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How to Help Your Teen Focus on School Work

author image Karen Hollowell
Karen Hollowell has been teaching since 1994. She has taught English/literature and social studies in grades 7-12 and taught kindergarten for nine years. She currently teaches fourth grade reading/language and social studies. Hollowell earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Mississippi and her Master of Arts in elementary education from Alcorn State University.
How to Help Your Teen Focus on School Work
A teenage girl working on homework with her sister. Photo Credit: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Images/Getty Images

Your teenager attends school, but books and studying are not always the top priority. School is just as much a social as an educational experience, especially for middle and high school students. They handle peer pressure and friends' expectations while juggling schoolwork and extracurricular activities. You can help your teen remain focused on his coursework by encouraging, supporting and actively participating in his academic endeavors.

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Step 1

Help your teen get organized. Buy her a daily planner so she can keep up with test dates and homework assignments. After you buy the supplies she needs for each class, help her organize materials efficiently in binders.

Step 2

Set up a designated study area. This could be the living room or at the dining room table. Establish this area as a quiet zone during a specific time that all family members respect. Eliminate distractions, such as noise from a television or cell phone calls and texts.

Step 3

Allow your teen to make some choices about working on assignments. Permit him to study with a friend occasionally. Working with peers might be helpful, especially if your child needs help with a certain subject or a special project. If he wants to study in his bedroom with music playing in the background, don't object unless it is really hindering progress.

Step 4

Model effective study and organizational habits. Teens place great importance on what they see adults do, not just what grownups say. With that in mind, practice what you preach. Participate in the family quiet time. Offer to help your child study for a test or check math problems. If your help isn't needed, read a book or organize your mail during the study period. This lets your child know that adults need time to focus, too.

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