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Combatting Academic Atrophy

With winter break on the horizon, students are preparing for a well-deserved holiday from school. Just because students don't have to worry about assignments for a few weeks doesn't mean that they should stop improving themselves. Learning should be a part of someone's daily routine, like brushing your teeth. Mental maintenance is a key part of self-care that will pay dividends over your lifetime. School breaks are a great time to develop daily habits to prevent academic atrophy.

Start Small

As with most principles in life, it's important to start small and work your way up to more difficult tasks.

Tutor. Study. School.

With learning, it's easy to get overwhelmed if you set the bar too high. For example, if you want to improve your reading comprehension, expand your vocabulary, and become a more cultured person in general, a reading habit of one hour per day may be too much at first. Instead, start with a more manageable goal of fifteen minutes or just ten pages per day. This approach is a better way to guarantee you'll keep the habit, instead of quitting when you get frustrated and miss a day or two.

Pick a Regular Time

Choose a time in your schedule that makes the most sense for mental maintenance.

Tutoring center. Kumon. Mathnasium.

For example, regularly playing Duolingo at the same time every evening will train yourself to make this task a habit. Regularity is a key part of transforming a one-time chore into a natural daily habit.

Make Learning Fun

If a task is enjoyable, you will be more apt to complete it repeatedly.

Math tutor. English tutor. Spanish tutor.