The Best New Year's Resolution for Kids? Earn Better Grades

The beginning of a new year provides the perfect opportunity for you and your kids to assess their academic strengths and weaknesses and set some goals to help them make this their best year yet.

While losing weight often takes center stage this time of year, one of the best resolutions kids can make is to earn better grades. It’s easier than you think, and your family won’t have to give up chocolate. The school year is about halfway over, so you and your child are well aware where he/she is excelling and where he/she may need some help. Every child is different, but in more than a decade of helping millions of students at, we find that there are a few key reasons kids suffer from less than awesome grades.

Straight-A student who stumbled

High school math and science, as well as AP and honors classes, feature a tough curriculum and faster pace that can challenge even the most dedicated students. If this is your child, he/she may need an ongoing source of help to stay on track.

Speak to your child’s teacher or counselor to see what additional help is available. Some kids benefit from creating study groups, while others need one-to-one attention from a tutor. Whatever recourse you use, act quickly to help them from falling behind.

The case of the missing assignments

If your child is chronically disorganized and has missed handing in assignments, it’s sure to lower his/her grades. This is an issue for many middle school students who have to deal with changing classes and having multiple teachers and multistep projects.

Help your child get organized. Set up a regular homework routine that works for your child and his/her activities to ensure that assignments are completed. For those larger projects with deadlines that are a month or more out, help your student create a plan with smaller steps that make the assignment manageable and easy to track. Check off each step to guarantee an on-time delivery.

Likes school, hates math (or English or science)

Many kids do well overall but have that one subject where they continually struggle. This is normal! In a recent survey, 61% of parents reported that their child struggles in one subject. My advice is get help early. Don’t let your child get so frustrated that he/she gets turned off to a subject that he/she might be really great at.

Parents play an important role in helping their kids figure out what may be holding them back from better grades. Most importantly, it’s okay if a parent can’t help with calculus homework or doesn’t remember how to balance a chemistry equation. My daughter is a busy high school sophomore who balances tough classes and sports. She works regularly with online tutors at 8 p.m. or later to stay up with her pre-calculus class. It’s a great way to get help on her schedule and keeps one of my New Year’s resolutions for a happy, stress-free homework time!

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About Mandy Ginsberg

Mandy Ginsberg is CEO of, which helps 6,000 students a night by connecting them to a great tutor online. She is also the proud mom of two daughters.


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