said she would allow me to take my written tests orally.
My point is that high school is very different from elementary school. You are given more freedom, and teachers start treating you more like an adult. If you are getting low grades, it is up to you to improve them. You have to learn to help yourself. You are guaranteed to succeed as soon as you learn this fact.
My Mistake: Rushing. It is common to rush during a test, exam, or a project. All I can say is: DON’T! This causes your work to get sloppy and inaccurate. You can loose marks very fast. Just take your time and, whatever you do, do not rush!
About me: I go to South Secondary School in London, ON and I have two younger siblings. I have always been a movie guy. But movies aren’t the only thing I enjoy. In the summer I love to bike with my friends down to the Thames River and ride along the trails. The sights and the entire ride are always beautiful. Anyway, hopefully you’ll enjoy my posts! Remember to leave feedback and comments at the bottom! – Dylan.
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When it comes to back-to-school prep, getting kids ready to head back to the classroom involves more than just new school supplies and an updated wardrobe. Kids need to get mentally psyched up for the return to the classroom. But, when do you start back-to school prep? A few days before? Maybe a week?
How about right now? By re-introducing school-year habits and routines well before school begins, and by engaging in activities that kick the brain into high gear, kids naturally shift out of the summer mindset and get ready for a year of learning.
Our 10 Back-To-School Tips help you get your entire family on track for a better school year…starting right now.
- Up and At ‘Em. The first bell of the school year rings early—sometimes, much earlier than kids and parents would like. Take the fumbling and grumbling out of school mornings by setting a wake-up schedule now. If kids don’t have an alarm clock, why not get them their own and let them take responsibility for waking up in the morning?
- Hit the sheets. Nothing makes an early morning routine worse than a lack of sleep the night before. Plus, kids need a full night’s sleep to stay mentally alert all day in class. Start implementing bedtimes…even for older kids. It makes learning (and morning routines) that much easier.
- Good Grub. Research continually shows the importance of eating a healthy breakfast, especially for students in class all day. Without proper morning nutrition, kids can feel drowsy and distracted. You want your kid focused on the teacher, not on his/her growling belly.
- What to wear, what to wear. Avoid last-minute searches for green socks, or favourite baseball caps by picking out the next day’s clothes the night before. If you are selecting the wardrobe, give kids a few options and let them choose. They’ll feel a sense of inclusion and responsibility when they feel that they have a say in the decision-making.
- I’ll take that to go, please. Unless you pay for school lunches, midday grub usually comes packed from home. Get into the habit of planning lunches the day before, whether it’s leftovers, or simple sandwiches, and take the question mark out of lunchtime meal planning. It’s one less thing that you’ll have to worry about in the morning.
- We now return to our regular-scheduled programming. The school day is all about scheduled timing. Start times. End times. Recess. Lunch. As much as possible, follow a schedule that mimics the school day. This includes wake up times, bedtimes, playtimes, TV time, and lunchtime. Don’t forget to make time in the day for learning too!
- TV off, homework on. During the school year, TV and computers are kids’ biggest homework distraction. Start eliminating that bad homework habit by turning off the TV during the after-school hours, coming to the table, and engaging in some sort of brain-challenging activity.
- Read. Reading is probably the single best way to keep kids mentally active all year long. Plus, it’s a great way for kids to practice sustaining their attention span, to build their vocabulary, and to develop their reading comprehension skills.
- Use the ‘S’ word. Help kids get in the school frame of mind by talking about school. How many days are left until the first day? What are the kids looking forward to? What are they nervous about? What is the best memory from last year? Kids may need some conversational prompting, so reference highlights from last year and be sure to keep it positive to build excitement!
- Something else? Okay so we could use your help thinking of a 10th item to round out our list! How are you getting your family ready for back-to-school? We’d love to hear your family’s tips! Share your back-to-school ideas in the comments section below. If we pick your idea as our 10th tip, we’ll send you Oxford Learning back-to-school swag!
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When asked by an ambitious high school student what leads to success, TED Talks presenter Richard St. John didn’t know how to answer. But, after 7 years and over 500 interviews of successful people, he finally had his answer. He shares what he learned about what leads to success in this short video.
