Growing to Learn, Learning to Grow
Handy Hints for Parents and Children...…………….
Children are more successful in school when parents take an active interest in their learning — it shows them that what they do is important.
Of course, helping with home learning tasks shouldn't mean spending hours hunched over a desk. Parents can be supportive by demonstrating study and organisation skills, explaining a tricky problem, or just encouraging children to take a break.
Here are some tips to guide the way:
1. Know the teachers — and what they're looking for. Attend school events, such as parent-teacher conferences, to meet your child's teacher. Ask about their home learning and how you should be involved.
2. Set up a learning-friendly area. Make sure children have a well-lit place to complete tasks. Keep supplies — paper, pencils, glue, scissors — within reach.
3. Schedule a regular study time. Some children work best in the afternoon, following a snack and play period; others may prefer to wait until after dinner. Some children work well when they are given a stopwatch or timer and work in short bursts, with breaks in-between.
4. Help them make a plan. When there is more than one task to do, encourage your child to break up the work into manageable chunks. Create a task schedule for the week/term if necessary.
5. Keep distractions to a minimum. This means no TV, loud music, or phone calls. (Occasionally, though, a phone call to a classmate about a task can be helpful.)
6. Make sure children do their own tasks. They won't learn if they don't think for themselves and make their own mistakes. Parents can make suggestions and help with directions. But it's a child's job to do the learning.
7. Be a motivator and monitor. Ask about tasks - practical, written and online. Give encouragement, check completed tasks, and make yourself available for questions and concerns. Check the quality is high enough and that tasks haven’t been rushed to get them done.
8. Set a good example. Do your children ever see you diligently balancing your budget or reading a book? Children are more likely to follow their parents' examples than their advice.
9. Praise their learning and efforts. Post a beautiful piece of writing or art project on the refrigerator. Mention academic achievements to relatives. Always praise effort.
10. If there are continuing problems with home learning, get help. Talk about it with your child's teacher. Some children have trouble seeing the board and may need glasses; others might need an evaluation for a learning problem or attention disorder. Some might need practical help on how to be organised. Some may simply need a pep talk to help motivate them.
Let’s work together to support our children!