MAKE TIME FOR FUN
December 3rd 2009
Weekly tips for better grades with less stress from The Grade Coach

A Note From Julie
Julie Baird, The Grade Coach

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This week heralds the American tradition of switching from Fall to Holiday decorations. Those who weren't hitting the stores for the sales seemed to be putting up lights outside and getting into the festive mood. Along with all the upheaval, in our house came an overwhelming need from my husband to "help" us all get organized.


This inspired the series of articles this week. Organizing the teenage bedroom and how that impacts on their schoolwork and sense of overwhelm. It always amazes me that a short burst of tidying can make such a dramatic difference to how students perform, and how much more relaxed they can be.


As usual I will be developing this topic more in my blog as the week progresses.

I wish you all a very happy thanksgiving.

I hope you enjoy this week's newsletter

Wishing you happiness & success
Julie Baird
The Grade Coach

 

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    FEATURE ARTICLE

    Does a Tidy Room Mean Better Grades?

    The bedroom is a scene for many a battle between teenagers and their parents. There is no doubt that some people are born with a neatness gene that others seem to lack. I have even heard some teens admitting that if left to their own devises they would rather be tidier, but a messy room is their way of reacting against the pressure they are put under.

    But what does the state of the room have to do with how they perform at school?

    Sometimes it has no impact at all! Some students can operate with complete efficiency amid total turmoil. If this is the case then your battle for a neat room needs to focus on other issues. Or you could close the door and pretend it is not there!

    If however the state of the room is impacting your child's ability to cope at school then action does need to be taken. The focus needs to be about the ability to be effective and not about appearances. Work outside of the room first with a focus organization then you can tackle the room once trust has been established.

    1. Identify areas of the room, where different activities take place. Typically, this includes working, sleeping, grooming, entertaining and collecting.
    2. Clear out the areas one at a time, but make sure you have agreed some basic rules before you begin.
    3. You can then organize each area, making sure that the prime focus is on the student. It should be easy to maintain, in line with how the student operates and easy to work with.
    4. Agree ground rules for what you both expect as standards for maintenance. If you have a particular pet peeve make sure the standards are clear. My particular one is that I want curtains opened (it is at the front of the house!) and the bed made each morning. So we make sure that this is easy to do -- no tie backs and a duvet rather than sheets.

    The bottom line is that there will always be battles between parents and teenagers over the state of their rooms. Just be clear what is behind it. Deal with the things that will affect their school performance first and separately, then tackle the rebellion and acting out issues.


    Watch out for more articles covering organization and grades in my blog.

    This week covers organization of the students room, more depth on what to look out for and how to tackle it, including the desk. Visit throughout the week or become a fan of The Grade Coach on facebook to get the articles as they are posted.

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