Now that the second half of the year has started, it’s time to make sure your student knows how to study using the study skills needed to finish the year strong. If your student struggles with any of the issues below, then you might want to consider getting your child the support he or she needs to complete the school year successfully.

Behavior and self-esteem issues.

Many teens become overwhelmed and easily stressed when they cannot handle academic expectations. This is normal, but it also calls for remedial action. If your child’s generally sunny personality becomes increasingly sullen, withdrawn, or quick to anger, then this could signal a problem. Many students do not know how to articulate what is really bothering them.

Homework takes too long or is completed too fast.

Most parents can tell if their student is not putting in the appropriate time needed to complete homework assignments and projects. If an 8th grader is finishing all his homework in 20-40 minutes, chances are, he is not doing so with thoroughness and completeness. On the other hand, if your student takes 5-6 hours to complete assignments, then clearly something is amiss.

Does not perform to potential.

You know your child. You know what he or she is capable of achieving. It is very frustrating for a student to put forth effort but not receive commensurate results and grades. When this occurs, something is amiss – perhaps directions of the assignment were not followed, or instructions were not fully understood. Making sure your student is fully attentive and knows how to study when an assignment is given and knows what is required to complete it, is the first step in making sure that peak performance is reached.

Lack of concentration and focus.

Academic avoidance, distraction, and loss of focus can be compounded with cell phones and all things electronic. However, if you notice your student is becoming increasingly distracted, sluggish, or even reluctant to start an assignment, or is getting up frequently for a snack break when doing homework, it might be a sign that he or she lacks the skills needed to complete the assignment.

Does not have any homework.

If your 9th grader claims he completed all his homework in school, this should raise a red flag. The majority of high school students are expected to complete assignments at home. At the very least, they should be reviewing their notes in preparation for the next class and test. If your student tells you he doesn’t have homework, then chances are he is avoiding doing it. To be sure, check the school’s online system, or ask the Guidance Counselor or teacher what the expectations should be. Perhaps your student is avoiding homework because he doesn’t know how to study, where to start, and is overwhelmed.


If your student struggles with school work is overly stressed, spends too much or too little time completing homework or claims not to have homework, is easily distracted, and in general not performing to potential, then these are red flags for action. There is still plenty of time this school year to make sure your student has the skills needed to get the job done. There is a good chance that once your student has the needed study skills, many of these issues will disappear.

Help your student overcome bad study habits with our Essential Study Skills workshop.