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09/15/2015

3 Tips for Integrating Extracurricular Activities Without Taking a Hit to Your GPA     


For many of us, balancing academic requirements with the rest of our social calendars is challenging enough, but adding in extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs, or academic competitions can be even more difficult. However, following these tips can help make that academic-athletic balance more achievable.   

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1 Communication with Teachers

The first thing a student athlete should do to prepare for their season, is to inform each of their teachers about their traveling schedules for games or competitions. Give them a copy of your calendar, so you can discuss which days you may be absent from class. This gives you the opportunity to plan how to turn in work early, online, or if necessary request extensions to work around events. Be sure to share email addresses in case of last-minute changes or problems submitting work. Most teachers understand the challenges that extracurricular activities present, and are willing to work with you to help you stay on top of coursework.   

2 Managing your Time

The next step is to invest in a large agenda or desk-size calendar to help you see your month at-a-glance, and see where project deadlines coincide with extracurricular events. It’s also important to consider when morning, evening, and weekend practices occur, and using this information to plan when will be your protected days and times to work on completing homework, and studying for tests. This website can also provide helpful guidelines for this process. 

HINT: You may find that some courses, such as English, often end up requiring more time than expected to conduct research, outline, and revise-- so plan in some time over several days.   

Finally, this practice vs. homework schedule can even be capitalized upon by maximizing your free time both at school, at home, and on the road. At school, make the best use of your free time during class, study hall times, and before or after school, or on the bus. At home, try to use your free time to complete current work, and get ahead on future work to limit the potential of falling behind if unexpected things come up. And if you’re required to travel for extracurricular events, use the time in the car or bus to work on your studies.

3 Utilizing Additional Support

Finally, having more of your time in your schedule being dedicated to extracurriculars, can make it difficult to be available to attend before or after-school tutoring or conferences with teachers. When you’re unable to get your questions answered, or extra practice of a new concept, it can easily snowball into getting poor grades on quizzes and tests, or falling behind on challenging assignments.   

When this situation starts to crop up, nip it in the bud before it becomes a major problem. Find a way to meet with teachers at alternate times, or use email to ask quick questions or check work. Your teacher may also recommend using online resources to re-teach a concept or to provide practice questions, such as IXL.com or KhanAcademy.org. Another option is to seek out a private tutoring center, such as The Tutoring Center, where you can receive tutoring outside regular school hours at a more convenient time.  

Extracurricular activities like sports, academic clubs and competitions are certainly a great addition to middle school and high school student���s school experience, but without managing it properly, it can also become a great burden or detriment to your academic standing. However, using these tips can help keep your schedule organized, productive, and still leave time for fun!   

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If you would like to learn more, please call The Tutoring Center, Flower Mound at (972) 874-1999 to schedule your FREE Diagnostic Assessment. Thank you for your time, and best wishes to you and your children in getting back into the groove this fall.          

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