Fashion Plate

If you like Texas Jot, please take a look at my other blog, Fashion Plate. It is the home of my handmade retro Barbie clothes and lots of delicious recipes from my cookbooks.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How To Improve Your Child's Grades

Not being busy enough hyping his SENSA sprinkles diet (don't bother), Dr. Alan Hirsch conducted a study two years ago that determined that 84% of A and B students associated their homes with a clean scent.  Amazingly enough, a third of the lower-end students associated their home with smells such as feces and mold. Gosh, am I surprised.
Seems like it might be hard to concentrate on school work while holding one's nose. To say nothing of abusive parents, the threat of violence and lack of food.  It doesn't take a genius, or even Dr. Hirsch, to figure out that a safe, clean environment might impact a student's grades.   Yet, he surveyed 5,00 high school students before he came to this amazing conclusion.
So, if your child is not performing up to his or her capabilities, you obviously need to get out the vacuum and Fabreeze. Get a clothes pin for your nose, don your rubber gloves and grab a dozen trash bags.  Take one for the Gipper.  Dive on in and clean up that rat's nest.  By next week, your child will be bringing home smiley-faced papers and straight A's.

Fortunately, neither of these rooms exists in my house!
 Years ago, when my daughters were in school, their bedrooms were upstairs, so I didn't have to constantly confront the flotsam and jetsam of their lives falling out in the hallways.  I left their clean clothes in a hamper at the bottom of the stairs. I avoided visual contact with the bedrooms as much as possible.
A few days before Mom's dreaded room inspection, I would declare, "I'm going upstairs at 5:00 on Wednesday."  Each day until Wednesday, I would repeat the statement, thus giving them a chance to get things straightened to my satisfaction.  Tossing things under the bed or in the closet was not an option.  On the afternoon of inspection, I would give a countdown.  "One hour and I'm coming upstairs." "Fifteen minutes until I come up", etc.
I know what you're thinking.  Their rooms were only clean when they had to be, but that is the point.  I didn't get mad about the mess and they knew that inevitably, they would have to clean up whatever they left behind. Not a perfect solution, but it saved constant bickering from them and nagging by me.  All I can say is that they achieved academic excellence despite vacillating between clean and dirty rooms.  In the long run, I think love and support will have a greater impact in determining the ultimate success of students.

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