Helping your child to achieve academic success
Achieving academically depends on a wide range of factors. There’s a lot more to it than simply putting in hour after hour of homework and revision, and there’s certainly more to be gained from school than high test results. To help your child to acquire the knowledge and skills to do well in life, it’s best to consider their mental health, physical health and motivating interests.
Here are some tips to help you get started on making your child’s school days easier and their future brighter.
Start with the basics
The first step to maximising any child’s classroom performance is to check their basic needs are being met. As a parent, this means ensuring your child has a healthy diet, engages in regular physical exercise and, most importantly, gets enough sleep. According to America’s National Sleep Foundation, that means 8 to 12 hours a night, depending on their age. Encouraging your child to avoid the glare of electronic screens for an hour or two before bedtime will help their brain to enter sleep mode more easily.
Be the rock they need
Reassure your child by being present and showing them you love them. If they start to believe your emotions and sense of their worth depend on academic success, they are likely to feel very insecure. Simply provide your support, show them you’re there no matter what, and they’ll thrive.
Help them to be organised
Time management is one of the most important life skills, so help your child to understand the benefits of allocating time for specific activities, avoiding procrastination, staying focussed on one activity at a time and celebrating when it all comes together each day. Show them how to avoid feeling overwhelmed by breaking tasks into smaller steps and doing a little bit at a time. Forty-five minutes of genuine study every single day will always be far more beneficial than seven hours straight before a test or assessment deadline. Helping your child to create a quiet study corner with minimal distractions is a good way to start.
Let them unwind
Pushing your child to work all the time will only lead to burn out and resentment of everything school represents. To avoid this, ensure they schedule regular private time to indulge in whatever they want, and time out of the house to unwind in nature or by doing sports. To help your child develop their own interests, encourage them to pursue things that that make them happy and are completely unrelated to academic studies. Unwinding activities make great self-motivators and mini-rewards for completing more challenging tasks. The activities are also more enjoyable when you know the must-do challenging tasks are complete or under control.
Lead by example
As with all things, leading by example is the best way to encourage healthy eating, exercise, sufficient sleep, good time management and a well-balanced life. If you preach to your child about how important it is to invest in yourself and work hard without actually doing those things yourself, they’re unlikely to believe you. Show them how you admire academic people, talk about academic successes in the news and put effort into your own career. Your child is bound to take notice and apply your habits to their own life.
Tutor your child
Sometimes children need a little more help to get a better grasp of the material being taught at school. While there’s a certain benefit to encouraging them to find their own solutions to problems, first you need to make sure they understand the basics. Rather than asking them how their day was, ask them what they learned today. Set some time aside so you can be available and encourage them to explain what they learned or show you how it’s done. Do your best to help them overcome any knowledge gaps that appear. As long as they are given a little more attention and have things explained again, most kids can manage even the toughest learning challenges.
If you’re wondering whether after school tuition could help, at NumberWorks’nWords we offer a free no-obligation assessment of your child’s strengths and weaknesses. It only takes about 20 minutes and is carried out by a trained educator. Your child can also try a free lesson with one of our tutors. If you decide to continue with us, we’ll develop an individual plan to address your child’s knowledge gaps and boost their confidence. If you don’t want to continue, that’s fine. At least you’ll have a better idea of how your child is progressing and where they need help to improve.
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