Carolyn Jones was busy going through schedules when I arrived at her door, making sure that students at Knoxville High School were taking the classes they needed to pursue their career paths. I asked her about challenges that high schoolers face, and how parents can best help. She made some great points:
Students need to find 2-3 hours a day 5-6 days a week unrelated to class time to study in order to succeed. It is difficult to find the time, so it is important that they use their time wisely.
Students need to focus, take good notes, and keep them organized.
A set routine–where and when to study works.
Parents need to think of their kids first, and do everything they can to help them study. Academics need to be a priority for the whole family.
Parents also need to help on the non-academic side of things. Speak with children about complex issues and expectations. Have high expectations.
High schoolers receive considerable peer pressure to do things that are against their values. Parents need to have a relationship with their kids such that they can talk about these issues and role play. Kids of all ages should know what to do or say whenever they are confronted with peer pressure to make choices they are not comfortable with, or conflict with their values. Preparation is very important.
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