Almost every parent dreams to see their children do well in school and in life after that. For a child to do well in school, most parents are under the impression that it is the teacher’s job to see that the child does well. Come Parent’s Day at school, most parents whose children did not do so well are up in arms to blame the teachers for poor performance.
The truth is, although your child spends a good seven to eight hours in school, they spend even more time at home. It would be unfair to completely blame a teacher if your child does not perform well at school. You may not have a degree in education to help your child, but as a parent, there are several thing you should take upon yourself to see your child succeed in education and loves the process of learning.
1. Make Revision Interesting
Your child will come home with notes from their classes at school. They are expected to do a lot of memorizing especially for subjects such as History and Geography. It is your job to teach your child the best ways to understand these facts because if they're not able to understand it, memorizing facts would be meaningless. Information stays longer with children when they understand how and why something works.
One of the best ways I used for my children was the creation of note cards with mind maps on them. We made these colourful cards together at first so they knew exactly how it works. Turned out that they had so much fun making these colourful mind maps with short notes of every chapter on cards, we applied this to all the subjects with data to be remembered. The children were able to memorize so much more easily not only because everything was in note form, but because the whole experience of doing it was so much fun.
Find the best revision technique that suits your child and use that to teach them, help them and guide them through revision till they are comfortable enough to do it themselves. That is your job.
2. Aim High
You don't have to turn into a Tiger Mum, but you need to spell out your expectations as a parent. Your child will perform well if they know they are expected to. Parents who brush off mentoring as purely a teacher’s job will find that their children are not as motivated as others are. Constant mentoring and motivating is a parent’s job as much as it is a teacher’s role.
Mentoring a child is a delicate affair. You don’t want to sound too strict, but you do want them to realize the importance of working hard. Setting some reasonable goals is one great way to set standards. Talking to them about high achievers who have made it in life because of good study habits is another way.
3. Conducive Environment
Where does your child study when they are at home? I have seen, to my horror, several homes where the study area is either in front of the television, or in a noisy part of the house that is filled with distractions. Your child’s study area should be in a quiet area where they can concentrate. I usually do not advice study tables and beds to be in the same room. With this arrangement, the child who starts at the study table, will soon end up in the bed and asleep. The study area should be in a study room. If that is not available, the dining table is the perfect place, with the television turned off, of course. For younger children, it helps them emotionally when a parent sits with them when they study. You can sit with them while you check your own emails to give them company and to occasionally assist them should they need your help.
However, different child has different learning style and if you have more than one child, you might notice how one might prefer a quiet and peaceful environment while another needs to have some sort of background music or white noise in order for him or her to concentrate. Discover and respect your child learning style and use that to his or her advantage rather than setting a rigid or regimented environment.
4. Study Time
Just like your child has a sleeping time, a meal time and free time, study time should be in their time table too. Start early on this habit and you will save yourself a lot of reminding later. It is essential for your child to allot some study time after they have had a chance to unwind after a long day at school. This will help them concentrate better and even enjoy what they are doing. To help your child likes his or her study time, look at your child’s daily pattern and help them allocate a study time by asking them to choose a reasonable slot when they would like to study.
Last but not least, set a good example by taking your work seriously. If you are the kind of person who works on time, completes your won targets at home on time and follows a schedule, you will be more likely to have a child that follows a pattern. If you enjoy lounging around the house with no direction, chances are your child will follow suit.
It takes a little bit more effort to help your child with his or her school lessons at home, but the journey and process would be one that both of you will enjoy.