What The Best Students Do

A Good Housekeeping article by Marcy Lovitch details the secrets about getting the best grades. She interviewed students of excellence and their parents and summarized the results. Here are the tips in the article from the parents and students:

  • Use a planner.
  • Create spreadsheets to organize goals.
  • Study in the style that works best for your student.
  • Unplug before working; turn off the TV, iPod, cell phone, etc.
  • Provide a quiet, distraction-free place to study.
  • Value homework and use language expressing this.
  • Allow students to read what they want during their leisure time and play learning games.
  • Create a student’s sense of self-worth on something other than grades and test scores.
  • Enjoy family dinners together.
  • Emphasize industry over achievement.

When students head off to college, I give them this advice:

  • Eat three healthy meals a day (definitely avoid skipping breakfast).
  • Choose a quiet, distraction-free location to study (I chose the library).
  • Sleep on a bed, but never study there. Train the body to rest in the bed and study at a desk.
  • Schedule classes to allow free time as well as study time. I went to class from 9-12, had lunch, went to the library, and was then free the rest of the night. I also threw in a night class once or twice a week.
  • Remain organized and rewrite notes if you can’t outline as you go.
  • Attend every class.
  • Do something fun every weekend, and visit the parents often.

Well, this got me through college. What would you add?


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