Cultivating Good Habits for Success in High School
by Mrs. Walley, Upper School Science Teacher
Use Your Planner
Don’t just have a planner–please use it! You can purchase a beautiful Founders planner from the front office. It’s customized for our school and you will find it very helpful for tracking weekly assignments, planning your academic year, and keeping track of your time.
Plan out your week. If you know you have an activity on Wednesday evening, plan to do more homework on Tuesday. There truly is freedom in structure. Without structure, we tend to get overwhelmed. Plan your evenings in a detailed way (for example: get home, have a snack, study for 30 minutes, take a break, have family dinner, then back to studying).
Don’t try to do all of your studying in one sitting. You’ll rush through it and wear yourself out. Instead, study for 30 minutes and then take a 10 minute break. Then study again for 30 mins and then take another short break.
If you have a phone or laptop, plan to only use it during your 10 minute breaks. Don’t let it be a distraction when you are trying to focus on reading or other work. Even if you’re not using it, keeping your phone nearby can still be a distraction. Keep it in another room and get to it when you have the time.
Choose Your Extracurriculars Wisely
Consider cutting back on activities for the start of 9th grade and then slowly introducing them back in once you are used to high school level work.
Get Regular Sleep
Without consistent sleep habits you will be foggy in the mornings and during your classes. Try to keep to a regular schedule so that you are rested and alert during the day. Then, you will have the evenings to relax.
Get Help Quickly
Some students are afraid to ask their teachers for help, and others think they don’t need help when they really do. Remember, your teachers are here for you, and they expect that every student will need help with something. Ask for help during class or study hall as soon as you think you might need it.
Use Study Hall Wisely
It seems so foolish to waste the 30 minutes of study hall you have every day. You may feel tired at the end of the school day, but if you persevere and push through those last 30 minutes, you will thank yourself later. Time spent on Latin or math in study hall is time you will have later in the evening to do something fun.
Have a set place, like a binder or a cubby, for each subject so you always place papers related to that subject in the same place. This will help you turn in your assignments on time and have everything ready when you need to prepare for a quiz or test.
Turn Your Assignments In
The one sure way to fail a class is to not turn in your homework. At Founders, a student who does assignments on time and studies for tests will do very well. Don’t lose your homework or forget to turn it in.
Plan Something Fun into Every Week
Don’t take yourself too seriously. Decide what your priorities are, and make sure that you have time for the most important things in your life each week. Reading for pleasure, spending time with friends and family, and participating in sports or music are important parts of living a well rounded life.