How to Stop Constantly Checking Your Teen’s Grades

Parents, are you driven to anxiety whenever you check your students’ grades online? Students, do your parents ambush you with bad news after they’ve checked your grades?

I’ve noticed that one of the biggest sources of frustration between parent and student is the way they talk about grades, especially if the parent has checks up regularly in the online grade books.

Last week I had a video from a 7th grader with his requests for his mom about how to talk to him about his school work.

This week I share the mom’s response to these requests, including a story about how she has actually stopped checking his online grades! I was amazed, and ask her how she did it, as most parents I know are, for better or worse, obsessed with checking.

Listen in to hear how it all shook down:

And if you don’t want to watch the video, but would like to read her words, here are copies of the whiteboards:

Advice for Parents from a 7th Grader

Students, are you annoyed by the way your parents talk to you sometimes (or, who are we kidding, much of the time)? Parents, do you know you can be annoying, but haven’t quite figured out where the line is between begin vigilant and giving your kid responsibility?

I recently had a 7th-grade client make some specific requests for how he’d like his mom to talk to him about his homework. Listen in to hear all the details about what he requests:

If you just want a quick glace at his requests, here’s a close up of the white board:

254: Finding Scholarships – Specific Steps and Realistic Expectations

Finding the right scholarships takes planning!

Megan breaks down how sophomores and juniors in high school can consider scholarship potential as they’re narrowing down their list.

Specifically she shares:

  • How to have realistic expectations for how much money is and isn’t available
  • How to identify your educational goals, so you can find complementary scholarships
  • How to apply to the right schools where scholarships are available
  • How to organize yourself and apply to the schools on time, so you don’t miss out on opportunities.

Click here to listen in!

248: Why Teens Tell Fibs and How Parents and Educators Can Respond Effectively

Why Teens Tell Fibs and How Parents and Educators Can Respond Effectively

Teens tell fibs more often than parents wish. Some of them are pre-meditated and manipulative, but often they are a primal response to fear, especially in students with learning differences like ADHD.

In this episode, Gretchen walks you through her notes from a great presentation she heard at last November’s International ADHD Conference. The presentation was called “Beyond Fight, Flight & Freeze: Is There a Fourth F?” and was presented by Barbara Brikey Hunter and Monica Hassal. 

Specifically, she shares Hunter and Hassal’s thoughts about:

  • How the original three F’s of Flight/Fright/Freeze are connected to the nervous system’s primal response to fear, and why Fib might be the fourth F
  • How to talk to students about the effect that primal responses have in the brain
  • The acronym SPEED and how it represents fiver different reasons why students might be afraid in the moment, prompting them to Fib
  • The acronyms WIN and COOL, which represent how to support both the student and the parent in responding a fib when it’s taken place
  • Some specific phrases parents and educators can say when “catching” a student in a fib
  • And more!

For more information about these presenters, please visit Barbara Briskey Hunter’s LinkedIn Profile, and Monica Hassal’s website www.connectadhd.com

Also note: the conference where Gretchen heard them present was the 2018 International Conference on ADHD in St. Louis, sponsored by ACO, ADDA and CHADD.

Click here to listen in so that you can learn how to respond effectively!

How to Be a Supportive Parent Without Micro Managing?

Do you try to be a supportive parent to your teen? But suspect that you still do a lot of micromanaging?

Well, one of my clients’ parents emailed me the other day asking how to follow up on some advice I’d given her daughter. I LOVED that she asked me this question, because it shows that she’s trying very hard to do the right thing by her teen.

In this video, I share more background on the situation and then tell you the suggestion I made to her about how to remind her daughter about the tips from our session… without micromanaging her.

 

 

Do Adults Expect More from Teens Than We Do Of Ourselves?

Students, today you’re off the hook because I have a super hard question to ask your parents and teachers!

To all you grown ups — do you expect more of the teens in your life than you sometimes expect of yourself?

In today’s video — filmed “on location” on my parent’s front porch in Houston, Texas (I’m here for a high school friend’s wedding) — I share some reflections about a trend I’ve been noticing.

Over my 10+ years as an academic coach, I’ve been seeing an increase in adults expecting certain follow through from students that they don’t necessarily expect of themselves! I give two examples, one about teachers and another about parents. Please check out the video to hear more!

Also, if you’re ready to walk your talk, parents and educators, I highly encourage you to sign up for my FREE Masterclass: The Study Cycle Live! which will teach you how to actually get students to study effectively for tests and quizzes. Let’s learn how to apply the Study Cycle in our own lives AS WELL AS learn to teach it to students?

After all, we ALL would benefit from learning how to save time and energy by studying strategically.

How to Remember Your Assignments When Your School Goes Digital

Has your school gone digital, but you and your kiddo are at a loss on how to keep assignments straight?

