If the COVID-19 induced school break had an impact on your little one’s academic performance, or you’re generally looking for tested and trusted tips on how to improve your child’s performance in school, you found the article for you.
Eight ways you can achieve this include:
1. Talk It out
To motivate your child to do well in school, it’s important to get your child’s opinion on their abilities and preferences.
First, hear them out.
This way, they’ll be more receptive to hearing you out and you’ll be in a better position to offer your own observations as to where their greatest strengths lie.
For example, you can ask, “What’s your favorite subject in school? Why do you like that subject?” or “What’s your least favorite subject in school?
Is it because you’re not interested in the subject or you think it’s too hard or you don’t like the teacher?”
Try not to dismiss your child’s interests if they don’t match your own.
For example, if your child loves literature and you rarely read, don’t tell your child that literature is lame.
Instead, find a way to support your child’s interest—like giving him or her access to YouTube to watch educational cartoons.
2. Make Your Child Fall In Love With Learning
Learning is a hundred times more difficult if it is seen as a chore. Many of us didn’t like maths in school because we perceived it as hard and scary.
Research by different psychologists has proven time and time again that a good mood makes you smarter, more creative, engaged, and more willing to persist at a difficult task.
So, if you can encourage your child to fall in love with learning, then the rest is easier.
For example, instead of talking to your child about how they “have” to go to school, talk about school as an opportunity for your child to learn interesting things and see their friends every day.
The key is to set them up with a positive mindset that is pre-programmed to help them improve their performance in school.
3. Figure Out Your Child’s Learning Style
Children learn in diverse ways.
Therefore, a good place to start in finding how to improve your child’s performance in school is figuring out whether he/she is primarily an auditory, visual, or tactile learner.
To uncover your child’s learning style, pay attention to how they try to figure out a math problem.
If yours is a visual learner, they will probably want to see a picture of the quantities in the problem.
If you’ve got an auditory learner, they may want to recite the problem out loud.
A tactile learner, will want to touch real objects that represent the quantities in the problem.
4. Help Your Child Set Goals
Goals are important for humans (children inclusive) to measure their progress and to feel a sense of accomplishment.
Thus, the right goals can help motivate your child to put in the extra effort to do well in school. And please, write them down.
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Just like adults, they too are more likely to put the effort into completing a goal if it’s written down.
When you do this, post the list on the refrigerator or on their bedroom door so it’s as obvious as can be.
Also, the best kinds of goals are the really specific ones. Instead of a general goal like “improve reading comprehension,” make the goal specific, like: “raise English grade from C- to B+.”
5. Establish A Relationship With Your Child’s Teacher
Building a relationship with your child’s teacher serves two purposes. First, it shows your child that you’re personally involved with their learning experience.
Besides, children naturally like people they see us relate well with. If they like their teacher, liking what they teach them becomes easier.
Second, it allows you to voice questions and concerns with the teacher and get their first-hand perspective on how to help your child do their best.
Also, make it a habit to attend PTA meetings.
It is the time your teacher sets aside to talk with you directly about your child’s performance and how they might improve.
6. Use Descriptive Words To Encourage Your Child
In place of evaluative praise that involves judgments like “good” and “bad,” descriptive words simply relate true observations, such as “you got all of your homework done on time.”
The downside of praise such as “this is really good” is that your child will come to rely on someone else’s assessment.
On the other hand, descriptive words such as, “This summary really demonstrates your understanding of the essay” are just an observation and have no evaluative judgment.
Hence, it will teach your child to form his/her own positive self-assessment.
7. Acknowledge Your Child’s Efforts
Children are more likely to feel motivated to keep trying when their efforts, rather than their accomplishments, are acknowledged.
Acknowledging your child’s efforts lets them know that hard work (effort) is more valuable than specific results.
Have You Read: How To Know Your Child’s Learning Style
If your child does well on a test, comment on their hard work. E.g., “Your hard work really paid off on this test.”
Still encourage your child even if they don’t do well.
When your child doesn’t perform up to their expectations, provide encouragement in the form of constructive advice about how they can do better next time.
For instance, if your child does poorly on a math test despite studying hard, tell them that the two of you will work on a different study method for the next test.
8. Use Their Career Goals To Boost Their Academic Performance
Leverage your child’s dreams or career goals to boost their academic interest and performance in school.
For a middle school or high school student, this could mean taking them on a tour to their dream University and meeting with a dean or the Vice-Chancellor.
Such an exercise can help them visualise their life on campus, and likely encourage them to be more studious in pursuit of their long-term goals.
You could also try to arrange a day for your child to meet someone in their goal profession (a mentor of sorts).
If your child really wants to be a Medical Doctor, for example, arrange for him or her to visit a doctor and have a conversation with them.
Hearing from a ‘senior colleague’ the kind of skills and education they will need to succeed will surely motivate them to be more academically proactive.
Try these tips out and you will find that they will improve your child’s performance in school.
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