Top Strategies To Inspire Enthusiasm For Academics In College-Bound High School Students

Teenage girl in trouble with parentsAs the new academic year gets underway, there is usually no shortage of excitement in the first few weeks (or even months)… the question often becomes, how can we maintain this level of interest over the course of a semester? Or, dare we suggest it, over the course of an entire school year?

Of course, this is not always easy. There is a natural ebb and flow to every school year, and there are times when it is harder than others to get the job done at school, just like there are times when it is harder for parents to get the job done at work or at home! However, there are certain strategies that can make this much easier to manage over the long haul, and we have seen them work time and time again.

Bear in mind, as mentioned above, that it should not come as a huge surprise that students start to “burn out” a little bit as a term or semester wears on. This is human nature, and it is seen in many elements of life, well beyond the teenage years during high school. The point here is that there are tools to overcome this rampant diminishing of enthusiasm over the course of time… but they need to be learned early on. It is an absolute fact that if these tools are implemented regularly and with success early on, they will not only help a college bound high school student – they will become habits that bring success in all elements of his or her life, well beyond the period of higher education.

Bearing that in mind, we are pleased to suggest the following ideas and strategies to keep enthusiasm and dedication at a solid level throughout the year… yes, there will be times or greater and lesser excitement, but the work can and will continue if the proper steps are taken. Your student can create a successful experience throughout the year… and these steps can play a part in realizing that goal.


I. Ideas for Staying Focused

It is not easy being a teenager in high school. It’s also not easy preparing for college. However, there are specific strategies that can help to manage high school and college preparation that will put your child on the path to success. Between homework, hormones, and the multitude of other distractions, staying focused can be quite difficult for many young people. Building and maintaining focus is one of the best ways to cultivate interest and excitement about learning and academics. Here are 5 tips that will help your child to stay focused and foster his/her interest in learning.

1. Establish specific expectations at the very beginning –
Keeping communication open from the beginning will help to establish an atmosphere of respect in the home. Talking to your child about expectations for high school and college will come easily if the groundwork has already been established. Let your child know that everyone has responsibilities. You have responsibilities with work and home and your child’s responsibility or ‘job’ is to stay focused

2. Create an atmosphere of learning –
If you find that you are enthusiastic about a piece of literature, an object of art, or a project at work, take the time to share it with your child. Excitement and enthusiasm is infectious and when your child sees that learning is something that is fun throughout your life s/he is more apt to be open and receptive to learning. Another way to cultivate an atmosphere of learning is setting aside quiet time each day for your child to study. You can include younger children in the task, as well, by having them in the room at the same time as your older child. You keep them occupied with quiet activities like coloring or drawing. This will help to establish the routine of learning and set the example that learning is desirable and important.

3. Eliminate distractions… as much as possible –
There are many things today that can distract children and adults alike. You can begin by letting your child know that TV, computer or phone can be used once homework is done. The TV should be off and other distracting noises should be eliminated, as well. If your child likes music, you might want to try classical music playing in the background if complete silence is too unnerving. Studies have shown that certain types of classical music can even enhance learning.

4. Establish a specific routine, with some flexibility built-in –
It is really difficult to say no to an invitation to go out or do something fun if the precedent for “work first then play” hasn’t already been established. Make sure your child understands that all activities hinge on the fact that work needs to be done first and then one is free to enjoy. This will make it easier when talking to friends about plans. They will know that it is expected that homework and studies must be attended to first before any other activities. Within this structure, make sure that there is some flexibility for extenuating circumstances, but only when there is a solid history of completing work on time.

5. Be positive –
People thrive on positive reinforcement. It can be difficult for some children to settle down and focus. It is important to be a positive influence and use words of encouragement to foster focus and enthusiasm. That is not to say that consequences should not be doled out if expectations are not met. One can set appropriate consequences in a loving manner so the message is clear that focus on study and homework is important.

