School Smarts: How to help your kids study and succeed

NEW ORLEANS - Students across Louisiana are getting back into the groove at school. They have new backpacks and notebooks, but it takes more than that to collect A's for the end-of-semester report cards. Local principals spoke with Twist Reporter Stephanie Oswald about the best ways to help your student bring their "A" game to class every day.

Having the right attitude is the most important school supply your child can bring with them every day.

"One thing about students, they feel like they are still in summertime mode. And the thing that I need them to know is, don't wait two months and then say 'Now I'm gonna kick it in gear,' you gotta expect greatness right out the gate," says R.K. Smith Middle School Principal Harold Blood.

L.H. Marrero Middle School Principal Christina Conforto agrees, saying, "Our kids are being exposed to very rigorous curriculum and a lot of hard content standards, so they really need to be on their "A" game every day, just like you would need to be on the basketball court."

Athletes get coached and academic all-stars can find help too. It can be as close as the nearest computer.

"When a student comes in and they're struggling with math, the first thing I show them is Kahn Academy," says West Jefferson High School Principal Vanessa Brown-Lewis. That website is www.kahnacademy.org.

Principal Conforto agrees, "You can find a lot on Kahn Academy and also, YouTube actually has a plethora of instructional videos, so you could put in 'dividing fractions' and come up with a YouTube video that you and your children can watch on how to divide fractions if they're struggling at home."

Another place to go online is www.homeworkla.org, where the state library offers all kinds of study services, free of charge. Free tutoring is available from 2 p.m. until midnight.

If you prefer personal contact, see what's available at school. Some schools, such as West Jefferson High School, offer free tutoring as well as transportation home.

"Some teachers also do tutoring during the day for kids who can't stay after school," says West Jefferson Principal Brown-Lewis.

Another important reminder: Be aware of your child's attendance and do whatever you can to make sure they are in school on time, alert and prepared to work.

Also, create a space at home for homework. Make sure it's quiet and also has the right school tools so that your child can focus and get their work done.

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