Two Sentences to Help Your Teen Achieve More This Year

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.

teen acheive

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.

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My 1/2-Day Class Changed This Kid’s Life (2-Minute Read)

It was 8:35 am on a Saturday, and I was standing at a whiteboard in a large classroom—drawing diagrams I’d need for the class I was about to teach. From behind me I heard a young male voice.

“Hi, I’m early. I wanted to say hi to you.”

I turned to see a high school boy who looked vaguely familiar.

“I came early because I wanted to tell you—” he said, looking over at my whiteboard, “I took this class from you before. When I was 12. My mom made me do it.”

We both laughed. But then he grew serious.

“I took this Strategic College Student class when I was 12, and then three years later I was in a bad car accident. I mean—it was bad. I hit my head on pavement.

I wasn’t the same after that. I couldn’t think the same. And I used what you taught me in this Strategic College Student class to get myself back.

Now I’m the captain of the debate team at a large high school, and I’m headed to Yale.

I just wanted you to know.

I came back to take this class again because you said that a lot of kids take this class when they’re 12, and it plants some seeds inside of them. Then they take this class again when they’re 15 or 18—and it really bears fruit. I’m here for the fruit. Can I give you a hug?”

He hugged me. And I swallowed a lump and felt hot tears in my eyes.

I knew that my Strategic College Student class had a reputation for being transformative for students—but I’d never heard this before.

Don’t miss your opportunity to plant seeds—don’t miss your opportunity to harvest fruit.

My 1/2 day Strategic College Student class is now available online for students nationwide. Access it now using the details you’ll find here.

Ideal age to attend this class? Ages 12–26 (and their parents).

Yep—all those people, all in the same room, all at the same time.

What are students saying about this class?

See more student and parent reviews of this class at JeannieBurlowski.com/SPEAKING.

Parents are encouraged, but not required, to attend with their students. Parents, in just 1/2 a day you’ll see your kids’ anxiety levels drop, and you’ll watch their sense of personal power and academic confidence steadily increase.

And you’ll have all the info if your kids ever need a gentle nudge back onto the right track later.

Your child doesn’t want to attend this class? Quick—read my article Should You Pay Your Teen to do Things?

If you’re wondering whether your kid is too young for a class like this, don’t miss my article 7 Reasons Your Middle Schooler Needs A College Study Skills Class.

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Tech School and College? Both—? Wow!

You’ve heard that two years of tech school education could get your kid straight into a well-paying career as early as age 20.

Still, you hesitate to even suggest it. Mostly because you’ve always thought of your child as college material.

How about this radical idea—doing college and tech school both.

In many states, it’s possible for a student to earn a 4-year college bachelor’s degree and a two-year tech school degree—both—by age 22.

Students who do this can earn extra job qualifications that put them in hot demand for well-paying jobs for a lifetime.

(Plus—help the world overcome its dire shortage of workers skilled in the trades.)

How can students complete both tech school and college by age 22?

tech school

Students, consider this strategy:

1. While you’re still in 10th grade, find out if you can take dual enrollment college courses while you’re in 11th and 12th grades.

Do this, and you could earn two years of high school credit and two years of real college credit at the same time. (In many cases, with the state you live in footing the entire bill!)

Many students who do this are able to walk across their high school graduation stages with 2-year associate’s degrees already completed—debt-free at state expense—while still enjoying the full high school experience.

No one ever asks these high school students if they’re college material—because at age 18 they’re already halfway to the 4-year college completion finish line!

(To learn your state’s rules regarding dual enrollment, google the name of your state along with the words “dual enrollment.”)

If you’re already past 10th grade and you wonder if it’s too late for you to use this strategy, do this.

Whatever age you are now, go to your nearest high school guidance counselor and ask, “Can you help me figure out how I can squeeze the maximum number of dual enrollment college courses into the rest of my high school career?” (Be prepared to argue that AP is not the same as dual enrollment.)

2. Start thinking early on about what kinds of tech school programs might be fun to pursue.

Quit worrying about “following your passion.”

Watch the short video here to understand why “follow your passion” is some of the worst career advice ever.

Go to a tech school near your house and ask what kinds of skilled job training programs they have available. (Tech schools have a wide variety of offerings you’ve likely never thought of before.)

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How to Use the Full Focus Planner

How can college students keep themselves focused and organized, so they’re in the best position to get the highest grades possible—preferably while studying less than most other people? My recommendation to students is, use the Full Focus Planner.

full focus planner

The Full Focus Planner is a paper planner.

“Paper?” you’re thinking. “Come on, that is so low tech! What next—are you gonna tell us to chisel our appointments and task lists into stone tablets?”

Ha ha ha ha ha.

Don’t laugh at paper planners!

Top productivity gurus like Michael Hyatt are telling us—paper planners are the best. Especially the ones with lots of room to write.

Paper planners are quiet—without beeping distractions and pop-up notifications.

And, because all your notes and thoughts are right there in front of you—in your own handwriting—you don’t have the “out-of-sight-out-of-mind” problems that plague people who try to do their daily planning on electronic calendars.

You can see a short helpful video about the Full Focus Planner here.

