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Students Tips for Success
“How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.”
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
“Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy”
Tips For Success
Everyone knows that American schools are not what they used to be. Once the envy of the world, the U.S has plugged to embarrassing lows, ranking 28th in science among industrialized nations and 35th in math. Educators and politicians have made endless efforts to remedy the ailing system—from forced busing to free lunches to free iPads, to paying students to come to school—the list goes on (and at a cost into the billions). So far, nothing has worked. In fact, with each passing year, the education establishment proposes some new cure for education only for things to continue to get worse—Common Core Standards being the latest.
Christian education has proven to be the exception. Even though teachers in Christian schools make only about half of what their public school counterparts earn, their students consistently outperform public school kids who are the sad casualties of liberal policies and anti-Christian curriculums. This comes as no surprise to us who believe the truth of God’s Word. Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.”
We recommend implementing the following:
- Make Character Growth a Top Priority: Take a minute to read through the Seven Lamps of Christian Virtue. Students that develop in qualities such as persistence, resilience, diligence, determination, and grit will usually find a way to overcome whatever challenges they may encounter.
- Choose a Tutor who Shares Your Values: Jesus said it best: “The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher” (Luke 6:40).
- Discover the Root Causes of Academic Problems: There can be several reasons why students fail to live up to their full potential. Low test scores, not turning in assignments, being overly social in class, excessive lateness or absences, or simply not fearing the consequences of failing a class are all common causes for student underachievement. Get to the heart of the problem and deal with it specifically. There is not a “one size fits all” approach to tutoring.
- Establish an Action Plan: If you wanted to get into shape, you wouldn’t expect to achieve your goals after a time or two in the gym. The same is true of tutoring. The best outcome will occur if you establish a steady regimen with a qualified tutor and stick with it. In fact, research shows that one of the primary reasons why tutoring often fails is because students do not continue with a well-structured tutoring plan for a reasonable duration of time.
- Emphasize Organization and Study Skills: Note and test-taking strategies, time management, organization skills and even some memorization techniques should be taught in conjunction with the content tutoring. Research shows that the best results occur when study skills are incorporated into the tutoring sessions.
- Stay in Frequent Contact with the Teacher: Most schools allow parents access to class portals so they can monitor their child’s progress. This is a must! You may also want to provide your tutor with the portal login numbers so that he/she can be in the loop. You should email or call the teacher immediately if there are signs that your child might be struggling or falling behind.
- Don’t Be Too Quick to Blame the Teacher: Of course you want to stand up for your kid; who doesn’t? But despite your good intentions, you will do more harm than good if you enable your child’s mediocrity or poor behavior in the classroom. Before jumping to conclusions, always get the teacher’s perspective. Remember Proverbs 18:13: “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him. “
- Hold Your Child to High Standards: Don’t allow your kids to make excuses and don’t make excuses for them. The first real step toward succeeding at anything is taking responsibility for our missteps and owning our wrong choices. George Washington Carver once said, “Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.”
- Limit All Electronic Devices (Including TV): Ask any teacher: Today’s obsession with video games and Facebook is having a devastating affect on youth of all ages. Many kids are so addicted to their machines that they are unable to focus on anything else. The Bible teaches temperance (moderation) in all things (1 Cor. 9:25, Gal 5:22-23, 2 Peter 1:6). On school nights, we recommend that kids be granted only 2 hours of electronics maximum, and less if they are failing to meet household standards.
- Establish a Discipline Plan at Home: Next to daily prayer, discipline in the home is the single most important factor in shaping a child’s future success. Although correction is a major component of biblical discipline, it is not all that it consists of. The New Testament’s definition of discipline also includes instruction, training, guidance, and the cultivation of morals. Discipline is not the same as punishment. Punishment focuses on justice; discipline concentrates on teaching. We strongly warn against most non-biblical approaches to discipline. Two books that we do endorse are Dare to Discipline by James Dobson and Parenting is Heart Work by Turanski and Miller. Also, see 10 Reasons for Christian Discipline.
- Recognize You’re in a Spiritual Battle: Are you in the fight? Raising kids involves spiritual warfare, and we fight spiritual battles using spiritual weapons. Here are 5 things you that can do to have a powerful impact on your child’s success.
- Pray for your kids
- Pray with your kids
- Take your kids to a strong, Bible-based youth group
- Go to church yourself
- Live out a Christian example in front of your kids