Tips for Back to School Student Success from Canada’s Premier Tutor, Light In The Attic

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Tutoring service Light in the Attic is offering invaluable advice to students and parents by sharing ‘Four Ways to Manage a Successful School Year’. Specializing in math and language, Light in the Attic provides the foundation that students need to achieve academic success.

Like high performance athletes we believe students should receive coaching and pre-season training so they are organized, prepared and they have the tools to succeed from day one.

Light in the Attic co-founder and Academic Director David Laredo has summarized his four core steps to learning success. He helps students master these skills in one on one tutoring and he’s happy to share his advice to help students prepare for a productive, positive and fun year of learning.

“Too many students walk into the classroom and simply let things unfold the way they did the year before,” Says Laredo. “Similar to high performance athletes we believe students should receive coaching and pre-season training so they are organized, prepared and they have the tools to succeed from day one.”

Laredo’s ‘Four Ways to Manage a Successful School Year’ include tips and techniques that students and parents can use throughout the year:

*Develop Organization Skills

Organization skills are critical to academic success. There are several things you can do to help and encourage your child to stay organized. The single most important tool for organization is an agenda. Digital or paper, an agenda helps your child stay on top of upcoming tests and assignments. Purchasing an agenda is simple enough but actually keeping it up and actively using one is not innate. To help your child learn how to get the most out of an agenda you can request long-range plans from your child’s teacher (see 'Get to Know the Teacher') and build a schedule working backwards with your child. Make sure your child is cataloging all upcoming tests and assignments in the agenda and work backwards to determine a schedule of activity that will allow them to meet timelines. You can also keep a large calendar in view featuring major milestones so they are top of mind for the family.

*Build Good Study Habits

Routine is the name of the game for building good study habits. Build into your daily schedule a specific time set aside for homework and STICK TO IT. Ensure your child has a quiet, well-lit place with all of the tools they need (pencils, paper, geometry set, etc.) so that there is no need for them to procrastinate. Younger children (under grade 6) should be doing their homework in a public part of the house (kitchen or dining room table). Older kids can use a separate quiet space as long as they can stay motivated. If you find that your older child is not maximizing their study time, back to the kitchen it is! Discourage distractions. This means no TVs or music on. Remember that agenda? Actively using it can help your child prioritize what they should be doing during each study period.

*Set Screen Time Restrictions

Many of us are familiar with setting restrictions for TV and computer time at home, but the proliferation of personal mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets, adds another layer of complexity to distractions. Instead of simply limiting TV time, we recommend limiting ‘screen time’ which includes texting with friends, updating Facebook and tweeting. Set expectations with your child and provide them with a reasonable limit for screen time after homework time. They may just get bored enough to pick up a book!

*Get to Know the Teacher

Teachers can be your child’s biggest allies. Get to know your child’s teachers by booking time to discuss objectives and goals for the year. These meetings are a great time to request long-range plans. Let them know you are looking forward to working with them as a partner to help your child achieve maximize success. Ask them how they prefer to receive communications. Some teachers prefer email, others would rather set up time to chat face to face. If issues come up throughout the year, such as behaviour or poor performance, make sure they feel supported. Try to create a collaborative team environment where you both work together for the benefit of the child. If you agree on a path forward, make sure you hold up your end of the bargain.

About Light in the Attic:

Light in the Attic Learning offers educational enrichment and remedial programs for students JK to grade 12. Our private instruction is tailored to fit each child's individual needs and learning style. Specializing in math and language, Light in the Attic provides the foundation that students need to achieve academic success in tandem with helping them with the work at hand. In addition to improving their grades, kids who study at Light in the Attic will better analyze problems, propose solutions, trouble-shoot, communicate with others, and manage their time. Our students develop learning skills that will help them succeed in school and beyond. Light in the Attic also offers virtual one on one tutoring online for students who live outside of the Toronto area. For more information visit http://www.lightintheattic.ca/

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Scott Ledingham
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