Yes, I know Michael Hyatt has gray hair—but don’t let that throw you!

I’ve followed Michael Hyatt for years. He really knows what he’s talking about when it comes to high achievement and cut-to-the-chase, lean productivity.

(You can see me thanking Michael personally in the acknowledgements section on the very last page of my book.)

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Achieve More While Doing LESS Part 1 (AUDIO)

We’ve all had those days. You have a mountain of work in front of you that you genuinely want to get done, but you find yourself procrastinating. Struggling to focus. Failing to get tasks completed.

What’s the problem? It’s probably not that your time management system has failed. It’s probably not that there “just aren’t enough hours in the day.” Instead, you’re far more likely to be suffering from a crisis of energy. You may have drained all your energy by running yourself too fast and too hard for too long, and you’re long overdue for replenishment.

The good news? It’s fixable.

Today’s episode is a must listen for both parents and students ages 12–26. Listen in the car on the way to soccer practice!debt-free college podcastJoin me, Jeannie Burlowski, for episode 7 of the Launch Your Teens podcast, and you’ll learn how a simple kitchen timer helped a university student to invent a productivity method that is still in use around the world today.

You’ll also learn how to find an online quiz, designed by a medical doctor, that will tell you which of 7 types of rest you are likely low in. Correct your particular rest deficit, and you’ll be able to replenish energy and—as a result—significantly increase productivity and overall life and work satisfaction.

(10 min.)

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Reduce Study Time By Putting Your Laptop Away

Ask any student, “How’d you like to study less—while still getting the highest grades possible?” The response will be a resounding, “Are you kidding? Yes!” A student who figures out how to reduce study time while still achieving high grades is freed to pursue paid work, sports, volunteer positions, deep friendships, and other opportunities that will enrich her for a lifetime.

Today we’re looking at just one of the top ten ways students can reduce study time while still getting the highest grades possible.

Students, reduce study time by putting your laptop away.

Oh don’t worry—you can still use your laptop in the library, for doing research and for writing papers.

But when you walk into the college classroom, leave your laptop turned off, put away in your backpack.

6 reasons putting away your laptop during class will reduce study time:

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Tee Your Kids Up For Career Success (In Just 2 Min.)

You desperately want your kids to succeed academically in school and in college so they can have a shot at lifetime career success—but cajoling and hovering and pushing them is just so exhausting.

Here’s fantastic help that will take you under two minutes to implement.

career success

According to world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck (who’s done decades of high-level research on achievement and success), the difference between academic and career success and academic and career mediocrity boils down to whether the child has a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

Carol Dweck describes the difference between these two mindsets this way:

“In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.”

—Carol Dweck

This is fantastic in and of itself, but here’s even better news.

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3 Reasons Every Teen Needs A Part-Time Job (AUDIO)

This episode also includes a hilarious idea for making your teen want to go out and get a part-time job!debt-free college podcastJoin me, Jeannie Burlowski, for episode 4 of the Launch Your Teens podcast, and you’ll learn:

1. How working a part-time job increases the odds that a teen will be academically successful in college.

2. How the advice of author Meg Jay can help your kids leave behind fake, empty confidence and develop genuine professional confidence.

3. The most interesting points Jeffrey J. Selingo made about this subject in his acclaimed Washington Post article.

(10 min.)

You’d rather read than listen? OK you can do that here!

Do you worry that having a job might damage your kid’s GPA?

Read the helpful, reassuring article I’ve written on this subject here.

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Secret Weapon for Multiple Choice Tests

Which of these multiple choice testing strategies have you never heard of before? That’s your new secret weapon.

Share this article with a student you care about.

multiple choice

1. Before you start, note the structure of the test and plan your timing.

Here’s a nightmare you want to avoid. You turn to the final page of a test with two minutes left on the clock, only to find that the last question is a long-form essay question worth half the test points—and you’ve got zero time to write it.

If you know what’s coming, you can plan your time accordingly.

2. Read the question stem twice, then try to think of the answer yourself—without peeking at the choices.

The “stem” means the question itself, not including the answer choices.

Reading the question stem twice will help ensure that you won’t get answers wrong due to easily avoidable reading errors. And thinking up the correct answer in your head on your own—when possible—will help you instantly recognize the right answer when you see it.

3. Always read all the multiple choice answer choices.

Yes, the correct answer might jump right out at you, but carefully read the other choices as well. Sometimes you’ll realize that your original prediction actually needs to be reconsidered.

4. Don’t assume that the most familiar sounding answer choice is the right one.

Sometimes, the familiar sounding choice was planted there specifically to distract you from the right answer. When you’re choosing a correct answer, quietly ask yourself for some logical reasons why that answer is probably right.

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Top 9 Books I Most Love For Parents and Students

Books make great gifts. Why? Because a carefully chosen book can literally change a life. In this short article I share the top 9 books I most love for parents, 20-somethings, and students ages 12 and up.

(Are you worried that your teen won’t read a non-fiction book? See my helpful article on How to Get a Teen to Read a Non-Fiction Book.)

Books make great gifts. Why? Because a carefully chosen book can actually change a life. In this short article I share the top 9 books I most love for parents, 20somethings, and students ages 12 and up.

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