School success for your child
Parents seem to be experiencing increasing pressure regarding their children’s education. Everyone wants their child to read well, be at (or near) the top of the class academically, and thrive socially at school.
How can we best prepare our children for success at school?
The best answer to this challenging question is, it depends.
Specifically, it depends on what you consider success.
Politicians and education boards argue that success at school is principally about achieving strong scholastic outcomes. If academic superiority matters most to you, then you may wish to prepare your child for success by encouraging reading at home, arranging for tutoring in maths, science, or other useful topics, and focusing on good study habits from a young age. However, some evidence suggests that this type of approach may not be helpful for some children, particularly when they are young.
Some people prefer to define success at school in much broader terms than simply a test score. For example, a test score will not describe how much a child loves learning, how curious a child is, nor will it emphasise the creative skills a child has developed. Test scores fail to give insight into a child’s outlook on life, whether he or she is optimistic, resilient, flexible, and able to work independently.
In order to help your child be well-rounded, balanced, happy, and accomplish appropriate goals academically, here are three useful suggestions.
Parenting tip 1: Minimise Screen Time
Too much time on the Internet or watching television and movies will reduce your children’s chances for success at school in two important ways. First, television and Internet use limit your child’s opportunities for social interaction. Second, television and Internet use affect your child’s interest in reading, doing projects, experiential discovery and play, or participating in extra-curricular activities that are significantly more enriching than screen time. Most experts suggest no more than one hour of television per day for primary school-aged children.
Parenting tip 2: Develop Extra-Curricular Interests
Sport and music are two examples of extra-curricular activities that can be worthwhile for children to participate in. Research illustrates that children who are involved in sports get higher school grades, have an increased sense of self-worth, and are more likely to complete high school than children who are not involved in sport. Children involved in sports are also generally healthier due to their increased activity, and have stronger social networks than children who do not participate in sport.??Children involved in music activities (such as learning a musical instrument) are often better adjusted, with increased academic performance, ability to think creatively, emotional understanding, and emotional expression. Children involved in music typically have better memory skills than those who are not musically trained.
Parenting tip 3: Foster the Idea of Practice and Mastery
Some children believe that they are either good at something or they are not good at it. They may try it once or twice, but failure will make them give up. Other children have been taught by their parents that to succeed is to practice. These children have parents who have emphasised the importance of learning through mistakes, setbacks, failures, and practice.
Studies show that children who believe they’re no good at something often won’t even try. But children who believe that to be good at something requires practice and hard work are willing to get stuck in, make mistakes, and keep trying until they get it right.
By teaching your children that if they keep trying they can do anything, they will persist, master, and succeed!
Find more study tips:
- Understanding learning styles
- Auditory learning style
- Kinaesthetic learning style
- Visual learning style
- Preparing your child for school success
- Does your child need a tutor?
- Fostering curiosity - how to engage your child in education
- How to get kids off the internet and into their school books
- Study tips for kids
- Creating motivation for school work
- Why extra-curricular activities boost study skills
- Reducing exam stress
- Going to high school
- School readiness
- Easy homework ideas
- 5 ways to keep kids organised at school
- The great homework debate
Ready Set Learn
This article was written for Kidspot by Justin Coulson, Ph. D. Justin is a relationships and parenting expert, author and father of five children. Find him on Facebook, Twitter, and at happyfamilies.com.au.