How To Jump Start Your Child’s Success This Year

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Setting our daughters up for success is very important to us. We want them to reach their full potential and we believe it is our job as parents to give them the tools necessary to accomplish this. Special thanks to Sylvan Learning for sponsoring this post as we share a great program to help students have the best school year!

The one thing I have learned for sure about parenting is that each child is different. It seems so basic, but this one piece of knowledge has been the most important thing I remember when parenting my girls. It is something I talk about here on our site often and something that is a topic of conversation in our home too.

When Ashley was born, I remember looking at her and being a bit surprised, if not shocked, that she didn’t look more like Maddie did when she was born. Looking back, I realize how silly that was, but having only parented one child up until that point I didn’t realize how different two people could be, even if they share the same DNA and the same parents raising them. Thankfully by the time Emmy came home, I was a much more experienced mom. But just to throw me a curveball, Emmy and Maddie are both very similar! Parenting keeps you on your toes, doesn’t it?

Knowing that all kids are different and wanting them all to have the same successful start to the year, I started researching the best ways for me to help them achieve this. Even with their differences, I learned that there are overlapping tips that they can all benefit from.

I decided to hone in on the areas that would have the most impact by jump starting my daughters’ success this school year.

I looked at myself first. What skills have I learned over the years that would have helped me as a student? It was easy for me to pinpoint pretty quickly that being more organized would have really helped. When I was younger that was not one of my strong points, but it is definitely a strength that I now possess. With life experience built up, I can see how much of a boost it would give my own kids to start being more organized now.

Truth be told, they weren’t as excited about my new plan to pump up their organization skills as I thought they would be, but I’m happy to say that they are doing it. They are actively making lists, organizing their rooms, and making plans on our calendar. They are light years ahead of where I was at their ages, so I am calling this a win.

The one thing that really helped get them going was to buy them each a notebook. I got a personalized notebook for each of them, which excited them enough to try it out. Once they got going they could each see how much better it was to have a system and more organization. Even Emmy!

This wasn’t the end of our back to school success plan. Taking just a little initiative to be more organized had such a big impact that it was like the floodgates opened up, and I wanted to do even more for them. That got me thinking about our partner, Sylvan Learning and I decided to explore what they had to offer that could help my girls have the best year!

Their Study Skills Program was exactly what we were looking for! It is geared towards kids in grades 4-12 and has so much to offer, like:

  • Study strategies to become an independent and effective student.
  • School time management tips and organizational habits to better manage time and responsibilities.
  • Active reading strategies, including reading comprehension strategies, to read better in every class.
  • Active listening strategies and presentation skills to communicate clearly.
  • Effective note-taking strategies and how to use study tools, such as flashcards and color coding, to study efficiently and improve test scores.
  • Test taking strategies to take tests and quizzes with confidence, tackle different types of tests and manage testing anxiety.
  • How to research effectively, such as learning how to research a topic, evaluate sources and write a bibliography.
  • How to write effectively, such as mastering all the steps of the writing process.
  • How to be safe online, such as learning how to locate, evaluate and share digital information responsibly and other tips on how to be safe on the internet.
  • How to navigate college admissions requirements, including a college admission essay.
  • Job interview preparation, including job interview tips and how to write an effective resume and cover letter.

I love that all of the skills my daughters can learn in this program complement my commitment to helping them become more organized. This is the boost they need to be even more efficient in school, and give back time to focus on other activities.  Ashley’s main focus right now is on physical fitness, so she can spend more time working out. It is also a great way to jump start her, and her sisters’, success this year at school.

If you are looking for a great way to jump start your own student’s success this year definitely check this program out! Sylvan Learning’s study skills program is available at a location near you. Find locations and more information on their website.

Are your children excited to start the new school year?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • I was very unorganized as a student and I truly feel I could have done much better. Sylvan seems to have it all from the research to study skills, note taking and even job interviews prep, Wow! So glad you added physical fitness.

  • My younger brother had success with Sylvan several years ago and more recently a close friend for her son.

  • My kids are grown. They are more excited that they don’t have to go back to school! Neither of them did well in school due to a serious lack of organization. I tried to teach them, but they had difficulty mastering it. I think a course like this could have helped.

  • Someone told me September is the new January. This is a great way to jump start the school year for kids. I love the motivational and caring ways to do so!

  • My daughter just started kindergarten but we have been reading 20 mins a night and we do workbooks for “fun”.

  • We started school a few weeks ago and are doing our best to stay organized. We have three kids in three different schools this year and it’s hard!

  • The Study Skills Program sounds perfect for my son. I need to look into this more. Thanks for sharing!

  • The study skills program looks like a great way to get ready for school. They just don’t teach these skills in school for some reason.

  • Great advice my step daughters both went to Sylvan and worked really well for them to get good grades. It si important that we set up our children for success, thanks for the reminder.

  • This sounds like a great program! I loved what you said about each child being different. It is so true, and amazing! Each of my kids tackle school, struggles and even triumphs differently.

  • I think this is a great program. Many students will surely start their school year right for their success.

  • My oldest starts preK this year and she’s very excited. She has her ‘packpack’ ready to go. I’m hoping to start strong and get her into good habits from the beginning. She’s my easy child, the youngest is a whole different ball game!

  • These are what parents should be mindful about. We care to our children’s future. We must be able to understand and learn how to treat them so that they may reach their full potential. We are here to support them as they understand life. Great shared strategies!

  • I have a 2nd grader and a toddler. Up until now organizing for school hasn’t been too difficult but it’s definitely different this year. I’m busier with my youngest and as my oldest gets into higher grades she has more going on with school. I love the notebook idea

  • Yes each child is very different and learns different. I had to study and it took me a long time to learn the right way for me.

  • This sounds like a great program. It is really important that we organize our children for success, thanks for this.

  • My niece and my nephew are a bit too young to join though this looks like an excellent program! It’s great that it’s available to help kids learn better.

  • Your girls are beautiful! I love finding ways to implement resources in homeschooling and study work, and one can never learn too much, right?

  • It’s so true that each child is different. It keeps me on my toes as a mom to figure out what works for each kid. These are some great tips. The Sylvan programs sounds like a great way to set kids up for success.

  • This sounds like a great program. Even if your kids are very smart, there are so many skills they need to be successful and do well in a variety of environments. I like that the Sylvan program offers so many lessons like being safe online and how to apply for colleges. Those are major skills kids need, and it can be hard for parents to teach because our experiences were do different. I will have to check out the program.

  • My kids are all grown ups now, and out of the three, only one showed organization skills. I wish Sylvan was available when my kids were still attending school. It would have helped a lot. Sharing this post with my sister who has tweens. This will help her keep her sanity. 🙂

  • This sounds like a great study program. My kid just started grade 3 and we always look for ways to help mold our kid for success. Always believe in starting young. .

  • Learning effective study skills and research strategies is so important! It’s great that Sylvan is helping kids develop those skills sooner rather than later.

  • Learning good study skills is super important.. However we have been falling behind on this a bit… Granted our son is only in 1st grade but this is the second time we had to get him up early because Daddy forget he had homework. oops…

  • I have four kids so I also have to watch for this and do what I can to help make their year successful, and have noticed overlapping areas.

  • My son just started kindergarten and I hope that they are able to challenge him in a good way! I Will look into Sylvan for the future.

  • My teen attended this program and I can really see the difference in her organization skills. I am glad they are offering this in her school now because these are things that you do not necessarily learn, you just do trial and error. So I am pleased they are finally making a class out of it.

  • Great tips. My kids are all grown but having a game plan the beginning of each year was so important. My daughter’s son will be starting school soon, will pass this on to her.

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