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5 Habits That Can Ruin a School Year and How to Fix Them

Back to school is here, and that means it’s time to get back into school year habits!  No matter where you are in the school year, it’s never too late to tune up the habits that are used all year long.

There are common habits that the majority of students struggle with. By recognizing them before hand and knowing how to avoid them, your family and make the necessary changes to routines to make good habits—and good grades—part of the daily routine

1.     Losing Sleep. Kids need a bedtime. That’s because studies show that teens need even more sleep than younger kids—up to 10 hours a night!  When kids are asleep that’s when the brain files and stores information learned throughout the day. Without adequate sleep, learning can literally go in one ear and out the other.  Not only does being tired mean that kids forget the stuff they learned yesterday, they can’t focus in class, so the likelihood of learning something new that day decreases.

The fix: make sure to make sleep a priority.

2.     Skipping meals. When in school, kids need the energy that healthy food gives them in order to be able to focus and learn. Without adequate food, kids will be focusing on their rumbling bellies, not on what they are learning.

The fix:  As much as possible, stick to regular meal times and healthy food to keep kids brains well fuelled.

3.     Multitasking while doing homework. TVs, computers, and cell phones are distractions and are a major time suck, especially during homework time.  Kids need to focus on the task at hand, not divide their attention between different gadgets.

The fix: Practice shutting all devices off and focus on one task at a time. Work systematically. If the Internet is needed for research, save that question until all other homework questions have been completed.

4.     Procrastinating. We all like to relax after a busy day, but social lives, chores, sports, and extra curricular activities can make leaving homework until the last minute too tempting. Putting stuff off leads to last-minute scrambles and late-night cram sessions, neither of which pay-off in the classroom.

The fix: Use an agenda and wall calendar to write tasks down and stick to schedules. Work on projects a little bit at a time rather than all at once to make them seem easier to accomplish.

5.     Not admitting help is needed. One of the biggest mistakes that students make is waiting until the last minute to seek help. It can be embarrassing, but it doesn’t have to be. A failing grade is harder to admit to than confusion.

The fix: Rather than waiting for a failing grade to arise to ask for help, students should talk to the teacher when they first don’t understand something.


Oxford Learning provides supplemental education services across North America. It offers programs for young people from preschool through university, and its cognitive approach goes beyond tutoring to ignite a lifelong love of learning. Find out more at http://www.OxfordLearning.com.
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