Readers Digest has a great set of articles on back-to-school (http://ping.fm/83LCJ), but the one that I found really interesting was on ideas for how to help set up your student for success. I personally struggled for years in school until my junior year of high school, and wish I’d had some of these tips to help me along the way! Some of the top tips include things like getting organized, which is an absolute must. Today’s students have to juggle so many tasks, and if they’re not organized it can become completely overwhelming. Work with your student to find a system for keeping track of their homework, their reading, extracurricular activities, chores, and so on. While it can seem like work setting something like this up, it will definitely pay dividends during the school year and beyond. If your student is a techie, there are applications for many mobile phones (including the iPhone) that can keep track of homework and tasks.
Another great idea, one which I’d wish I’d discovered earlier in life, is to take a speed-reading course. I was skeptical of speed-reading for years, but once I actually took a seminar on it, I was sold. I was under the impression that by speed reading, I’d miss lots of things because I’d be skimming everything, but in reality this was not the case. Instead, my reading speed and my comprehension increased dramatically. Being able to quickly read, understand, and absorb lots of information can be super-helpful when a student has many things they need to read for a class. And I have to say, I love reading, and speed reading for me didn’t take away the joy of reading at all. This is actually something that both parents and their kids can learn together – it’s a skill everyone can benefit from.