1) Consume Less "Junk Food" -- TV, video games, phone calls, texting, IMing, Facebooking, Twittering, web surfing, et al. Decide on a daily/weekly maximum. The total of all these media should not exceed more than a couple of hours a day. As academic fitness increases greater leeway in this area can be granted.
2) Do Your Reps -- The brain is a muscle like any other. Make sure it remains active. As with exercise, you can't make up for 4 months of inactivity in one all-night cramming session. Make "contact" with difficult material and large projects daily or weekly.
3) Build Strength Slowly -- Start with the basics. As you learn the foundation and gain more confidence, add new concepts. If you get lost, backtrack. Don't get daunted by large assignments. Break them down into manageable parts and spread them out.
4) Get To Know The Equipment -- Just as we need to understand how our muscles work to establish a good exercise routine with the proper form, students need to understand how their brains work. All learners can greatly benefit from asking the following questions: How do I process new information? What are my strengths and weaknesses? What unique conditions must be satisfied to bring out my optimal performance?
5) Use A Spotter -- When your children are taking on new and difficult challenges make sure they get the support they need. This could be working with their teacher during a free period, studying with friends, or seeking outside help. Excellent tutors can help their students learn the skills necessary to operate successfully without them.
Learn more about what to look for in a tutor.