News Angles, Story Ideas, & Timely News Pegs

Story Ideas
News Angles
Timely News Pegs

Story Ideas

How to Avoid Homework Meltdown! “Dos and Don’ts” to Manage Homework Peacefully…From the Kitchen Counter

  1. Do…understand the root cause of homework meltdowns. Children are on a quest for control.
  2. Don’t…let time drag on and on! Use a timer. Nobody argues with a timer.
  3. Do…maintain a calm voice. Always. In the words of Love & Logic founder, Jim Fay, never, ever let them engage you in an argument.
  4. Don’t mandate. Give choices. Choices help children feel like they have some control.
  5. Do…Get help. Children don’t want parents’ attention for homework. They are much less likely to argue with another adult; hire a tutor, seek volunteers, or ‘kid swap’ with a neighbor to get a break from homework meltdowns.

Are You a Homework Nag?

Teach your kids how to manage their time and get better grades…in ten minutes a week.*
(* This is a Power Strategy! A strategy that produces big results with a small investment of time.)

Hold a “Sunday Summit”:

  • Ten Minutes – Take ten minutes on Sunday to coordinate with your family.
  • Calendars – Everyone grabs their calendar or student planner to share their schedules.
  • Conversation. Start a conversation with your children, not a “nag-fest.” Tell them about your schedule and plans, then inquire about their

Stop Paper Chaos

Trash is the enemy! Help Students Organize and Get Better Grades in Less Time.

  • Binder System. Most students have 12-16 different folders and notebooks. That would be like having 12-16 different email inboxes to manage each day! No wonder they are in Paper Chaos. A streamlined binder system can cure most problems and keep trash out of the way.
  • Take Ten. A daily, ten-minute strategy to organize papers and review notes.
  • Silverware Sorter Theory. The silverware sorter has taught us that items that have a home usually get put away. Create a “home” for school papers that can stay at home…they will come in handy later.

Study Skills Even the Most Successful Students Don’t Know

  • Read Textbooks with Visual Networking. A strategic way to use pictures, graphs, and visuals to double comprehension in half the time.
  • Take Ten. A daily routine that maximizes the brain! Short, consistent reviews make learning permanent and grades soar.
  • Jeopardy Notes. The famous game show can teach us a lot about how to take and study notes.
  • Rapid Review for Final Exams. The most dreadful time of year can be the most relaxing…and successful!

What Your Kids are Not Yet Doing to Earn Higher Grades in Half the Time

5 Steps That are Almost Too Simple to be True…

  1. Power Down. Texting, surfing the internet, watching TV…electronics are great, but the are sabotaging our students. Teach them to Power Down for 1 hour a day. (They are much more willing than you might expect.)
  2. Fill the Gap. The “gap hours” –from 3-6 PM- are the most wasted hours of the day for everyone! Make an effort to fill the gap.
  3. Take Ten. A daily routine that maximizes the brain! Short, consistent reviews make learning permanent and grades soar.
  4. Read Textbooks with Visual Networking. A strategic way to use pictures, graphs, and visuals to double comprehension in half the time.
  5. Go on a Question Quest. Creating questions is a great way to maximize your brain power. Use questions to read, take notes, study, and write papers.

Back to Basics: 7 Ways to Make the Best Use of Your Brain

  1. Sleep. Studies show that people who are sleep-deprived behave similar to those who are drunk. Sleep is essential.
  2. Hydrate. Drink plenty of water to keep brain cells in tip-top shape.
  3. Sit up. To be efficient, your brain needs to be “on.” Sitting up is like “flipping the light switch on.” It is the most brain-friendly position.
  4. Learn in small chunks. This is where my favorite strategy, “Take Ten” came from. You can do a lot in ten minutes…or even two minutes. Look for small chunks of time and make good use of them.
  5. Ask questions. The brain loves questions! It enjoys the challenge of creating them and cannot stand leaving them unanswered. Asking questions is a great way to tap into the unconscious mind and keep your brain working—even when you are not!
  6. Visual networking. Everything you have ever learned, you learned by making a connection to something you already understood. Learn how “visual networking” helps you easily make connections with learning.
  7. 3-Way Processing. Whenever possible, speak out-loud when you study. Your brain will process the information three ways: through your eyes to read information, through your mouth to say it, and through your ears to hear it.

Adult Students: Challenging Economy Sending You Back to School?

5 Essential Skills for the Busy Adult Student

  1. Take Ten. Learn how ten minutes a day can cut hours from your study time.
  2. Weekly Blueprint. Maximize study time with a flexible, yet efficient planning strategy. (This step is also great for coordinating study time with a family or significant other!)
  3. Reading Textbooks with “Visual Networking.” Learn how to comprehend twice as much in half the time.
  4. Create Questions. Creating questions is a great way to maximize your brain power. Use questions to read, take notes, study, and write papers.
  5. One-Stop Organizing. Get organized with a simple binder system.

Additional Story Angles…

  • Study Skills Fixed My ‘Stupid!’
  • Study Skills Help Students Get Better Grades in Less Time. I’m Proof!
  • Students know how to use strategy in video games & sports…even to manipulate us to get their way. But, they don’t use strategy in school!
  • You know how some kids throw all of their stuff in their closet and call that “clean?” Well, that’s what the U.S. Education System does…throws content at students and calls that “good.” The system doesn’t teach them how to learn or organize that information!
  • Employers are looking for good problem-solvers. Instead, they are getting good test-takers.
  • Our brains are like the old-fashioned Christmas lights…when one went out, you had to check all 50 lights. With study skills, we simplify the # of brain connections from hundreds of lights down to 5 lights; if the power goes out in the brain, it’s very easy to reconnect!

News Angles

The following topics align with issues frequently in the news…

  • Poor test scores emerging in your area? Explore why students are not learning how to learn and what can be done about it.
  • Latest study shows that x% of all students cannot do basic math or cannot read a newspaper… Explore why most students are not taught fundamental skills.
  • Get ready for back-to-school!
  • Report Card Season (I personally see a spike in interest between October and April.)
  • New age solutions…Virtual Homework Groups teach students how to learn.
  • General frustration with homework – from parents and/or students.

Timely News Pegs

  • August/September = The 3/33 Approach to Back-to-School
  • October = Surviving the Balancing Act: Time Management Tips to Help Parents & Students Manage Homework…Together
  • November/December = Homework and Holidays; How to Have Peaceful Harmony
  • January = New Year. New Semester. New Homework Solutions.
  • February = Report Card Shock! : How to Deal with “Bad News”…and Make it Better
  • March = Preparing Children for Standardized Testing
  • April = Whether Your Children are Seven or Seventeen…Ways You Can Cut College Costs NOW!
  • May/June/July = Simple Summer Solutions for School Success
  • May/June/July = How to Help Your Teen Find a Job


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