Recent studies have found the greatest factor that influences student success is not academic knowledge, but rather academic discipline. Students who constantly battle with follow through, planning and sustained effort may lack crucial executive functioning skills or “X-Skills”
“At Tutor Doctor, we believe that a student’s academic success not only relies on excellent study skills, but more importantly the “X-Skills”
The team at Tutor Doctor has outlined the following techniques to help students stay organized and motivated throughout the school year.
- Checklists. Checklists will ensure students are prepared for each phase of the day and will help assess their progress. A ‘before school check’ should be completed each morning to review tasks that are due that day and to prevent students from forgetting anything. A ‘before departing school check’ should be completed each afternoon to make sure students have turned in all homework, recorded all assignments and packed everything they need to complete their tasks that evening. Both lists should include points such as:
o Gather assignments, homework and books
o Permission slips, flyers and any other paperwork
o Electronics (iPad, phone, computer)
o Gym bag, lunch, musical instruments
- Establish a Routine. Routines about when and where homework is completed are essential to academic success. While students will not usually admit to it, they all benefit from structure when completing homework. On the first day of school, it's important to establish a routine that reflects each student’s individual learning style and time of day that works best for getting work done.
- Use a Planner. Starting in the third or fourth grade, students should be trained and encouraged to use planners and calendars. Daily planners can be used to sketch out how homework, play time, club meetings, and other activities can be worked into each day. This helps avoid the conflict that often arises while deciding when to do homework and helps students realize that their free time is valuable. They should also note all upcoming tests, long-term assignment due dates (such as a book report due a week later), appointments with the school guidance counselor, and vacation days. Additionally, make sure the calendar is regularly updated and referred to or its value will diminish.
- Measure Progress. An ‘end of day debriefing session’ and ‘end of week assessment’ provide a simple means of assessing students’ performance and measuring improvement. Each weeknight, parents should confirm that all homework has been completed, new assignments have been added to the planner and the daily checklists are ready for the next day. This is also a good time to identify new obstacles or resources needed. When the week comes to an end, parents should conduct an assessment to review their children’s progress by discussing what went well and what prevented the student from succeeding. If the student missed any assignments or did poorly on an exam, develop alternate courses of action and come up with strategies for improvement.
To learn more about Tutor Doctor or the “X-Skills”
About Tutor Doctor
Tutor Doctor was founded in 2000 as an alternative to the “one-to-many”