How to Help Your Kids Get Better Grades

Do you want your kid to get better grades – of course, the answer for most of us is a resounding yes.  Well educator Gary Howard has just published a book, How to Help Your Kids Get Better Grades and he’s sharing some of his tips below:

Here are just some of the invaluable suggestions on how parents can help children improve their study habits and effectiveness:

Shop and let the student select the perfect pen. The right pen makes all the difference when taking notes or writing long essay answers on an exam. Parents may be surprised, but printing is easier for many students than writing script cursive.

Schedule Study Time and Stick with It. Set up a weekly schedule for study time with two forty-minute study times each day with a 20 minute break between. Pick the times and stick to the times.

Buy Study Guides for Your Student. For high school and college, these 5 to $9 guides of key subjects are the easiest and fastest way to get the bottom line necessary building blocks of information on a topic. In no way are they to be considered cheating. They are a wonderful way to get the outline and vital subjects identified.

Encourage Participation in Study Groups. After school, join a group, discuss ideas, ask each other questions and research the answers together. But focus on work, this is not a social gathering.

Get a Tutor. In sports you have a coach, at the health club there’s a trainer, so in classes, don’t hesitate, get a tutor. Use the Internet and search. It’s not as expensive as you may imagine. The help over the tough spots can be invaluable – the difference between getting it, and losing it.

Get a Good Backpack. The essential items include: notebooks, two favorite pens, two pencils, text books (for the day only), Kleenex, energy bars, medications, two dollars in change, and clothes for the weather. Parents – inspect weekly or anytime. Write your name address and phone number in indelible ink on the pack in case it gets lost.

Have Reading Skills Tested. Make sure your child is at the appropriate level for his or her age and does not have eye problems. See an eye doctor if you have any doubts or concerns.

Home Study Location, Chair and Lighting. Sufficient lighting, comfortable desk and chair, with little or no distractions! No TV, radio, music, or games during study time.

Reading Time and Practice. Get focused, brain on full alert, and cut out the daydreaming while reading textbooks. Full attention on the task at hand.

Getting Proper Note-Taking Down. THE BEST MEMORY IN THE WORLD CANNOT REMEMBER WHAT IS LEARNED IN A CLASSROOM. Taking good notes is a learned skill. Use clean paper and favorite pens, three-ring binder with paper and separators, outline with notes and major points. Re-reading good notes is where learning really takes place. There are several types of note taking methods students should learn.

Develop Your Memory with Mnemonics. Using rhymes, telling stories or jokes, and memorizing four to five letter acronyms is a great way to remember lists of details or essential rules. Writing these 20 times engraves them on your brain.

The techniques in How to Help Your Kids Get Better Grades are best taught when children are in the seventh or eighth grade, but the checklist contained in this amazing book can be used to diagnose and remediate missing skills for anyone. The book provides excellent tips for high school and even for college students trying to raise mediocre scores to A’s and B’s.

About the Author
Gary E. Howard was a teacher and administrator at the high school and college level for thirty-five years. Although he turned down the appointment as President of one college, he served as the Dean of Instruction at two others. He lives in Moraga, California

How to Help Your Kids Get Better Grades
By Gary E. Howard

List $11.95
Cambridge Learning Skills Publishing
ISBN 978-0-9802091-1-2

Available on Amazon and other bookstores online.

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The Enduring Appeal Of Classic Toys

Play is critical in helping children develop both mental and physical skills, and toys are an ideal way we encourage them to express their creativity. Unfortunately, many of today’s toys do not promote the same level of creativity and exercise that the classics of yesteryear provided. If you are concerned that your child is not learning all that they should, then consider adding a few old-time toys to their collection. Not only will you help them develop more, but you will be able to relive those moments of simple happiness as your own children enjoy playing with those same toys that were your favorites so many years ago.

Some retro toys that can be played with outside are baseball bats, hula hoops, bikes, and roller skates. Certain toys have even been so well-loved that they have never even gone away. But, even so, moms and dads forget about them because they think they are old-fashioned or present a danger to their kids. This is not really a valid point though, because usually those same moms and dads used those same toys in their youth.

A specific retro toy that is meant for outside use that is regaining in popularity in the past few years is the pedal car constructed of steel. The ones being sold on the market right now are reminiscent of the body types that were manufactured in the 60s. The newer models have been upgraded for safety purposes, so now kids area able to pedal down the sidewalk in the same exact pedal car that you once played with. The reasons why this toy is becoming popular again is their sturdiness, their basic design, and the driving fun that awaits an active kid.

When thinking about toys for inside the house, you might think about allowing your kid to play with some Lego. Males in particular enjoy constructing all kinds of structures; however the Lego company also makes sets for females as well. In fact, there are even some sets that will allow girls to construct castles or mansions. Your kids can even get a lot of enjoyment out of the basic building blocks made of wood. Parents do not always remember that kids will take anything at all and turn it into a toy if they let them.

Another classic toy that you might want to look for are wooden toys. We all remember having a great time with wooden building blocks, doll houses and the always popular rocking horse. True, these great toys are not always easy to find, but they are out there. If you search the internet, you will find a large number of online stores that will happily provide you with almost any wooden toy you want. These toys have been a favorite of children for generations and will continue to do so for years to come. Even as our view of what is a “classic toy” changes, these childhood favorites will always remain near the top of the list.