Shorecrest Preparatory School Blog

Getting into the Rhythm of High School

Posted by Don Paige on Oct 23, 2019 11:51:00 AM

study photo 1The start of a new school year is exciting, and it can be a little overwhelming. To a high school student, the academic pressure can feel especially heavy. Don Paige, Head of the Upper School at Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg, Florida, has some tips for parents to help high schoolers make the most of academics.

In high school, the calendar typically dances to varying rhythms of intensity and calm. The peaks of intensity usually happen every 3 to 4 weeks, because that is how long it takes to teach an average module (or unit) of information. In other words, every 3 to 4 weeks high school classes intensify with assessments, only to re-enter a calm period shortly after.

One of the most important skills for students is how they manage these “high tides” and “low tides” of the calendar. As parents, here are a few general ideas that we think can help your student manage these periods.

Study Ahead

Make sure they use the calm times to work ahead and begin to study. Numerous research studies show that small chunks of studying over many days is far superior to a big chunk of studying right before an assessment.

Study Smarter

Make sure that they study in the most effective ways. Re-reading texts and highlighting do not show high yields in retaining information or creating real comprehension. The best way to study is to take small quizzes  that mix up the topics and the order of the information. The best examples of this are:

  • Flash cards
  • Online Kahoot quizzes; and,
  • Study buddies quizzing each other 

study smarter

Sleep, Don't Cram

We often sleep and eat best during the calm periods, only to lose sleep and adopt a poor diet in the rushed periods. It is the rushed periods where we most need the sleep and the quality foods. Encourage your student to go to bed at a reasonable time (which is easier if they have been studying ahead) and eat a quality breakfast the next morning. Remind them, that there is a point where any gain from staying up an extra hour and working is lost by the decrease in memory and frontal lobe processing that they will experience from a lack of sleep. 


Following these tips can help your student manage stress and achieve their desired results. To see how it works for the students of Shorecrest, or find out more about academics at one of the top ranked schools in Tampa Bay, we invite you to click here. 

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Topics: High School, Parenting, teens, Student and Faculty Perspectives, Parent Involvement