You’d love to help your teen achieve more this year—but motivating teens can be so hard. And you have limited time and energy for trying anything fancy.
Here—2 sentences that can help your teen achieve more this year.
Throw these sentences into family conversation occasionally—and watch your teen achieve, and grow, and later on—blossom.
1. “Let’s get some help from Khan Academy on that.”
A college student recently told me, “I can’t understand my online math teacher. He’s not used to online teaching. I can’t hear him hardly at all, and I can’t follow what he’s saying.”
Alarmed, I replied, “This is a huge problem! You need this class as foundation for other math classes you’ll take later. Can you quick drop this class and take a different one?”
“Nah,” she said. “I’m OK. I just get the basic concept he’s trying to teach, and then I find someone online who can teach it clearly. I’m OK.”
This isn’t exactly what parents want to hear (especially when they’ve just paid expensive college tuition), but it is a real tribute to the resourcefulness of the student.
Khan Academy can help your teen achieve by clearly filling in gaps in math, reading, science, history, and more—for free.
Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organization with a mission of providing “a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.”
KA serves students pre-K through early college, even providing free “get ready for grade level” courses that allow students to not just work at their grade level at their own time and pace, but make sure they have filled in all their gaps, pre-grade level.
Teachers love this—and many use it every day in their classrooms.
Khan Academy has distance learning resources that can also teach your kids, teens, and early college students grammar, engineering, chemistry, biology, arts and humanities, computing, economics, and finance—in a clear, step-by-step, interactive way.
Many Khan Academy resources are available in both English and Spanish.
Help your teen achieve by visiting Khan Academy today.
I especially love the “See what you already know” aspect of Khan Academy, where students of all ages are able to choose a unit, take a quick unit test to see which concepts they’ve mastered and which they may need to practice more—and then get teaching on the concepts where they need to grow.
Note that Khan Academy is in dire need of additional funding due to extreme use of its resources during the pandemic. If you work for a corporation that might donate to this very worthy cause, visit the KA donation page here.
2. “I’m so excited about research telling us that intelligence and talent can stretch and improve through focus and hard work.”
This is the second sentence that can help your teen achieve more this year.
World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck has done decades of high-level research on achievement, and she tells us that the key to helping a teen achieve is encouraging him or her to have a growth mindset.
In a growth mindset, Dweck says, people believe that their most basic abilities can be stretched and developed through dedication and hard work. “This view,” she says, “creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”
Learn more about Dweck’s work (including how tough junior high boys were reduced to tears by the news that their intelligence was substantially under their control) in the article I’ve written here.
Khan Academy and a growth mindset can help your teen achieve.
You can point the way to both.
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What about you? What are your best ideas for helping a teen achieve?
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Who is Jeannie Burlowski?
Jeannie is a full-time academic strategist, podcast host, and sought-after speaker for students ages 12–26 and their parents and grandparents. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free and move directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, NerdWallet, and US News and World Report, and on CBS News.