Academic success in K-12 is often an important factor in determiningsuccess in college and subsequent employment. Our increasingly complex society requires more academic preparation than ever before in our history. What can be done to initiate this success? A good beginning is student awareness– awareness of where they are now in their lives;  awareness that what they do in a few school years will influence their quality of life for their next 85-90 years.  The concept, that what a student does in a few years of school will determine the rest of their lives,  is an awesome one. A common scenario goes like this: Academic success in highschool = success in college of choice = a choice of good, productive employment = choices in home, lifestyle, and activities = a satisfying, well-lived life. The word “choice,”which is a profound and powerful word, comes up often in this scenario.  Choice, in essence, is freedom.

Preparing for academic success begins soon after a child is born. Constant stimulation is needed to enhance the  development of the child’s thought processes. Pre school children should be read to  and spoken to constantly. Developmental games are important. Children should be told at an early age that they will go to high school and college. A sense of curiosity should be encouraged. Here are some tips for young scholars. 1. Pre-K classes give a child a jump start into the academic world. 2.Visit your child’s school and teachers. 3. Help with homework. 4. Have a time and place set aside for study and homework. 5. Have a positive attitude about home work in the presence of your child.  6. Help your child to be organized– write homework assignments down. 7. Study for test should be several, short sessions instead of one long session of cramming. 8. Reward your child for  doing well in school.

Success in high school requires a different formula. The key phrases are  “self motivation” and “awareness of time and place.” By the time  students reach 9th grade, they should be able to pursue their education without constant parental reminders. Now is the time to learn to work independently and have a goal in sight. Students should become aware that  their GPA’s start with freshman courses and that every grade counts toward their ultimate goal. Here are some tips for a successful high school career. 1.Students should set a goal and keep that goal in mind as they go through their course work. 2. Students should develop an interest in each course they are taking, even if it is not their favorite subject. 3.Students should study ahead of time for a test; several, short, study sessions are better than one long, cramming session the night before the test. 4. If something is not clear, ask for help from the teacher or from a fellow student after class. 5. A good night’s rest each night during the week can be very helpful. 6. Good organization is helpful; keep good class notes and assignment calendar. 7. Students should keep a portfolio of their academic and extracurricular activities for the duration of their high school careers. These will be important when applying for colleges and scholarships. 8. It is a good idea to start ACT testing early—start with the Plan Test in the 10th grade and  the ACT Test as many times as needed in the junior and senior years.