Tag Archives: Tips

6 Tips for creating a study spot in your house!

To Parents and Kids:

Studying can be hard.  Lets not pretend otherwise. Parents think back to when you were a kid and try to imagine how annoying it was to sit and study for even a little while.  Imagine now when there are way more distractions available than ever before.  It is a challenge to sit there and remain focused for several hours at a time without really doing much of anything except reading or working out some concept that you probably don’t like.  I’ve almost never heard a student, even the best students, say that studying is their favorite thing to do.  Quite the opposite in fact: Most people don’t like studying.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way lets also be realistic about the fact: Studying is necessary to succeed in school today.  Whether it is enjoyable or not, if you want to do well in school you need to study.  It is as simple as that.  Work needs to be done and time needs to be spent to learn.

Homework also fits into the “It’s never a good time” category.  The teachers know this, parents know this, and students know this.  Yet homework is assigned a lot, collected, checked, and sometimes a big part of your grade in school.  Why is that the case if no one likes it?

The answer is simple, it is a necessary evil.  Something that helps kids learn what is being taught.  It allows kids to practice and hone their skills, whatever they are.  Without it, kids would struggle more.  They would learn less.  It is as simple as that.

So, we’ve established that studying stinks and homework is no fun but both happen to be necessary evils if you are going to get good grades in school.  So, what is there to do about this?  The best advice we can give here is to create a space in your house where kids can study without distraction.  This spot should be comfortable yet conducive to focusing.  We’ve put together several suggestions for such a study space that will hopefully lead to better grades, higher scores, and less stress.

Make studying comfortable – Make sure you are comfortable when you are studying.  There is nothing worse than sitting somewhere doing something you don’t like while also feeling terribly uncomfortable for hours.  Being uncomfortable generally leads to less time spent studying and doing homework.  This leads to lower grades.  Get a comfortable chair and a comfortable desk.

Don’t get too comfortable though – Comfort can get carried away when studying.  When it happens, its bad.  You lose focus, you drift off, and you end up doing something completely unrelated to your homework.  That is not what we’re going for.  Places to avoid studying: On a bed, a couch, or some sort of recliner like thing.  Keep it confined to a nice comfortable upright chair and desk.  There’s a reason those seem to be the standard now and have been for kind of a while.

Keep away from the hustle and bustle – Most houses today with school age kids can get kinda busy: they can be noisy, they can be loud, they can be distracting.  Your homework spot should be well off the beaten path in the house.  Basically, if people are going to be around to distract you, talk to you, or do their own things while you’re working it isn’t the place you want to be.  Find a nice quiet corner and make it your own!

Stock your spot! – This might sound kind of weird but have the necessary items that you will need at your study spot.  The worst thing you can run into is being on a roll, studying like mad, doing your homework like a champ, and then you realize “man I need a stapler, where is it?”  Things like that can kill your focus and momentum and lead to a 10 minute search around the house for a stapler or pen or whatever.  Don’t let that happen.  Stock your spot with all the essentials: Stapler, calculator, pencils, pens, paper, erasers, tape, paper clips, post its, index cards, 3 hole punch, Kleenex, and whatever else you can think of.  Keep it there and keep it ready so that when you need it you don’t waste time or get distracted.

No distractions – Keep the distractions away from your spot.  No TV around it anywhere, trust us, watching TV while doing homework or studying doesn’t help.  It just doesn’t.  A computer can be an interesting challenge to have in the homework spot.  Obviously computers can be really helpful when it comes to getting homework done or studying for a test.  They also pose a serious distraction though; especially when kids are only a click away from Facebook or whatever else is out there.  If you are going to have one in your spot, resist the distraction temptation!  The other biggie would be the kid’s phone.  Today the phone is way more than just a phone, it does it all!  The phone can be a huge study tool that provides immediate contact with friends who are doing the same homework the child is.  It can be used to look up answers and solutions too.  The problem though is that it can also be used to do one of 8 million different things that are distracting and have nothing to do with school.  It is another one of those tough calls that parents and kids will have to make about what works best for the individual kid.

Make it the place to be! – Make your study spot the place to be by incorporating some sort of personal design touch into it.  Put some posters up or some inspirational sayings; just do something to make whoever is studying there feel good and not hate having to be there.  Make it a place people like going to work.

Conclusion
Having a spot in your own house where homework can be done without distractions is a huge help to most students.  In truth, most people haven’t even thought about this.  Kids just sit down somewhere and start working.  Parents, if you want your kids to study and do their homework more:  Make one of these spots in your house!  Make it look nice and fun, like a place a kid wouldn’t mind sitting for an hour or two.  Put up some cheesy inspirational quotes.  They might sound cliché to someone over the age of 20 but for a middle schooler or high schooler they actually have some meaning.  Get a nice looking desk and a comfortable chair for your kids so they think its not basically a spot to be punished by having to do work.  Keep the distractions away and you are good to go!

