Creating an Academic Action Plan Helps Families Start the New School Year Off On the Right Foot
With every new school year comes the opportunity to make academic changes and improve grades. It’s an opportunity to get rid of bad habits and pick up improved thinking, learning, and studying skills. It’s an opportunity to make this school the best school year ever!
But in order to seize hold of the opportunity that the new school year brings, parents and children need to have a plan for success in place; they need to set academic goals.
When setting goals for a new school year, follow the CAM rule: Goals should be
- Clearly stated
For instance, if a student’s goal for this year is to get better grades in math, it is more realistic to aim to increase math scores by five points per test, and set a goal of doing an extra 15 minutes of math homework a night, than it is to set a goal of getting 95% on the first test.
By setting a clear goal of improving 5 points per test, there is a greater likelihood of success. A realistic goal is an achievable goal.
But starting the school year off on the right foot isn’t only about resolving to get better grades. At-home habits that support in-school learning are equally as important to overall school success. There are plenty ways for families to make at-home resolutions that lead to a better grades.
Use a family calendar. Manage school, family, and extracurricular activities with a daily reminder courtesy of a wall calendar.
Get informed. Be informed of important school dates (big projects, standardized tests) well in advance to avoid last-minute scrambles.
Handle homework. Develop a homework strategy. Set a schedule, stick to a timeframe, and take frequent breaks to keep stress levels low. If necessary, parents should work on something along their children.
Hone study skills. The best study skill is to start early. By being aware of test dates and projects, parents can ensure that their kids are not leaving work until the last minute, which leads to stress for everyone.
Stick to a routine. Set bedtimes and wake up times help establish good morning routines. Kids of all ages need adequate sleep as part of their overall school routine, and parents can help ensure that they are getting the rest that they need to stay sharp in class.
By developing an Academic Action Plan–whether it’s about improving grades or working on at-home habits–parents can help ensure that their kids are on the right path for better grades this school year. And, with support from the experts at Oxford Learning, making this year the year that straight A’s happen is a goal that’s within every family’s reach!
What’s your family’s Academic Action Plan for this year? Brainstorm your ideas and download this sheet to write out academic and at-home goals and track progress!
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Is your family up to the challenge of going Internet-free?
How much does your family use technology for entertainment? How many hours are spent killing time surfing the web, playing video games, watching YouTube videos?
Some studies show that kids are using technology up to 7 hours a day. While this might suggest that kids would be more reluctant than their parents to unplug, a recent “technology abstinence” experiment in a Chicago school showed that 90% of sixth graders chose to go technology-free for the experiment.
The students weren’t completely restricted however—they could access some technology … whatever technology was available in 1983 when their teacher was in 6th grade.
- No smartphones
- No internet
- No laptops
- No Twitter or Facebook
- No iPods
- No handheld devices of any sort
Both parents and students rediscovered love of technology-free time. They spent more time doing crafts, reading, exercising, and simply engaging in good old-fashioned conversation.
While kids need to be techno-competent for school, they also need time away from technology to engage their brains in different ways. In fact, studies show that technology usage in the hours before bed can disrupt sleep patterns, which in turn can have a negative impact in the ability to learn.
Despite the UN declaring Internet access a basic human right (or maybe because of it), groups are springing up to help people deal with “media addiction.”
Will you participate? Let us know!
Thanks to Good.Is for the great idea!
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