When I got home today, I told my kids "the bracation is over." Most people refer to it as the summer slump or summer slide. I call it a "bracation" because their brains have sought temporary residence on a game-filled island paradise for the past six weeks.
Trust me, I let them have a break. The boogie boarding on the staircase is certainly proof. But, I can't afford to let them lose 20% of what they learned last year (which is a conservative estimate by the way).
For better or worse, they also serve as my "test" students for any curriculum I consider adopting for my tutoring business. Don't bother telling them how lucky they are, they already know.
When I got home, I sliced open the box with my awesome Cutco scissors and proudly revealed my greatest find - Soar Study Skills. Much to my kids' chagrin, Soar is a 6 week study skills course, or in their case, a jam packed week-long course with mom at the helm.
Once the cacophony of strange verbal grunts subsided I told them, "Look, my mom did the same thing to me when I was your age. She signed me up for a study skills course that lasted all summer. You're lucky yours is only a week." Fact: It probably didn't last all summer, but it certainly felt like it, and as I recall the air conditioning was broken, and we were in New Jersey.
Typically, when I want to win them over, I start with the bottom line. So, I asked them, "Would you like to know the secrets to getting better grades and spending less time on homework?" Alright, it had an attorney ring to it. But, it's ingrained and I can't help it.
It worked. But, if it didn't I was ready with a few statistics that Soar used to win me over. For example, in 2009, an Ohio State University Study demonstrated that there is a 600 percent increased likelihood that "average" high school students will graduate from college if they take a study skills class.
There is little doubt in my mind that the Cornell note-taking method helped me breeze through high school and college and gave me the edge that I needed in law school. So, even though my kids may feel like I am academically hazing them, it really is for their own good and someday they'll thank me.