2 Steps to Getting Better Grades

Middle School — The Wonder Years — Life Skills

I am so proud of Kaylee. Well, not at the beginning of the semester. Her grades had fallen behind. She is smart, but her grades didn’t reflect that. So what was the problem?

I know that Middle school is a tough transition from elementary school. The student goes from having 1 teacher, to 5 teachers. All with their different websites, and teaching styles. On top of that, puberty and changing social elements have their toll on a kid. There is a lot to take on in the middle school years.

We all remember Kevin Arnold, in the hit show ‘The Wonder Years.’ The life lessons he learned in the show were things I went through as well at that age.

But learning to handle a bunch of things at once is a life skill. I thought that if I did what my parents did, then she would improve on her own.

So, at first, I took the distractions away. No more computer until homework is done.

Still, another missing assignment came up.

So then, for every missing assignment, no computer for that day.

I was addressing the problem the wrong way. I needed to look at it from her perspective. When it was time to do homework, all she could imagine was everything at once.

So we broke it down with her. First, we said that the grade she receives doesn’t matter. I know that it is counterintuitive, but hear me out.

The only 2 things she had to do are:

  1. Write each assignment down every day in her planner. If there is no assignment, write ‘none.’
  2. Do the assignment.

On top of that, make up 1 missing assignment per day.

It’s kind of weird, how writing down the simplest tasks can create such clarity and make it possible to execute a plan.

That is how I create a clear plan for myself to execute on. I write it down, document how it will be done, and then execute. The most important thing is to write it down.

The documented approach to selling real estate has a similar concept. Essentially, a home sale needs to be broken down into many small tasks. The homework gets done one step at a time. When the homework is done we bring it to market at an ‘A+.’ Because when we rush, we won’t get the results we hoped for.

The semester is half over, and Kaylee has gotten her grades up to a ‘B’ average. She is proud of what she has accomplished so far. I am proud because the plan worked.

Mike Simpson is a Bay Area native, father, early riser, avid reader, dog lover & coffee addict. In his spare time, Simpson enjoys woodworking. Today, Mike is an entrepreneur, author and relentless innovator of the real estate industry.