Helping your Child Succeed at School
No matter how old your child is, or what grade level and stage of education they are at, as a parent you want to do the best you can to support them. Whether that’s helping them with homework, attending school performances, or creating an inspirational space for them to learn, there are plenty of ways you can help your child succeed at school.
We all want the best for our children and being part of their educational journey isn’t a one size fits all solution. You know your child best and what makes them thrive, but here’s a few tips and tricks to help you along the way.
Make Learning Fun
It’s important to not make home feel like a classroom. Young children spend a good percentage of their day sitting at a desk looking at a board, so when they come home create a learning environment that is a fun and interesting space to continue their education.
While they may think that maths, geography and languages are pretty dull and all about putting pen to paper, make these subjects interactive when out and about. If you’re doing the food shop, get them to recite products in French. If you’re on a road trip let them help with directions.
Alternatively use lego bricks for multiplications and dividing cake to bring maths alive. Involve games in the learning process and showcase the relevance of academic subjects with how they can help in future life. Succeed in your maths test and you could work with NASA on the space programme, or complete your Geography homework and you could be the next Bear Grylls.
Being more hands-on in school is certainly a great way to help your child succeed. Sign up to be school counsellors and have a say in the future of their learning, attend parent teacher conferences or get involved with school projects.
Perhaps you have a talent or spare time on your hands to help with some of the extracurricular school activities. Not only are you helping out the school, you’re also showing your child that you’re taking initiative and interest in school events. Also, being involved doesn’t necessarily mean being hands on at school. Be there for them at the end of school and ask about their day, their friends and things they’re looking forward to.
Meet Them in the Middle
There will be times when homework is the last thing on their mind, and all they want to do is go play with their friends or spend time on video games. Whether it’s the early days of learning to read or they’re in their final school year where exam revision is getting a bit heavy.
It’s all too easy to threaten them with taking something away until they complete their tasks, but this can make them even more frustrated. Instead set up a rewards system or meet them in the middle by offering down time in return for a solid hour of work.
Be there to tackle the tasks with them, so that they don’t feel alone and that they can come to you with any questions or issues. Also taking something away can be counter productive as this doesn’t reflect real adult life. Build on their self esteem and set good examples of the benefits of completing homework.
Sharing that it’s OK to Fail
Not every child gets top grades all the time. There will be instances where they don’t get the results they want. This is all part of their learning journey because it gives them the drive to do better next time and look to improve themselves. Don’t be hard on them and tell them of your own failures and how you overcome these.
On the other hand, don’t over praise either because their confidence may dwindle in the times that their results aren’t as successful. Failure is all part of the process and brings out inner strength.
Let them follow their passions. You can’t be good at everything, so this is also an opportunity for them to hone in on their interests. Having that time to talk means that they know you’re open to conversation and are understanding of what’s going on in their lives.
Taking time out is just as important as spending time at school and doing homework. It allows you to teach your child to relax and reset to be ready for the day ahead. Whether this is achieved through meditation, breathing exercises, active relaxation or exercise through sports and dance, it’s important to have a good balance.
Also, the opportunity to join out of school clubs such as scouts, girl guides, brownies, cubs, theatre or sports team are great extra curriculum activities which can support your child in their learning experience. Also, basic things like getting a good night’s sleep and nutritious meals will help in their development and keep them focused.
In this modern age children learn new subjects through all manners of technologies and methods. It may be a case where your school finds hands-on learning and textbooks the best methods, whilst at home child learning could be improved with online options. BBC Bitesize and educational videos are a great resource when giving children access to the internet in a safe space. They can use it to help with research and find answers.
If you’re nervous about them using the internet then keep the computer in a public room so that you can monitor their activity. Install a protection tool to help filter or restrict content, and limit screen time by scheduling in dedicated slots. We’ve certainly learnt over the last few years the benefits to online learning.
Be Their Inspiration
As someone they see every day, children look up to their parents for inspiration. It’s been proven that children copy the behaviour of the adults around them and are easily influenced by your actions.
Parental support is key, when at home be encouraging about their school work and show that you care. Be there for the highs and lows when you talk about the school day, and if they’ve had a positive report card give them praise. Also talk about your experience at school and how it shaped you to be the person you are today.
Positivity is the key to success when helping your child succeed at school. There will no doubt be a rollercoaster of emotions and even times when you have to do an internet search for some of their homework questions. The main thing is to show support and understanding throughout this pivotal point of their life which puts them in good stead for the future.
Visit Rendcomb College
Throughout the academic year, there are a number of events held at Rendcomb College for those looking to join our school. Our open days and information evenings offer attendees the chance to meet our subject teachers, Heads of Department, Houseparents, pastoral team and current students, making it the perfect insight into life at Rendcomb College. We hope that you will be able to develop a better understanding of the exceptional environment that we have here.