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kid-fall-off-bikeThere’s this thing that students who get good grades do throughout the year.

To some students it comes naturally, while others have to work at it.

It’s the thing that separates the teens who get fantastic grades, and the ones who get less fantastic grades.

It’s this little thing called PRACTICE.

There’s no getting around this one I’m afraid.

To get good grades in Math, your teen HAS to do practice problems.

To get good grades in English, your teen HAS to write practice essays. (This goes for any subject that has essay exam requirements.)

To get good grades Drama, your teen HAS to practice their lines.

To get good grades in Music, your teen HAS to practice their music pieces.

To get good grades in Science subjects, your teen HAS to practice solving equations / problems.

This of course goes for exam study too.

If you want your teen to get the grades they’re capable of, they are going to have to get into the habit of practice.

Every student, no matter how experienced or ‘naturally smart’, has to practice to get good grades.

I’ve had this lesson drummed into me only this week – and I’m in my sixth year of university study!

I’m about to sit an exam that requires me to look at about 100 pages of evidence and come up with a theory about what I think happened, along with some other bits and pieces.

As my lecturer rightly reminded us (many times), do you learn how to ride a bicycle by reading a book on how to ride a bike? Do you watch a video of someone riding a bike? No. You get on the bike and keep riding until you don’t fall off anymore.

I have done a few practice runs at putting examples of evidence together. And my lecturer was dead right. The first one I did was awful. But the more practice I did, the better my work became.

Well your teen’s school subjects are no different.

Are they going to know how to solve an algebraic equation by watching their teacher solve one on the board? No.

Are they going to write the most fabulous essay on Lord of the Flies by reading an essay about Lord of the Flies? No.

There is absolutely no alternative to getting good at something, than practising it yourself.

If your teen is falling behind a bit at school – not getting the grades they’re actually capable of getting, it may be time to face the facts. How much practice are they really doing?

Did they write a few practice essays before the exam, or did they just wing it?

My lecturer reminded me, and I am here to remind you and your teen now, that the first one you do – whether it be an essay or solving a problem – will be the worst one, so don’t let your teen make it the one they do in the exam.

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