II. Seek Adult Role Models

Most children know their parents care about them. Children likewise understand that their parents want them to succeed in life, and know that their parents want the best for them. It is important, however, that there are other positive adult role models in your child’s life. Teenagers too often tend to tune out their parents and seek guidance and information from people other than their parents – so it is vital that these adults be strong role models.

Positive adult role models help children to pursue their passions. They are often also able to serve as a listening and non-judgmental ear for them during a time of upheaval and change. They can provide insight. They can teach important social skills. They can encourage career and high education goals. They can even act as a mentor if they work in a field that interests your child.

It is, therefore, important to seek out proper adult role models for your child – and someone with whom your child can and will communicate. Your child will receive input and influence from many areas and from many people. Make sure that the most important and influential ones come from you as their parent(s) and from people that you help to surround them with. Influential role models can come from family members, advisors, family friends, clergy members, teachers, or a number of other sources. It is up to you and your child to create these positive relationships.

III. Strategies for Staying Positive

Staying focused and enthusiastic can be nearly impossible if one is feeling down and out. Staying positive is not simply a mental exercise. Positivity is a benefit in all stages of one’s life and helps one to feel excitement about life and the future. There are ways to foster enthusiasm and one of those ways is by striving to stay positive.

1. Encourage your child to be wary of negative people –
Negative people tend to not go very far in life… and they can also serve as an anchor for the people around them, as well. People with a negative view of the world will usually tend to look only at the problems and usually also not work very hard to find solutions. Encourage your child to find friends who have a positive outlook on their lives and their futures. This helps to keep interpersonal relationships stable and can greatly assist in maintaining a positive trajectory throughout the teenage years and into the college and university experience.

2. Practice gratitude –
Express your gratitude to your child and it will help him or her to see the things in life that help to make it better. Ask your child what he or she is grateful for. You can even create a jar filled with notes that detail what you are grateful for. This is fun to look at a year later to see all the things that helped to make your life better.

3. Remember to Rest! –
The mind is not a machine and needs rest in order to function optimally. Make sure your child gets adequate and proper rest so he or she can accomplish all the tasks at hand. Studies show that adequate sleep is vital to proper performance intellectually, physically, emotionally, and in virtually every aspect of life. All-nighters might be commonplace, but they can be avoided (with better results) through proper planning and management in advance!

The ability to maintain focus when it comes to the parental responsibilities with regard to preparing for college is also a challenge, and that certainly includes the financial preparation for a student’s years of higher education. One of the best ways to stay on course in that regard is to have a knowledgeable partner who can help with this process. We are trained to do exactly this, of course, and would certainly be happy to help. Regardless of familial financial backgrounds, we are able to use our specialized knowledge and years of experience to help families stay focused on their preparations for the college years.
Among our various methods for teaching parents about these details, one of our most effective and popular is the College Funding Workshop. In these workshops we provide direct information to the parents of college-bound students, and it is delivered by the most helpful college funding professionals in the region. Our workshops provide a first-rate introduction regarding college funding information that directly affects today’s parents. It would be our pleasure to welcome you to any workshop that fits your schedule, whether on a weekday or a weekend.

While we do not require any admission fee for our workshops, a reservation is necessary in advance due to space restrictions and our desire to maximize the effectiveness of the information for a manageable group. For specific information about our workshops, or to make a reservation for an upcoming event, please call our workshop staff directly. One of these specialists will be able to help you at Teenage girl in trouble with parents818.839.6600.

We also cater our information to those who wish to read up about college funding preparation on their own. Because of this, we created an informational report that covers these important details specifically. It was written to help directly with the college funding requirements for today’s high school parents. We firmly believe that this report is vital for the parents of college-bound teens, and invite you to have a look for yourself.

The report is titled “Nine New Ways To Beat The High Cost of College,” and it is one of our most effective tools for understanding the basics for funding a future college or university education. If you would like your own free copy of “Nine New Ways To Beat The High Cost of College,“ simply call our staff at 818.839.6600. We will be more than happy to place a copy in the mail to you.


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