Oxford Learning Winnipeg franchisee Alexis Yildir suggested posting this video as a great way to inspire teens to succeed in school. The tips are simple and easy-to-follow, and they drive home the message that anyone can be successful. Watch this video together as a family as a great way to get motivated about the new school year.
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Dylan shares lessons that he learned in his first year in high school.
I just finished grade nine and I have to say, it wasn’t as bad as far as high school stereotypes go. But, there are still some things kids should be aware of before starting grade nine.
1. Popularity. It’s a good idea to develop social skills earlier in life rather than later. It will help you a lot in high school and in the future—whatever your career might be. However, getting too hung up with the idea of “being popular” can lead to potential problems, the worst being unsuccessful grades.
2. Confusion. One thing you do not want to do in high school is fall behind. Confusion is usually the first step in falling behind. If you are confused about something, always ask questions about it. You may get made fun of, but the only thing that you have to worry about in high school is yourself. In the long run, you will succeed, but only if you listen to yourself and not to others.
3. Don’t Cram. Probably the number one thing you don’t want to do at any point in high school is cram for tests. In most cases, cramming leaves you sleep-deprived and completely clueless. Trust me, you’re much better off studying for and hour or so a night up until the test. This way you’ll have a firm grasp of the material, and you will be well rested for the big day.
4. Examinations. Everyone fears examinations: it’s fine if you do. The only advice I can really give you is to review and be prepared. Even if you feel that you have a good grasp on the subject, it is always a good idea to review every night. If you wait until a week before to start studying, you end up cramming. By reviewing every night, you have a much better chance of receiving a high mark on the final.
My Mistake: A mistake that I made this year was that I didn’t change my schedule before the year had started. I had Math, English, Geography and French in first semester, and my two electives, Gym and Science, in the second. I had one hard semester and one easy one. It is better to balance out your courses if yours are set up like mine. The workload becomes much easier to manage when more challenging courses are spread out evenly between each semester.
About me: I go to South Secondary School in London, ON and I have two younger siblings. I have always been a movie guy. But movies aren’t the only thing I enjoy. In the summer I love to bike with my friends down to the Thames River and ride along the trails. The sights and the entire ride are always beautiful. Anyway, hopefully you’ll enjoy my new posts! Remember to leave feedback and comments at the bottom! – Dylan.
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You’ve bought the latest fashions for fall, and have stocked up on all the school necessities, but what else can you do to help your kids prepare for the new school year?
Our back-to-school checklist has great ideas to help your family get back into the school groove, well before school has even begun! The sooner that kids are prepared for the return to class, the smoother the back-to-school season will be. Print off our checklist for an easy guide to back-to-school success!
Click on image to download printable PDF
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The link between nutrition, thinking, and learning is not a new concept.
The idea holds that if certain foods can promote better thinking and learning—fresh fruits and veggies, fish, vitamins, etc.— then it stands to reason that other foods can detract from the ability to learn.
There are many foods on this list, but sugars are the most common substance linked to behavioural and learning challenges.
Often, it’s not food itself that causes problems, but what is ADDED to the food.
The Centre for Science in the Public Interest has published an in-depth study called “A Rainbow of Risks” that links food colouring to attention deficit issues.
Food colouring is not an easy substance to avoid—it is in many everyday foods—even used (according to the report) to colour the rinds of oranges.
The danger is that food colouring appears in foods that are most popular with children: candy, soft drinks, milkshakes, etc. Even more important is that these foods make up a large portion of children’s diets, and developmentally, children are the most vulnerable to developing issues from the food that they eat.
Food colouring is not alone in its link to ADD and ADHD. www.Care2.com lists the 5 foods linked to ADD and ADHD as:
1. Fast foods
2. Processed meats
3. Red meat
4. High fat dairy products
Food colouring is not just linked to attention deficit issues. An article on Babble.com notes that Blue 1, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 cause allergic reactions, and Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, the three most widely used dyes, are also known carcinogens.
This information can be very helpful for families with children on the ADD/ADHD spectrum. Label reading and eliminating foods high in food colouring may help these families see improvement in ADD and ADHD symptoms.
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