How to Help Teens Be Successful Students

By Dr. Raymond Huntington

There’s no doubt that success in school requires that students work hard, put forth significant effort, and of course, reach out for help from teachers and parents when they need it. But the best students embrace several other habits and strategies. Here are some of the most important ones that parents can suggest that their teens follow:

Setting goals and making plans – Teens who think about their futures and set academic and career goals for themselves will always be more successful than their wandering counterparts. Parents can talk with their teens about where they want to take their lives and how they can start taking steps in the right direction now. They should also encourage them to welcome big challenges with confidence.

Getting involved – Few teens want school work to be the only thing they have going on in life. Extracurricular activities like sports, music or clubs are important for teens’ mental and social development. Such endeavors allow teens to develop passions and strengthen their connections to school and give them opportunities to form relationships with other students. All of these things have been shown to support academic achievement while having many other benefits.

Speaking up in class – There’s a reason many teachers incentivize teens with participation points that contribute to the overall class grade. Being engaged in class is the simplest form of active learning and helps students retain material more effectively, recognize areas of confusion quicker and take ownership of their educational experience.

Adopting good life habits – Parents should never underestimate the importance that daily practices can have on their teens’ lives. A healthy breakfast before school has long been linked to improved concentration. Sufficient sleep helps teens get through their busy days and stay focused at school and in the evenings when they need to do homework. A consistent home routine minimizes anxiety and helps teens feel more in control.

Planning the study routine – Studying is essential in high school, but so is planning out those study sessions for maximum learning. Teens who lay out a plan for each study session make better use of their time and are better able to keep up with school work than those who approach homework time haphazardly and without any advanced planning. Done correctly, that planning process should involve setting goals for each study session and prioritizing homework to be completed.

Helping your teen develop these kinds of behaviors as students will lay the groundwork for life success as well. Just as important, it will help him or her start off on the right foot at college. Make a few small changes and see what they do for your teen’s school attitude and academic well-being. As you implement other adjustments, you’ll begin to notice the additional benefits and positive impact on your student.

About Huntington

Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams.  Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards.  Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible.  Learn how Huntington can help at For franchise opportunities please visit  

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