Sharpening study skills to help make the grade this year


"You have to consistently monitor your child to make sure they're having those study habits," said father Kenneth Levi.

When seven-year-old Taylor Levi was struggling with reading her dad made sure she got the help she needed. At the same time, he learned new parenting skills.

He said, "I know how to work with her and be patient and give her that extra time she needs to get to where she needs to be."

"Not everyone's an educator. Not everyone knows how to address homework needs," said Emily Merino, center director for Sylvan Learning.

Sylvan Learning specializes in helping students excel in their weakest areas. There's even a two-week back to school boot camp.

"Our instructors are certified and they're able to dedicate individualized instruction to each student based on what their learning needs are," Merino said.

But you don't have to attend boot camp to help your child get a head start this year. First, have your child pick up a book now.

"Have the students start reading if they haven't been over the summer," Merino said. "Ask them the questions about what they read. Make sure they're attentively reading, not just reading and going through the motions."

Next, designate work space.

Merino explained, "The best thing parents can do to ensure good study habits is to be sitting down with them at home and having a specified area for homework."

For older students, consider a dry-run before the first day.

"Junior high, high school students I would recommend as soon as they get that class schedule, go to the school," Merino said. "Map out their courses of where the classes will actually be located."

Merino says one of the most challenging things for older students is time management. So go over their new schedule with them and help them put a plan in place.

Finally, tell them what your expectations are and that you plan to hold them accountable.

"By providing that accountability, that extra support, that extra reinforcement, it just sets our children up for success," Merino said.

A little work now, could lead to fewer struggles later. That's why Taylor and her dad are looking forward to the second grade.

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