Academic resolutions help students tune up their school habits and start the New Year–and the new semester– off on the right foot by putting an end to the habits that can cause stress and interfere with the learning process. A new semester is just around the corner, so it’s the perfect time to polish up routines and start this year out kicking!
- Rise and Shine. All students can use a little extra time in the morning. By setting alarm clocks 10 minutes earlier, students can reduce the morning rush and alleviate stress.
- Tune Out. TV and computers are the biggest student distractions, especially when it comes to homework. Students needn’t give up the computer or become TV-free, however. By simply eliminating one half-hour of screen time, students have more time to focus on schoolwork.
- Prepare at night. Students can check items off their to-do list by preparing for school the night before. Choose clothing, re-pack book bags, and prepare lunches at night to reduce the morning rush.
- Get organized. Resolve to use an agenda. Agendas help students stay on track so that homework and assignments are not forgotten.
- Stick to a schedule. Hang wall calendars in a visible spot and be sure to write down all school assignments, extra curricular activities, and social engagements.
- Hit the sheets. A better night’s sleep ensures that students are less sluggish more mentally alert during the school day.
- Hit the books. Extra curricular reading is one of the best-known ways for students to build vocabulary and develop strong language skills.
- Eat right. Healthy eating habits keep the brain active all day long. Avoid sugary treats and too-heavy meals, which can cause an attention crash.
- Get outside. Take in some fresh air, vitamin D, and get the blood pumping with some exercise. Exercise has been shown to increases circulation to the brain.
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It’s a new year, which means that it’s resolution time! 99.99% of resolutions are lifestyle resolutions: I’d like to eat better; I’m going to exercise more. But what about academic resolutions? The New Year is a chance to examine the areas of our life that need improving, and academics are no exception.
More likely than not, school is the one area that needs an overhaul the most.
By this point in the school year, students are in a pretty comfortable routine. They know their teachers; they know their classmates. They’re in a groove…but there is such a thing as being TOO comfortable, a fact that high school students can certainly attest to. Just as high schoolers are becoming familiar with their school routine, end-of-semester exams arrive. The arrival of exams calls for a change of tactics—a new way of thinking.
It’s time to re-energize the learning momentum.
It’s time to put down that Wii controller, step away from Facebook, and write down some academic goals for the New School Year!
However, setting goals isn’t typically a strong point for students. So, with that in mind, we compiled our Foolproof Guide to Setting Goals That Stick For Students of All Ages.
The first thing to know is that there is such a thing as a wrong way and a right way to set goals. Setting goals the wrong way sets students up for disappointment. Setting them the right way keeps student on track for success.
With that in mind, there is one simple rule to follow when setting goals:
- Don’t make broad goal statements
- Keep goals realistic
- Set goals with milestones
Here’s an example of a math-based goal that a student might make:
The wrong way to set a goal: I want to improve my math grade.
The right way to set a goal: I want to bring up my math grade from a C-minus to a C-plus for the next test.
By putting milestones in place, students can track where they began, where they are now, and where they are heading. This is a system that tracks success in a given timeline. And we all know that the more success we see, the more motivated we are to stick to the program.
The next step? Write down your goal in your own handwriting and put it someplace where the whole family can see it. This keeps us accountable for our goals.
Oh, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you aren’t reaching your milestone. Did that test come and go and the grade stayed the same? Maybe it’s time to call Oxford Learning.
After all, built in to all of our programs is a system that helps students stay on top of their goals, and keep working towards better grades.
Oh, and one last thing: celebrate!
We can’t think of a better way to start the New Year.
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An Every Student’s Top Eleven Guide to Ultimate Academic Resolutions for 2008 for a Better School Year:
- I resolve to do my homework every night
- I resolve to not leave studying for a test until the last minute
- I resolve to write down my homework and assignments in my agenda
- I resolve to not be shy and to put up my hand and ask questions in class when I don’t understand
- I resolve to take better notes and to read over my notes every night, even when I don’t have homework
- I resolve to ask for help when I need it
- I resolve to read more
- I resolve to eat foods that are more nutritious and better for my brain
- I resolve to get more sleep
- I resolve to turn the music off when I’m studying
- I resolve to be an active learner
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Throughout the past year we’ve taken a close look at the educational topics that tie directly into the hot topics of the school year. Each month we looked at one topic that was relevant to what was going on in your child’s academic life—because even when school is out, learning continues.
From Back-to-school to final exams and summer learning, regardless of where you are located, these are some of common school themes and distinct benchmarks in the academic calendar.
Take a look:
- January: Start the year off right with strong academic resolutions for the rest of the school year.
- February: Stay focused. The winter blahs are in full swing by mid February. Here’s how to help kids stay focused and on track on during a slump month.
- March: March is synonymous with Spring Break. The tips help you to keep your child academically on track with fun games.
- April: For teens in high school, the push towards final exams can begin as early as April. The best tip to ace exams is to start early and be organized.
- May: Be prepared is not only the scouting motto, it’s a great motto for parents to adopt. Spring has arrived, but it’s time to think ahead to summer.
- June: Graduation is a major transition in the life of a student. Here are some tips to help your child make it a smooth transition.
- July: Kids need to keep learning all summer long to prevent the aptly named “summer brain slide.” Make learning fun all summer long.
- August: Help your household prepare for back to school.
- September: Help your child ease back into a happy homework routine.
- October: Help kids prepare for the first big test of the year with surefire study skills.
- November: The first report card of the school year is here. Do you know what to expect? These tips help you have a happy report card experience.
- December: Get organized and stay focused this holiday season by practicing time management.
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Many of us make New Year’s Resolutions to improve ourselves by losing weight or quitting smoking or exercising more. But what about resolutions to improve your mind? Here are a few learning resolutions, some small and easy, some a little more difficult. Whether you’re six years old or 60 years old, doing just one of these resolutions will leave smarter at the end of 2006 and you are at the start. Doing more than one will definitely make your mind stronger and your life richer and more interesting.
- Learn one new word every week.
- Learn one new skill every month (a massage technique, how to can your own produce, how to program your VCR – the opportunities are endless).
- Start a diary and keep it going daily or weekly for one year.
- Learn a new computer program every few months. Or at least make an effort every week to learn something more about a program you already use (either a short cut to use it more effectively, or a new command or option that you’ve never used before).
- If there’s a subject, topic, current event, company, product or country you’d like to know more about, make it your goal to become an expert. Whether it’s the Middle East or composting, in only 12 months, if you put your mind to it, you can become the most knowledgeable person on a specific subject within your peer group.
Remember, the keys to achieving your New Year’s learning resolutions are to start right away, and to make a simple plan for achieving the goals you set. If your goal is to learn a new word each week, figure out interesting ways to do it. Do a crossword puzzle, read a magazine you’ve never read before, pick up a thesaurus or visit one online and search out a new word.
You may even discover that with some resolutions, simply devising a process to achieve the goal you’ve chosen will teach you more than the goal itself.
Good luck with your New Year’s learning resolutions. Have a safe, happy 2006.
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