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Back To School: Starting Off on The Right Step

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BRIDGEPORT -

School is back in session and it's always important make sure your kids start on the right foot.

A new year means a lot for students: new friends, new clothes, and perhaps most importantly, a new chance at furthering academic progress. But in many cases a student's success hinges on how involved the parents are.

"The role takes different positions at different times in a students' lifecycle and grades," said Charles White, owner of Sylvan Learning Centers in Morgantown and Bridgeport. "Early on you're a nurturer, first grade, second grade, third grade. You nurture in elementary school. In middle school you're setting standards, expectations, and in high school you're motivating."

Sylvan believes the most important thing a parent should do is make sure their student's time is managed properly, and those good study and homework habits start early.

"You have to learn to stand before you can run, and that's what first and second grade is, it's learning to standup academically," said White.

Sylvan said it's important for elementary school parents to stay connected to their students work by talking to teachers and using the school's online resources.

It also said that parents should also be available help students with school work, and If a parent can't, to find someone who can.

"That's really the key, keep them moving, keep them growing academically and most of the other things take care of themselves," said White.

"I think a difference now from when I went to school is there is so much more coming at you every day, coming faster," said White. "The material just keeps coming and coming. If you're in high school with block scheduling, it's twice as much, twice as fast, you only have the class for half a year. If you fall behind a couple days early you may never catch up."

Sylvan's 20 Effective Tips For A Successful School Year:

1. Pay closer attention in class.

2. Set up, and maintain homework and study routines.

3. Stay on schedule for assignments, especially the long-range ones like book reports, term papers, and science projects.

4. Challenge the mind with at least one challenging book per semester.

5. Take a challenging course, upper level math, poetry, history, science or technology.

6. Participate in class regularly. Take responsibility for learning.

7. Cut down on "screen time" and increase learning time.

8. Stop trying to "multi-task" when studying.

9. Improve social skills, not social media.

10. Exercise more and eat healthy.

11. Walk away from bullies. Don't be a bully.

12. Select friends carefully. They should support, encourage, motivate, challenge and inspire you.

13. Set aside time each day to reflect about what you've accomplished, whom you've helped, and what you want to improve.

14. See how many ways you can apply what you're learning in school to "real life."

15. Improve technology skills.

16. Make sure homework and all assignments are neat and organized.

17. Be punctual for classes and other important appointments.

18. Disagree without being disagreeable.

19. Start thinking about the "next stage" – high school, college, career or beyond.

20. Enjoy the academic journey.