I’d like you to meet Marni Pasch, one of my star Anti-Boring Approach™ Certified Coaches. It’s August, we’re all revving up for the new school year, AND I’m excited to show off the expertise of the coaches who’ve gone through my Art of Inspiring Students to Study Strategically training.

Towards the end of the last school year, Marni had a student who couldn’t keep track of their assignments because their school had gone digital! Keeping paper assignments organized has its own challenges for teenage students, but organizing digital assignments can also be quite a headache.

Marni’s student figured out a modern way to survive in a digital school system… and Marni shows off this simple but brilliant idea in the following video:

Are you in need of expert academic coaching? Marni is available and you can find out more info here. She’s an awesome academic life coach based in Florida but available anywhere thanks to the miracle of the internet.

217: Is Your Student Affected by the Rise of Vaping at School?

As a parent, teacher, mentor there are so many things we need to keep up with as we guide students.

One new development at schools in the last year is the rise of vaping amongst teens. Is your student affected by this new trend in tobacco and marijuana consumption?

In this episode Megan and Gretchen discuss:

  •  what vaping is and why it seems to be on the rise
  • how students tend to use it at schools, and how other students are affected even if they don’t vape themselves
  • how parents and teachers might inform themselves about the types of vaping devices that are used by students,
  • And more!

Listen in to see what Megan and Gretchen say about Vaping in Schools.

A Trick for Managing Your Parents’ Anxiety

Parents these days are overcome with anxiety — anxiety about their kiddo’s achievement (or lack thereof), ability to get into college, ability to get a good job, etc etc.

For better or for worse, a significant amount of time in my coaching sessions with teens is spent helping them figure out how they can get ahead of their parents’ anxiety.

One tip I’ve been working on with several of my clients is how to initiate communication with their parents early on, before parents have time to nag.

Listen in to this video for the nitty gritty details of this simple trick.

If you do not have time to watch the video below is a great tip for you to use to help manage your parents’ anxiety about your school work.

 

Follow Through More Often With This Smart Phone Tweak!

Most of us have smart phones these days, and many of us depend on a number of different apps to keep us organized.

With a certain subset of my teen clients, however, I’ve noticed that they don’t have their time management apps organized in such a way that they are easily found.

Check out the video below to discover a simply tweak that every student should consider to make their most important time management apps more accessible.

 

I’ll also introduce you to the most important time management apps to prioritize when you reorganize your home page.

 

 

If you would like some study tips head on over to the College Prep Podcast site. I co-host a weekly podcast with Megan Dorsey and we discuss a wide range of academic topics, including things like “How to Make Your Final College Decision.” 

207: Give Your Time Management a Mid-Semester Makeover

By mid-semester students’ time management routines have often weakened or collapsed.

 

 

Consider these four questions when giving your routines a makeover so that you can make it to the end of the semester with your grades and self esteem intact:

  • First, do you have a weekly planning routine? This can be a helpful Sunday task to help you look ahead and plan for the week ahead.
  • Second, do you have a daily routine to do right before and after your homework? This can be helpful to make sure you are adjusting your weekly plan as needed, with every new assignment your teachers give.
  • Third, if the daily routine doesn’t work for you, are you doing a midweek check-in ritual? This enables you to check off items from your To Do list, add new items, and make a plan for the weekend, so that you take action rather than procrastinate during your “off” time.
  • Finally, do you have a plan for accountability? Who else besides you can know about your plans and help make sure you feel a low-grade pressure to follow through?

Listen in to learn how to revamp your time management skills.

206: Strategies to Improve Reading Comprehension on SAT, ACT or AP Tests

Believe it or not — raising your reading comprehension scores on standardized tests is often not about improving your reading skills!

 

Tune in as Megan outlines surprising skills to improve if you want improved performance on this section of your tests. Specifically she covers how to:

  • Develop college-bound vocabulary
  • Practice reading challenging material (fiction, non-fiction, archaic rhetorical style, complex scientific, detailed, etc.
  • Learn to find details (open book skills)
  • Practice analysis skills, and
  • Understand that every word matters

Listen in as Megan outlines surprising skills to improve if you want improved performance on reading comprehension of your tests.

 

205: One Student’s Takeaways From a Semester of Coaching

How much can a student’s behavior truly change after a semester of coaching?

In today’s episode, Gretchen walks us through a sixteen year old’s reflections about how he has grown as a result of academic coaching.

The following eight ideas resulted from a brainstorm during this young man’s final coaching session, during which he and Gretchen reviewed what he has learned and what habits he would like to maintain:

1. The Set Up Routine
2. Doing Spanish hw first
3. All the different study tools from the Anti-Boring Approach to Powerful Studying
4. Self Advocacy.
5. Keeping a Planner.
6. Finishing homework by a reasonable hour
7. Take advantage of meds before they wear off.
8. Marking period supply clean out.

