If you have high school aged children, you know how valuable the summer is to getting ahead on SAT preparation, college essays, and staying on top of school work. You don’t want to lose these valuable months before all the burdens of high school, extracurriculars, and life in general return. After you’ve bought all the prep books and done the research, you now have to make sure your child puts the pedal to the metal. Here’s some tips:
Set aside regularly scheduled study time. Your child and all your child’s friends are out of school, and plans pop up and fall apart very quickly. Make sure your child has on the calendar regularly scheduled blocks of time when the phone is off and the focus is a textbook or admissions essay. Some people are known to set reminders on their phones and settle into a coffee shop or library to help direct their focus on their work and not the plans they may be missing or updating their snap story. Humans are creatures of habit, so help your child make a habit out of study time.
Read and read and read some more. Nothing helps expand a vocabulary, sharpen critical thinking, and improve writing like reading. Help your child find books, newspapers, or magazines that appeal to personal interests and make them readily available during downtime at home and car rides. Some even choose to keep a stack of books or magazines in the restroom so as not to waste a single moment! If your child is more auditory, you can also encourage listening to books on CDs or podcasts.
Provide Incentives. The part of the brain that handles forethought and consequence doesn’t fully develop until age 26, so telling students to study for the sake of their future selves may be a tough sell. However, as the old adage of economics reminds us, people respond to incentives. Trips to Dairy Queen, relief from chores, and sometimes even small amounts of cash may give your child that extra incentive to stick to studying for the allotted time.