Hopefully this helps you out, if so please feel free to share it with anyone else you think it might help out.

Scheduling: Focus on Medical Careers

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There are several common questions that are asked of many teachers by students and parents every year:

“What classes should I take next year?”
“What classes should my kid take if they want to go into medicine?”

Here at Teacher Tip Offs we’ve decided to begin doing a series of quick articles explaining what would be good choices for classes based upon what you would like to do for a career.  The first career field we are going to focus on is anything medical related.  The past few years student interest in this career field has skyrocketed due to increased demand and the relating publicity for a wide range of jobs in the medical field.  Many students see it as a path to a very high paying, prestigious job that carries with it great respect if they are considering becoming a doctor or a pharmacist.  Other students see it as a path to a reliable job that pays well and is in demand if they are considering many of the different skilled tech or nursing careers that are available in medicine today.  Others see it as a means to gain employment quickly after high school in a job that pays well and is available compared to other jobs requiring similar education.

No matter what their focus, there are certain classes they should be taking in high school to be successful and prepared for college if they want to succeed in the medical field.  It is our hope that this will help students be aware of that when they begin scheduling and picking classes.  Parents, please share this with your kids if they are considering one of the following careers.  This post focus on Doctor, Nurse, Pharmacist, Physicians Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, etc.  Future posts will cover skilled tech course suggestions and vocational medical career suggestions.

Parents: How to Deal with Test Anxiety, Part 2

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In part one of this series we discussed the basic idea that preparation for a test can seriously help remove some of the anxiety and stress students face today when they are studying and taking a test.  In this portion of the series we will be focusing more on the possible causes and issues of test anxiety that arise from things outside of school.  In part 3 of this series we will be focusing on possible causes of test anxiety that come from within the school itself.

For Part 1, click here.

As has been said all along: Many students suffer from serious test anxiety today in school.  It is becoming a serious problem and is negatively hurting the grades of many students out there who otherwise understand the material and do their work.  It is also one of the least understood aspects of stress students face in school today.  That is why we decided to focus on this series of articles right at the beginning of Teacher Tip Offs.  We know it is important and we want to help.  That is why we’ve put together this guide, which discusses the major internal and external causes of test anxiety for students today.

Parents: How to Deal with Test Anxiety, Part 1

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As a teacher I can’t tell you how many times I have heard from parents how nervous and anxious their child gets when they are about to take a high stakes test. This is usually the same student who has done all their work and behaves in class.  Yet when it comes to taking a test they are usually quite ready to freak out and psych themselves out of a good grade before they even sit down for the high stakes test.

Test anxiety is a real problem today in schools because of what it is doing to our kids and what it is doing to their grades.  Thankfully there are a few ways in which it can be dealt with.  In almost every instance, especially in the early grades at middle school and high school, it starts with parents being knowledgeable about what their children can do to relax and succeed on high stakes tests and quizzes.  In this article I have outlined several actionable tips that can be used to help your child deal with test anxiety.

10 Emergency Test Cramming Tips

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Nobody likes to do it but sometimes cramming for a test is simply unavoidable.  You put off studying, didn’t look at the review guide, and waited until the night before the test to even think about preparing.  Though I obviously would suggest that you not make this your normal strategy for test studying, if you do find yourself in this precarious position there are a few things you can do to help yourself out:

1. Figure out what to study – When studying on a limited time budget you need to make sure you aren’t wasting time.  Your first priority should be to figure out what exactly will be on the test and stick to only studying that information.  Look at the review guide, look at your notes, and think about what has been talked about in class.  Pick out the most important concepts from there, perhaps the ones that are mentioned the most, and focus your studying on those. Don’t waste time on something if you think it won’t be on there or if it will only be in one question.

7 Easy tips to prepare for a Test In High School

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How can I get an A on the test?  What should I do to get a 100% on my next test?  These are common questions asked by high school students today yet the answers seem to constantly allude many students.  If you ask the vast majority of students about what they struggled with or currently struggle with in high school the most you will inevitably hear their biggest challenge was taking tests.  In many cases this struggle is coupled and compounded by a serious mix of anxiety and nervousness over the test.  Read on to see the list.

What can a parent do to help their kids succeed in school?

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Have you ever asked one of the following questions?

What should my child do to achieve higher grades and success in school?

What can I do to help my child be more successful?

Why don’t many of the suggestions and tips that I’ve found so far help my son or daughter more?

If so, this site might be for you.  Read on to find out why.