Tune in to the episode to hear more about each of these take aways!

204: AP or Not to AP: Controversy & Considerations

The national average of number of AP classes taken by students admitted to top universities is five to eight total. That’s a lot!

Deciding whether to take (or not take) Advanced Placement classes is more complicated that simply taking as many tests as possible.

In this episode we discuss in detail the following considerations:

  1. The importance of students choosing an appropriate level of challenge
  2. The fact that AP classes (and the AP exams) can push students to learn at a higher level, which is great prep for college!
  3. How to think through your priorities when considering AP
  4. What does your family hope to get out of an AP class– higher learning, AP credit, boost to school GPA / rank, better teachers, taking class with peers, etc.
  5. What are your alternatives?
  6. What will the student have to give up to take these classes?
  7. How to monitor appropriateness (grades, time spent studying, mental health)
  8. When to go for it, and how to step down if you realize it’s too much

Listen in about AP courses to see if it’s right for you!

What If Feelings and Cognition Are More Interconnected Than We Realize?

There’s a theme that’s popping up in every corner of my coaching practice these days, and it is:

Emotion and cognition are inextricably linked!

We academics like to think that it’s possible to learn facts and skills in a totally rational way, divorced from emotion. But that’s just not true!

Also, in a separate but related fact of the contemporary world, more and more teens and young adults are being diagnosed with high level anxiety.

In this video, I reflect about these two facts, and tell two stories: one from the course I’m teaching for educators, and another from a coaching session with a high school senior.

Check it out!

 

P.S. Here is the article that I mention in the video. And the book I’m excited to read is The Spark of Learning: Energizing the College Classroom with the Science of Emotion, by Sarah Rose Cavanagh (2016)

 

203: Don’t Overlook These Seven Surprising Study Techniques

Sometimes small study tweaks can make a difference.

In this episode, Gretchen outlines seven small study techniques that can are easy to integrate into your homework time, and can help you be better prepped for tests.

We’re listing them here, though you’ll want to tune in to understand exactly how to integrate them into your study routine. They are:

  1. Take 3-minutes to quiz yourself before every assignment.
  2. Don’t use Google Translate to do your language homework, but do use it to assess yourself after you’re done
  3. Eliminate silly mistakes on math tests by doing a “speed practice” when doing homework
  4. Check your homework every night using www.slader.com
  5. Use blue tape to put flashcards up around your house, so that you can study when you’re walking to and from different rooms
  6. Draw a picture next to information that you’re having trouble remembering
  7. Make a quizzable study tool before each chapter test and save those tools for the final.

Listen in as Gretchen outlines seven small study techniques that can are easy to integrate into your homework time, and can help you be better prepped for tests.

202: Course Selection: How to Develop a Four Year Plan

“Make time visible” is a favorite refrain of Gretchen’s, and it’s equally as true for college planning as it is for daily time management and organization.

In this episode, Megan walks students step by step through how to make the next four years visible…by making a 4 year plan for course selection.

Listen in as she walks you through the following steps, which you can apply to your high school or your college career:

  1. Gather information about the courses at your school.
  2. Start by laying out requirements and prerequisites on a calendar.
  3. Add electives and “one off” classes.
  4. Strive for balance.
  5. Know your options and make sure you have a back up plan if courses aren’t available when you thought they might be.

Click here to listen in as Megan provides 5 steps you can use to apply to your college or high school career.

201: How to Let Kids Fail “Small” Earlier On

Students need to become familiar with failure earlier than their parents often let them.

Megan and Gretchen discuss why it is important to let student fail small in the younger grades, and provide tips for how parents might back off as students transition from elementary to middle to high school.

 

Click here to listen to Megan and Gretchen discuss how important it is to let your student fail small at a young age.

200: How Lapses in Judgement Impact Graduation and Admissions

Teenagers often have lapses in judgement.But when these lapses go too far, how might it impact high school graduation or college admissions?

Megan lays out 5 kinds of trouble that teens can get in and analyzes how that behavior might get in the way of their next steps and goals.

Specifically, she and Gretchen discuss:

  • sexual misconduct
  • social media usage
  • underage sex and pornography
  • alcohol and drug use  and
  • “mob mentality”

Click here to listen in as Megan and Gretchen talk about 5 kinds of trouble that teens can get in.

199: How to Make a Family Nag Plan

Sometimes nagging is necessary! So how can parents do it in a way that will make teens receptive to their reminders and prodding?

In this episode, Gretchen tells stories about how 3 different clients made agreements with their parents about how and when they are allowed to nag them.

These “family nag plans” can make a big different in terms of helping teens follow through and also preserving the peace at home.

Click here to find out more about how to create a family nag plan that will work in your unique circumstances!