Parents Can Help

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Help Us Help Your Children

Research today suggests that parents can help improve their children’s success in school. Many research studies carried out with parents of students who excel in school suggest that these parents are very involved in their children’s learning. The parents of exceptional students “encourage, equip, model behaviors, monitor, stimulate and coach” in order to help their children reach the goal of academic success.”

Reading

The home environment has an effect on a student’s aptitude and motivation for reading. When students see their parents enjoying reading they seem more inclined to read themselves. Students who have their own books and time to enjoy them are often better readers.

* use TV /movies to encourage reading
* let your child see you answering your own questions through reading
* tie your child’s interests to reading ( Any hobby, sport or vacation can encourage the reading habit)
* have a wide range of reading materials available at home
* read the same book and discuss it
* go to bookstores together and pick out books for each other
* remind children that reading everything quickly or everything slowly is the sign of a poor reader
* let your children know that you think books are valuable

Writing

Writing is often one of the most difficult and frustrating skills young people must master. Not only is writing a difficult process to master but is seems that our lifestyle often discourages writing, thus making it seem as if writing standards are decreasing. Writing is a skill that must constantly be practised.

* be an active audience for your child’s writing assignments
* read every piece of writing your child will share with you
* photocopy what your child has written and send it to an interested relative or friend
* children should be encouraged to keep a collection of best works
* encourage older students to help younger students write
* have children write messages on family greeting cards
* write a holiday journal
* encourage all types of journal writing
* write a journal with your child and respond to each other
* look at what children have written to hand in to class, not to correct, but to show interest
* listen to the student read their writing out loud
* read the child’s writing out loud to let him / her hear how it sounds
* ask the child to discuss what he / she wishes to write about before the actual writing begins
* encourage students to jot down words or ideas in preparation to write
* guide children to the correction of their own mistakes with questions rather than correcting the errors for them

Encourage/Discuss

An interesting research study done with younger children showed that those children whose parents talked to them before they went to school did better academically that those who hadn’t started the day with a positive conversation. Another researcher found that having a daily positive conversation about school increased the academic achievement of children considerably.

* talk about school often and help children reach realistic but ambitious goals
* ask to see what your child has done each day, ‘ nothing ‘ is not an acceptable answer
* encourage the student to teach you concepts learned in class in order to be sure that they know the material
* support the child by being happy, excited and proud when they do something well even if his / her grades are not that high
* riding in the car is an especially good time to talk, to play word games or for story telling
* don’t compare your child to others as everyone is unique ( they do it to themselves more than we realize)

All people do not learn the same way. The style a student uses often influences the way he/she learns. Often parents assume that the way they learn or their preferred style is the same as their children’s mode of learning.This is often not the case. When trying to assist your child learn it is often helpful to consider that your learning style and that of your child may not match. Just the realization of another’s style may alleviate or help ease tension at study time.

Mistakes

Many students go through life believing that failing or even just making a mistake is something to be avoided at all possible costs. To admit to a mistake or failure is viewed as a disgrace rather than as an opportunity to learn, grow and develop. Very few students feel that mistakes are helpful.

Every student needs to hear that everyone has failures in life. He/she needs to know that others, especially parents and teachers, have not only had failures, but have survived and learned from them.

Students who don’t confront their failures or weaknesses miss out on the opportunity to grow. Risk taking is often avoided and weaknesses are hidden rather than faced and turned into positive learning situations.
* a calm and gentle analysis of mistakes will help to increase risk taking and eventually knowledge acquisition
* allow students to be responsible for attaining excellence according to their talents and appropriate ability levels
* start by discussing your own mistakes and showing how you later succeeded
* try to minimize your child’s weaknesses by pointing out strengths
* give children an increasing number of opportunities for success at home
* encourage your child to do service work with others less fortunate or the elderly
* stress the confidence you have in your child
* reward approximations of desired behavior in order to increase your child’s confidence

Researchers suggest the C to C Ratio is the number of criticisms compared to the number of compliments.
Parent to Child C-C – average 12 to l ( 12 criticisms for each compliment)
Teacher to Student C-C average 18 to 1 ( 18 criticisms for each compliment)
Does this mean we are constantly critical of our children ? NO

The C-C ratio suggests we often only mention what we are concerned about. We, as parents,forget to tell our children when they have done well. We, as teachers, call home only when there is a concern, not when there is something to celebrate.

Remember: Play Games!!!!!!

 

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