Many parents, even those who have children excelling, wonder if there is more room for their child’s academic growth. The beginning of the school year is a perfect time to assess where your child is and set the stage for an exceptional year. With a few tweaks in your child’s work habits and their outlook on school, they have the potential to be exceptional performers.
Here are just a few ways to help your child grow into everything you know they can be.
outside of school
Children need more in their lives than just schoolwork. Let them pursue their passions outside the classroom. This gives them a mental and physical release and a chance to reset. That in turn allows them to learn better when it’s time to focus at school. Some extracurricular activities, such as music and sports, have a proven benefit to education.
However, even something like video games have a benefit too. It doesn’t have to be an activity where you see clear educational value. They may be learning in ways you can’t see. It’s also good for their emotional well-being to have the time to do what they love.
Not all children can learn in the same way. Making small changes in study habits so they accommodate your child will make a huge difference.
For example, some children will want to sit at a desk in complete silence, while others may opt to be in the kitchen while you make dinner to have some background noise. You’ll find some children need a break after school; others can jump right into homework. The format for learning can vary for each child too. One child may choose to read to retain their information where another may need to see pictures or hear the information. Support your child and their decision about where and how they study.
Set clear expectations
for your child
If your child is a straight B student and you’ve been praising them for that you may not see them challenge themselves to get As. If you are a parent who wants to see your child push themselves a little bit continue the praise but be sure to let them know there is room for growth. Set clear expectations so they know what you expect but be sure to stay supportive and positive.
Focus on their abilities and not the grades. You want them to know it’s about what they can achieve and not just about getting a better grade. They may lose motivation if it becomes about the grades.
Encourage a little bit
Having a child step out of their comfort zone fosters intellectual curiosity. It’s this curiosity that can make a child a truly exceptional student. They look at every angle of the information being presented to them and really process the information rather than just memorizing it.
Encourage them to ask questions in class and ask for assignments that may seem difficult but piques their interest. This will translate into all areas of learning. You’ll see written pieces sparkle with personality and not just text that regurgitates the information they learned.
Problem solving will involve out-of-the box thinking. They may also be more involved in class because they are less scared to make a mistake.
Above all let your child be themself and lead the way. Be engaged and supportive through the process but remember it’s their process. You’ll be surprised at all the areas your child can grow. It may come in the form of them taking ownership of projects, finishing tasks on time, participating in class, being excited to go to school, or coming home and sharing the information they’ve learned.
Have an exciting and growth-filled year!
Vanessa Banks is Co-Founder of Kernel Creative Media and the marketing strategist for Sylvan Learning of Clifton Park and Albany. For more information, visit SylvanLearning.com.