Top 10 Things your Middle Schools Student

can do to have a Great School Year!

This is a list of 10 things your middle school/ junior high school student can do to improve their grades and have a productive school year.

10. Select a Consistent Place to Study
9. Stop Procrastinating, and How to Stop Procrastinating
8. Buy an Agenda Book and Use it
7. Take Study Breaks
6. Stay Organized throughout the Year
5. Make Study Cards
4. Make you own Study Guides
3. Talk about Assignments with Friends
2. If you are Struggling, Ask for Help
1. Make Academics a Focus in your Life

10. Select a Consistent Place to Study

Parents and students have been told that context studying helps. And while I understand and agree with the reasoning behind the principle of context studying, I also know that students will rarely take a test in the same environment in which they studied. For example, you can study in your room, but your test wont be administered in your room. Now, this all changed with online learning and the COVID pandemic where students can take the exam in the same place they studied for the exam. Once students are allowed to go back to school consistently I would actually advocate context variation. According to Psychology in Action, studying in the same place every time, study in the kitchen one day, then in your room the next, maybe go to a coffee shop? “In these cases, it is better to have encoded as many different environmental cues as possible to increase the likelihood that at least a few of these cues, which support memory, will be present at test.”

9. Stop Procrastinating, and How to Stop Procrastinating

Let’s be honest. Everyone procrastinates. EVERYONE. Maybe not all the time, but we do. As a parent, it is frustrating to see your student stay up late the night before to finish a paper that was assigned two weeks ago. As a student I know that I do my best work when I’m under a lot of stress. So how do we stop procrastinating? We suggest taking Breaking things down into bite size pieces. If a teacher gives you an assignment due in two weeks, instead of saying to yourself, “Great I’ll start on this in ten days/” Break down the task. Break down the assignment into smaller parts. Do you need to do research? Do you have to write about multiple topics? Once your assignment has been broken into bite sized pieces, assign due dates for each piece.

8. Buy an Agenda Book and Use it

Have a way to stay organized. The market for organizers is huge! How do you decide which one is best for you? The simple answer is the one that you can maintain. If an organizer asks you to write down your daily thoughts, but your not the type of person to do daily reflections, then that’s just space not being used and something on your planner that you did not accomplish. I personally used a daily to-do list planner. I would write down all the assignments I had to work on for that day and things I had to do. As I did them I would cross them off. This worked because it was simple and every time I crossed something off I felt a sense of accomplishment.

7. Take Study Breaks

Take study breaks: Rest is never a waste of time. If done properly, breaks energize and allows your brain to function properly. Be warned, we are not suggesting your student takes a break and plays video games for 8 hours. But breaks that recharge the student will be beneficial in the long run.

6. Stay Organized throughout the Year

Plan your year appropriately: Understand your school calendar. Are you on the semester system or the quarter system? When does your school administer midterms and final exams? Which classes require you to do a large project in the end? Are your finals cumulative? These questions will help you assess when you can partake in extra curricular activities. Also, if you know that winter break is coming up, you’ll have more incentive for a final push.

5. Make Study Cards

Social Media: Use social media on your break. Use that as an incentive to work hard. Try this- 45 minutes of studying and 15 minutes of social media.

4. Make you own Study Guides

Create your own outline: It’s rare that a student can just read something and remember enough to do well on a quiz or a test. Creating an outline of the chapter your student is reading. Write down all of the important information and key words you need to remember. We prefer the Cornell Method of note taking.

3. Talk about Assignments with Friends

Have a study buddy: A STUDY BUDDY. Not a friend you’ll have fun with. Not a friend who will try to distract you, but someone who will keep you accountable.

2. If you are Struggling, Ask for Help

Know when to ask for help: One of our students whom we have worked with for many years needed help with his Organic Chemistry class. The only problem was he didn’t ask for help until three days before the final. Don’t wait until the last minute to ask for help. Ask as soon as you feel you’re lost.

1. Make Academics a Focus in your Life

We talk to hundreds of students each year. We encourage our students to do well in school. Not because it will affect where they go to school or what they do, but most students don’t understand the amount of control they have on their grades or how well they do in a subject. The difference between someone who is a math person and someone who isn’t is that the person who is a math person has put in more work. If you want to get an A in your algebra class, make it your priority. Work towards it. Follow our guide. Visit our resource page, ask for help. It is easier than you think.