Nowadays, many high school classes begin minutes after 7 am. Imagine sitting in biology class at 7 am with eyelids drooping and a teacher with a monotone voice teaching biology. Most people struggle to retain information at such an early time of the day. It can be even harder for students who have to retain the information and prove their understanding on standardized tests. As the parent, it is really vital to place emphasis on engraining the material in the brain so that teens can be successful in the long run. There are plenty of different ways to reinforce what the teacher is imparting to students during class time.
1. Create Diagrams & Graphic Illustrations
Diagrams and interactive illustrations are really great for a hands-on learning experience. Biology is a subject where a student really needs a visual to truly understand the actual concepts. Diagrams are especially exciting for the kinesthetic learning because it involves building and interaction, and it allows for specialized attention and learning.
In order to illustrate the building blocks of DNA and how it is formed together, use household items such as food, candy, toothpicks and string to build a strand of DNA. While the student is building, use each part of the lesson as a memorization tool to give a concrete reference for each concept explained. Even though the target grade levels involve high schoolers, fight the urge to get incredibly sophisticated. Sometimes, the best lessons involve crayons, markers, colored pencils, glue and paper. Consider finding and printing out a page out of a coloring book on biology. Create lines on one side of the paper for important facts, so the student still gets adequate notes.
2. Invest in Helpful Tools
It really is encouraging for a teen to come home and see that their parents are on their side 100%. When they know they are encouraged, loved and supported, teens are more likely to do better in school. One of the best ways to show support and love is by investing money in the tools that could reinforce what they're learning at school. Most teens would love the opportunity to conduct experiments at home with their own Petri dishes and microscopes. Investing in digital microscopes from microscope.com will help give your teens a hands on experience and better their education.
3. Create Study Systems for Memorization
After reviewing the material with your teen, create a good system for memorization. The best way to create a solid system is through understanding your teen's learning style. A teen’s learning style might be visual, audio or kinesthetic. For the visual learner, flash cards printed and placed in various spots in the home might be helpful. A great way to help a student who learns through sounds involves a song. Using the different vocabulary words, create song lyrics and add a nice tune to it. Songs are some of the best ways to remember specific concepts.
4. Utilize Technological Resources
With the emergence of sites like YouTube and Khan Academy, anyone with access to WiFi can learn anything. So many different websites offer tutorials, classes and community forums for students who really need help reinforcing what they're learning in the classroom. One of the most helpful things to do is find a few websites and use them only. This helps to eliminate any confusion and will bring a sense of consistency and predictability in the learning environment.
With all of these different resources for the high school student, there is no reason why they should fail their high school biology class. Yes, it may be early in the morning or right after the lunch bell. Sure, it may be boring. However, with lots of determination and encouragement from parents at home, any teen is sure to pass. No teen will be left behind in high school biology!