The school year has just ticked over into its second half. After the recent holidays and the report card from the previous term you should know how your child is coping with their school work. At the start of a new school term, some parents might be a little worried about their child’s progress.
Godfrey Madanhire is a professional motivational speaker and was previously an educator for seven years. He has been approached by concerned parents on this very question at his seminars. These are his 5 top tips on how to help your child with their school work.
Help to organise their time
This is a crucial part of tackling this problem. Helping your child plan a schedule will not only make the tasks more manageable, but it is an important life lesson. Allowing them to make their own plans will help build their confidence. These plans can be put on a chart in their bedroom, or they can be programmed into their cell phones with reminders. However you choose to document a plan, you need to make sure they follow it until it becomes a routine.
Make sure they know that studying is their job
Often children think school is drag, especially when they are struggling to keep up. As a parent you need to make sure that they think of school work as a “job”, and help them to feel positive about it. Changing the way they think about school is a good first step in getting them to pay attention in class. This is a challenge, but once they’ve changed their outlook, they will start to pick up more from their lessons and improve their results.
Create an educational space at home
Allowing your children to have their own set space to learn is important. Practise makes perfect, so give them an area where they will enjoy working. If your home doesn’t have the extra space for them to learn in, dedicate an area in the kitchen or living room. Creating an environment that they associate with learning will make getting study time easier.
Learning is different to knowing
Often children learn a topic for a week, and then forget. As a parent you need to be involved in the process and be aware of what your child is learning, in order to help reinforce it. After a test is completed, drop into conversation some of the topics that they studied for. Depending on your child’s age, an example could be asking them to add up a bill at a restaurant, or encouraging them to read out loud a headline on a street pole. Parents need to understand after a lesson is learnt, your child needs to practice it until they perfect it, otherwise it will be forgotten.
Sometimes they should be teaching you
Only a person who can teach a subject knows it. Once your child has engaged with a subject for long enough the best way for you, as a parent, to cement the lesson is to ask them to tell you about it. Play dumb and ask what “9x9=” is, as an example, if they’re learning their times table. This might seem counter-intuitive, but it will help build confidence and school results will improve.
Does your child manage to study effectively at home?