By Deanna Hurn, Founder and Executive Director of Miracle Math Coaching

A new semester is a time of year can mean a clean slate for students who didn’t quite reach their potential last semester. Or students who have exceeded expectations can re-dedicate themselves to keeping up the good work.

This week I’m offering more specific suggestions about helping your children boost their test scores. Stay tuned for more advice on studying and helping your child become a more self-directed learner (where they WANT to do better and take the necessary steps on their own).

Here you go:
1. Turn off everything. No phones, television, stereo, videogames, and only use the computer or laptop for studying. No distractions.

2. Get organized. Set up a separate area – for example, the dining room table or a corner of a bedroom – that’s quiet. Have older students compile all folders and notebooks into a binder; allocate a section to each subject area.

3. “Take 10” every time you do homework. Have your older student take two minutes to put loose papers into proper folders and take eight minutes to review handouts and notes from class.

4. Use a timer. Allotting 15 or 20 minutes to a reading assignment or a section of homework sheets will keep them focused. When the timer bings, have them get up and stretch or do jumping jacks. Or, you can use the timer to challenge them, ie see how many math problems they can complete in 10 minutes.

5. Encourage them to work on the most challenging assignments first. The hardest subjects to study require the most effort. When they first sit down to do homework, they’ll have the most mental energy to tackle these assignments.

6. Make flash cards. Index cards or plain paper folded and cut to the size of cards are great for visual learners. Put questions on one side and answers on the other, and quiz them until they get all the answers right. This is especially good for preparing for spelling tests.

7. Have them say stuff out loud. Repeating the material they’re learning out loud will help them remember it.

8. Make sure they eat well while studying. If they’re studying before dinner, have snacks ready. Avoid sugar. Focus on “slow release” carbohydrates like non-starchy veggies (carrots and celery), fresh fruits and nuts. These will keep your children’s blood sugar levels stable and better satisfy hunger.

Let us know if you’d like more ideas for helping your child excel in Math. And definitely contact us for a FREE Learning Discovery Evaluation to see where your child stands academically and how we might help:  Click here to sign up now.  Miracle Math Coaching is an award-winning, student-focused service with a track record of boosting academic achievement.

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