7 Strategies for Student Success
Ready, set, go! Your student is off and running with a new academic year. As a parent, you want to make the most of your student’s learning, but where do you start? How can you move your son or daughter ahead on the road to success? What actions should your student take?
If you search online, you’ll find plenty of advice and discover various flavors of the “Seven Habits of Successful Students.” So, how do you know what matters most? We recommend sharing the following strategies with your student:
1. Know Yourself—Be mindful of who you are. Know your own strengths and weaknesses. Remember, you are in charge of yourself. However, successfully managing your own learning means analyzing required tasks, knowing what you are capable of, and planning accordingly to direct your own actions. This set of thinking skills, often called self-regulation, helps keep you on track in constructive ways.
2. Set Realistic Goals—What do you want to accomplish this year? Define your learning goals. Be specific and break down high-level goals into bite-sized pieces. For example, if you want to improve your math performance, you can decide to complete all your math assignments on time. You might also decide to do your math homework first every day, before any other assignments. Keep the goals clear, write them down, post them in a visible spot near your work station, and remind yourself on a daily basis to strive to attain these goals.
3. Get Organized—To accomplish the goals you’ve established, organize your time and physical space. Create a reasonable schedule for meals, schoolwork, reading, and recreational time/entertainment. Be sure to include sleep—what time you will get up and go to bed. Manage your time carefully and follow this schedule as much as possible. You will be surprised at what a difference this makes for your well-being. Your physical space needs attention, too. If you don’t know where important tools for learning are located, you’ll expend too much energy searching for what you need. Set up a comfortable, efficient workspace for your computer with ample lighting. Gather pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, folders, and any other physical supplies you use for your studies. Be sure to organize your electronic collections as well, so you can quickly store and find these materials. Plan on investing a little time each week to stay on top of this and commit to keeping yourself organized this year.
4. Stay Focused—Okay, now you’re set up and ready to go! But wait, daily life is really distracting. Therefore, one of the essential strategies for success is to maintain your focus. Concentrate on your schoolwork, stay on task, put away materials or tools that distract you, and avoid engaging with other activities when you are studying. Consider a visual reminder in your workspace, such as a bold-faced post-it note that says, “Stay Focused.”
5. Seek Help As Needed—For many people, asking for help is difficult. First, you have to admit that you need assistance, and then you must reach out to someone else with an appropriate request in a timely manner. Getting the help you need before it’s too late can make a huge difference with learning growth, so don’t neglect this tip. Students who take the necessary steps to seek help have greater capacity to overcome learning obstacles. In the process of communicating about needs and receiving critical support, you can build new understanding. As a result, your self-confidence gets a noticeable boost.
6. Be Open-Minded—This might sound odd, but approaching learning with an open mind can optimize learning experiences. Assimilating new ideas can be harder when you try to control brain input and program yourself to accept only certain ways of thinking. On the contrary, unexpected discoveries and problem-solving opportunities may surface if you are more flexible and willing to incorporate new ideas. Just make sure that novel ideas are backed up with key facts and evidence before you accept them. Be savvy in your open-mindedness.
7. Stick with It—Finally, one of the essential strategies for success in any endeavor is simply not giving up. If perseverance is not one of your strengths, you’ll want to cultivate this critical skill when engaged with learning. Sometimes the going gets tough, especially when you’re trying to grasp complex content or abstract concepts. Maintain your focus, remain open-minded, be persistent, and refuse to give up. In the end, you will prevail, and that’s worth celebrating!
There you have it, seven strategies your student can use to achieve academic success. Have your child put these to work right away and get on the path to better learning.
Featured Image © K12 Inc.
Melissa King, director of early learning and product advancement for K12, has more than 35 years of experience as an educator. She holds a Ph.D. in science education from George Mason University and master's degree in linguistics from the University of California at Davis. She recently served as lead content specialist for a new blended program for pre-K learners. Dr. King has co-authored several books, published articles in educational journals, developed curriculum products, and conducted teacher training at the national level. She developed and taught graduate courses for the University of Virginia, George Mason University, and Kaplan University. Dr. King has been a public school teacher and also served as a gifted resource specialist, ESL specialist, and teacher mentor. She has also lived and studied abroad and is a Fulbright awardee.