Friday, April 15, 2016

Starting Them Strong: Unlocking the Ability to Learn in Your Child

Every parent wants to raise a child that makes them proud. However, it’s much healthier for the child to feel good about their own achievements. Children evolve through school and some find their strengths related to particular subject areas whether it be English, Mathematics, Science, etc. Some children do better than others in school. Part of doing well is related to understanding how to study, learn, and retain information. Teach your children to be better students so they can take that knowledge and apply it in each classroom. 


Preparation



It may seem ‘geeky’ to peers to be excited about a particular class, yet preparation usually makes a difference when it comes to retention and ongoing confidence. Star students read preliminary materials, skim ahead through textbooks, and research information online before they start taking a class or to supplement classroom materials. 


Organization



A lot of students get poor grades because they are not well organized or prepared for an upcoming exam. Many adults can relate to the notion of cramming before a big test. Unfortunately, such actions are not conducive to getting good grades overall or doing well on individual tests. Great students are organized and learn how to allocate time, balancing studying with socializing, chores, alone time, etc.

Notation and Review


Students who perform well take notes in class or while they study. Such practice reinforces learning and exposes the student to the information in various ways. Reading the information, writing it down, reciting it out loud, and then later reviewing or quizzing oneself, greatly improves the potential for retention. Taking notes is like studying a bit at a time rather than waiting until a few days before a test to cram.


Self Analysis



A bit of self analysis is required to become a great student. Some students are better auditory learners; they enjoy lectures or listening to podcasts to retain information. Others are visual learners and need to read information or watch videos; when they go to answer a test’s question, they remember seeing the information in a book passage or within an online video. Understanding how they best retain information, and their preferences for receiving information, is an incredible asset to a young student. Having students take the WISC test can give them greater clarity regarding areas of intelligence aside from math and reading.


Curiosity



Exceptional students are curious, whether that means having the courage to raise their hand and ask questions in class, choosing a study buddy, or taking the initiative to approach others, such as working professionals, to further their knowledge related to a subject. Encourage your kids to ask questions and remember the only silly question is the one not asked.


Commitment



Remind students that going to school and taking classes requires a commitment. Just like joining a baseball team or volunteering to help older people buy groceries, being a student necessitates consistency and dedication. Students need to attend classes, pay attention, do their homework, and turn in all assignments on time. Waiting until the night before to study for a test or complete an assignment shows a lack of commitment and dedication.


David Carter is studying child psychology, and has a daughter of his own who just turned 4. He enjoys seeing how his daughter is developing, and helping her grow in every way he can. He writes for a number of blogs in his spare moments.

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