“What’s the most important thing to have to ensure my child’s success in high school?” 

If we had a dollar for every time a parent asked us this… well, we’d probably be able to solve the clean water needs of a developing colour.  

There are so many possible answers and areas to consider in your child’s learning, and it will always be different based on each student’s unique learning profile. But one thing is for sure: 

If high school is like a road trip around Australia, then your teenager’s motivation level is as important as the car battery. They need a balanced run-and-recharge system to reach their destination. To achieve that, their education strategy should encompass both skills need to boost performance and make sure they’re consistently fuelled throughout the school year. 

In this article, we explore how to achieve the perfect balance, the most important thing in high school success, and how to make sure this is implemented in your child’s education strategy. 

Why Find Balance in Learning? 

Imagine your child needs energy and fuel to engage with and drive their learning. What drives them to get up and do so every single day is an inner battery that powers their motivation and desire to study. Like all batteries, it gets depleted once we use it. If we allow children to drain and burn themselves out, they essentially lose their power source. And we all know that draining batteries—whether in cars or our phones—is detrimental to them.  

Sometimes, we forget that teenagers are not machines because we get hyper-fixated on their goals and what academic performance should look like. With that, education strategies might look like all work without thinking about when to catch a break.   

As parents, you don’t intend to treat them like robots that should never tire until they get ‘ideal results’ like higher marks or an above-80 ATAR. But it may come across like that and they get burnt out. If only it were easy for teens to fuel like a car or charge up like phones. But it’s harder for them to recover from that kind of low-end on their own. 

Last year, our education strategists at Kalibrate-Ed found that students were burning out quicker than ever. In prior years, students not supported by a structured study strategy experienced a decline in performance and motivation in May or June. In 2023, we found the same dip in students as early as March and April, and the Easter holidays fell short of recharging their batteries. 

That’s why, aside from ensuring your child has all the right skills to boost their exam results and overall academic performance, we should also consider how they recharge themselves. Implementing an effective education strategy for teenagers also needs enough rest and opportunities to refuel. 

Amanda’s Success Story 

We met Amanda when she was a Year 11 student. During her HSCs, she had zero plans or a study strategy to finish her final year strong. Unlike her Olympic-level training and competition programme for swimming, she was just wading around and filling her schedule with school stuff but not getting anywhere she wanted. 

Amanda’s parents knew that athletic prowess wouldn’t be enough for her future success, so they reached out to us. We saw that her training and studying methods were too similar—it was uncanny. So why should she pick one when she could have both? Amanda and I worked together to create and implement a study strategy that would hit both her HSC goals and allow her to pursue her swimming commitments while making sure Amanda doesn’t spread herself too thin. 

Amanda was a real fighter. She wasn’t inherently motivated to study or born the physically strongest. While she was very bright and capable, she didn’t have the highest IQ score among everyone I’ve met. She also didn’t start her journey with good marks. But she reached the finish line with an ATAR over 98 and had full marks in History, and Society and Culture. Even if her school implied no support and recommended she drop English, she topped her cohort. She ranked 16th in the state and ranked 6th in the Nationals during HSC trials with recognition from the Australian Olympic Committee. 

There’s so much we can learn from Amanda’s story. By implementing the right strategy and a balanced approach to study and recharge, your child can focus their energy on the right areas. They can time their work with enough rest and breathing to make a full lap for success. At the end of the day, the HSCs and high school are like this: You can’t bring your A-game if you have no fuel left in your core when it counts. 

Find the Balance with Kalibrate-Ed 

Just like Amanda, at the elite swimming level, students have to get their strokes and breathing right. The timing of your strokes will propel you forward, but optimal breathing will get you ahead.  

Students must know how to breathe so they don’t lose oxygen and drown as they progress and their workload piles up throughout the year. So, when it comes to high school success, it all comes down to balancing your strong drive (stroke) to get the work done with your mental health (breathing).  


At Kalibrate-Ed, we emphasise the need for a holistic approach that equips your child with the right strokes and properly timed breathing, so they get all things done. That includes time management skills, organisation strategies, and sustained motivation. By developing these skills, we can address the common symptoms of ineffective study, like lack of self-drive, poor focus and addiction to devices, and overcome their bigger underlying issues. 

Our education strategists also utilise an outcome-focused approach in your child’s study strategy to consider their best results, like the entry requirements students face to secure an ideal ATAR and university prospects. That includes evaluating their academic skills, building resilience and future-casting their best possible outcomes.   

If you want to explore this for your child, we’re having a FREE live, practical session on how to help them create a balance between building momentum for higher end-of-year results and not burning out. Join us and our experts on mental well-being, focus and motivation in High School in Motion on Wednesday, 20th March at 7:00 PM on Zoom. 


Get Free Ticket Here