Podcast Episode 202: Great Students Aren’t Smarter — They Just Know How to Work

Thanks so much for coming by to check out Episode 202 of The New Family Podcast, where we explore the importance of instilling hard work and developing study skills in our kids.

For a lot of us, there are some tricky dynamics around schoolwork, with parents often in an unfortunate role of homework police. Many of us can relate to frustration that our kids are capable of much more if they’d only get organized and apply themselves a little.

My guest for this is episode has an insider’s track on what makes the difference between kids who do well in school and others who don’t manage to achieve to their full potential. (Hint: It’s not that the kids with great grades are geniuses; they’ve just mastered some habits that get results.)

Ryan Thompson is an educator and entrepreneur with an expertise in science and math. He’s been a high school physics and math teacher 15 years, and has in-depth knowledge of the challenges teens face in order to become academically successful. He runs a virtual program for teens and their parents on how to develop the study skills needed to do well in school.

Ryan Thompson head shot

Here are some resources related to this episode:

Ryan Thompson Consulting

Related Episode: Are Schools Failing Our Kids? This Mom Whose Daughter Dropped Out Thinks So

Related Episode: The ‘4Cs’ Kids Need to Thrive in the Future

Related Episode: How the Arts Build Life Skills

Related Episode: Steminism! Encouraging Girls to Embrace Math and Science

Related Episode: Are Schools Doing Enough for Boys?

Parenting Advice

“I was talking to someone and they were telling me, they get to be grandparents and all they get to do was love their grandchildren and that I would have to take the hard line, and I would have to be the disciplinarian. I guess he didn’t really tell me this directly, it was sort of inferred from what he said. I said, ‘Well, really, all I have to do is love them, too.’ I have always tried to keep that as the core of everything that I do, even when it’s not my best moment. There’s always this opportunity to come back, and all I have to do is love them.”

Sponsor Thanks!

Special thanks to our sponsor, Wise Bites, makers of allergy-safe snacks that check all the right boxes for back to school, for helping us make the show is entirely free to you.

The kids are back to school, and that means parents are back on duty with packing school lunches and snacks. Not only does this mean making time for preparing lunches on busy school mornings (or, if you can get it together, the night before) but it also means shopping for all the right supplies.

That’s why we like to stock up on cookie bars and other low-sugar baked treats from Canadian-company Wise Bites. These delicious treats are sweetened almost entirely with date paste, and they’re a good source of protein, iron and fibre. Plus, they’re free of the top 11 allergens—including peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, eggs, dairy, soy and more—making them perfectly compliant with school allergy policies. You can order online at wise-bites.com.

Or, if you prefer to taste them before you stock up, for a limited time, Wise Bites is offering a free sample cookie to our listeners. Just cover the $1.95 shipping to get it to your door.

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Brandie Weikle

About Brandie Weikle

Brandie is a long-time parenting editor, writer and spokesperson. Most recently editor-in-chief of Canadian Family magazine, Brandie has also been the parenting and relationships editor for the Toronto Star, founding editor of two Toronto Star websites, and an editor for Today's Parent. Brandie is a single mother of two in Toronto and a frequent television and radio guest on parenting topics. A former digital director at House & Home Media, she also consults on digital audience engagement. Contact her here. View all posts by


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