Avoid These Habits that Can Wreck the School Year

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on September 1, 2012

The back-to-school season may have just arrived, but it’s never too late to fine-tune the habits that will get this school year off on the right foot.

One of the best ways to get started on the right foot is by knowing which habits to avoid.  These are the most common habits that students struggle with, and by recognizing them and tweaking your family’s habits, avoiding them all together means your family will also avoid the other common side effect of these habits: poor grades.

1. Not getting enough sleep.  It doesn’t matter how old your child is, kids need a bedtime. In fact, studies show that teens need even more sleep than younger kids.  During sleep, the brain files and stores information learned throughout the day, so without adequate sleep, learning can literally go in one ear and out the other.  Not getting enough sleep can seriously disrupt a student’s ability to focus in class. To get A’s students need to get some Zzzzz’s.

2. Skipping meals.  In class, kids need the energy that healthy food gives them in order to be able to focus and learn. Without adequate food, kids will be focusing on their rumbling bellies, not on what they are learning. It’s important to—as much as possible—stick to regular meal times to keep kids brains well fueled.

3. Multitasking while doing homework.  Kids are easily distracted by TVs, computers, and cell phones.  So rather than using media devices to complete homework, they often end up being a distraction from the task at hand. Practice shutting all devices off and focus on one offline task at a time. If the Internet is needed for research, save that until all other homework questions have been completed.

4. Procrastinating. Everybody likes to relax after school (or work). But social lives, chores, sports, and extra-curricular activities, make it tempting to leave homework until the last minute. When students put schoolwork on a backburner, it can lead to last-minute scrambles and late-night cram sessions, neither of which pay-off in the classroom.

5. Not asking for help. One of the biggest mistakes that students make is waiting until the last minute to seek help. Rather than waiting for a failing grade before asking for help, students should talk to the teacher at the “I’m-not-really-understanding-this stage.”

Oxford Learning provides supplemental education services across North America. It offers programs for young people from preschool through university, and its cognitive approach goes beyond tutoring to ignite a lifelong love of learning. Find out more at http://www.OxfordLearning.com.

photo credit: YannGar .CH via photo pin cc

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Annie September 4, 2012 at 11:32 am

Sleep is soooo important! I notice a huge difference when my daughter stays up too late the night before.
Great post!
Annie´s last blog post ..Fisher-Price Servin’ Surprises Kitchen and Table Review


April @ The 21st Century Housewife September 4, 2012 at 11:40 am

This is an excellent post with great advice! Developing good habits can make all the difference between a great school year and a not so great one!


Kelli September 4, 2012 at 11:58 am

Great post! Especially that last point. I think it’s so important to teach our kids that it’s okay to admit if they don’t understand. Teachers want to help and aren’t mind readers! Thanks for the great tips! :)
Kelli´s last blog post ..Meet the newest American Girl


Elena September 4, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Asking for help is SOOOO important! I wish more kids would feel comfortable enough to do this in their classroom setting….and yes, sleep. sleep is good. very very good.
Elena´s last blog post ..Fostering Confidence in Our Kids


Kat @ iHeart7.com September 4, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Great points!!! I’m going to make a note of these things on our white board and start making it a point to verify EVERY day that none of these are becoming an issue with our kids. Thanks so much for sharing!
Kat @ iHeart7.com´s last blog post ..REPOST: Kids, Dads, and the Moms That Keep Them Apart


Andrea (Lil-Kid-Things) September 4, 2012 at 2:28 pm

These are really great tips and easy to slack off on. Thanks for the reminder!
Andrea (Lil-Kid-Things)´s last blog post ..Supporting Mitt Romney: Who Gets Your Vote with Sarah Pinnix


Bridgette September 4, 2012 at 7:31 pm

We definitely follow the “no TV rule” during homework time in my home. My daughter gets very easily distracted!


5 Minutes for Mom September 4, 2012 at 7:41 pm

I am definitely going to try to instill some of these tips into our school routine this year!
5 Minutes for Mom´s last blog post ..Rainy Days Mean Movie Days at Our House: An Anchor Bay DVD Prize Pack Giveaway


5 Minutes for Mom September 4, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Meaning to do the opposite of the bad habit :) Just thought I would clarify!! ha ha
5 Minutes for Mom´s last blog post ..Rainy Days Mean Movie Days at Our House: An Anchor Bay DVD Prize Pack Giveaway


Nikki September 5, 2012 at 9:07 am

We’ve already encountered a few of these. It’s hard to get back into a routine but we’re working hard to keep on track!
Nikki´s last blog post ..My 10 Favorite Call Me Maybe Parodies


Kim Tracy Prince September 5, 2012 at 8:46 pm

I will add that multitasking during homework is a bad habit for the parent in charge as well. I need to pay attention, maybe not hovering over the kids while they work, but do something that allows me to watch them and make sure they are *doing* it! If I start checking things on the computer or phone, forget about that!
Kim Tracy Prince´s last blog post ..Sometimes Epic Is Tiny


Danielle Smith September 6, 2012 at 9:09 am

I so agree with you! Sleep is number 1 on the list for us. If my small people don’t get enough of it, they turn in to baby Tasmanian Devils…. they are unreasonable, they lose all sense of patience, and the ability to concentrate becomes a lost cause. Suddently ALL they want to do is try to multi-task during homework – they can’t sit still, they won’t finish their meals… all downhill from there! Thank you for the reminders!
Danielle Smith´s last blog post ..Vanished.


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