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  • 1.

    Remove all entertainment devices (television, stereo, gaming device, computer, etc.) from your child’s room and move them into a common family area so that you can keep track of what your child is doing in his/her spare time.

  • 2.

    Decide what activity your child values the most. This might be watching television, speaking on the phone, instant messaging his friends, playing video games, etc.

  • 3.

    Tell your child that there will be NO MORE of that activity UNLESS:

  • 4.

    Direct your child to write the assigned homework in his/her student planner in each academic class daily. If there is no homework, your child should write “none.” After class, your child should approach the teacher, who will check and initial the student planner.

  • 5.

    After school, direct your child to complete his/her homework in the designated homework spot in your house. Do not allow your child to watch television or listen to music (unless it’s classical) while the homework is being completed.

  • 6.

    When the homework is completed, together with your child, check the homework against the student planner. If your child has the required four initials (English, history, math, and science) and can show you the corresponding homework, then he/she can do the valued activity for a specific time period of your choice, perhaps an hour.

  • 7.

    Your child will test you with this system. He/she will make excuses for no signature and tell you reasons why his/her planner is not filled out or is wrong. Expect to be challenged and do not cave in! Be consistent and remain firm that there is no valued activity unless your child adheres to the plan.

  • 8.

    The highest priority for credit-deficient students should be to pass all classes. They must use the student planner daily in all classes, complete all classroom and homework assignments, and study for all quizzes and tests. Students who need extra help should see the teacher before or after school.


Organize and prioritize. Keep track of assignments in your student planner and a calendar at home. Check off each task as you complete it. Organize homework in separate folders according to class. Write the due date in pencil at the top of each assignment and prioritize assignments according to due dates and the time it will take for completion. Set deadlines for longer assignments and projects.

Do homework in the same place at the same time every day. Don’t start at the end of the day when you are tired. Pick a time when you have the most energy, and make homework a priority above sports and social time. Your study work space should be quiet and have plenty of light. In smaller quarters, get everyone in your home to agree to a daily quiet time. Remove distractions such as phones, television, iPods, and Facebook.

Know your assignment. Don’t waste time wondering what you need to do. Be clear about what your assignment is and what steps you need to take. Write down directions and due dates immediately when they are given by the teacher. Ask questions before you leave class.

Use time wisely. Do the easy stuff when you have a few spare moments. Knock out a couple of algebra problems during lunch. Run through your vocabulary words during the ride home.

Know how you work best. Alone in a quiet room? By making flashcards? By studying with a friend? Be honest about what situation will get the job done. Study groups are great for drilling on spelling words and preparing for tests, but that’s only if the mutual goal is to learn and get the work done.

Keep returned graded assignments at home until you have received and are satisfied with your final grade at the end of each quarter.

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