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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Ensuring Educational Achievement in Children - Practical Tips

By Andrew Loh

Helping children to achieve the best in classrooms and elsewhere is a challenging task. A complex strategy involves a series of skills. Parents and teachers may also need to develop verbal, visual, kinesthetic, auditory and cognitive skills in their children. In essence, education achievement may include academic, scholastic and a range of other activities those are unrelated to the former two activities. Some of the examples are as follows:

Classroom studies, project work and summative assessment: Here summative assessment is the results obtained after conducting a series of classroom tests and quizzes. Summative assessment is the summary of results procured by children after their teachers evaluate their classroom performance.

Scholastic achievements: All other academic achievements other than the above-mentioned ones are graded as scholastic achievements. These could include activities like IQ tests, debate and essay competition and a series of activities related to literature.

Non-classroom and non-scholastic achievements: A child should succeed in activities other than traditional classroom achievements. These activities are as important and critical as any other classroom related activities. Children may have a series of skills and talents along with academic abilities. Parents should help their children achieve excellence in these areas as well. Some of these activities are as follows:

  • Fine arts like drawing, painting, collage, de-collage, assemblage, calligraphy, music, dance, drama, theatre and photography.

  • Indoor and outdoor sports like Tennis, Football, Chess, track racing etc.

  • Brain enhancing activities, games and exercises: Playing with brain boosting toys, board and block games, word games, solving puzzles and riddles

Note: Most of these activities should focus on developing multiple intelligences as suggested by Howard Gardner. By developing these abilities, your child will develop cognition, muscle coordination, muscle to mind coordination, auditory, sensory, visual, imagination and kinesthetic skills. In summary, all these abilities and skills will help the children to get better marks and grades their classroom.

Achieving excellence in education starts at home. Developing primary skills like verbal, tactile and cognition will help children lay a strong foundation for future success in school. Parents may want to develop a generalized technique that stresses on a “demonstrate how-to” approach, while training their children. Experts agree that modeling approach is the best way to teach your children. If you show and demonstrate them how to do or perform activities, you will help them enhance their natural curiosity. Once children develop very high levels of curiosity, they will need appropriate resources to kick-start learning process.

Some of the resources that you can provide children are:

  • Picture story books

  • Note books

  • Craft paper

  • Drawing books

  • Clay model

  • Crayons

  • Water color boxes

  • Board games

  • Word games

  • Riddles

  • Puzzles

Note: All these basic learning tools will model learning by doing and repeating. In addition, children will also develop reading, writing and speaking skills.

Parent-children interaction

Nothing happens until parents take an active part in the learning process. You should provide children enough opportunities to learn and master different skills. The main goals of this learning process are to develop reading, writing and basic math skills. Here is how you can help children streamline their basic learning skills:

Learning starts at birth: Remember that learning starts right after birth. How well your young baby learns different skills within the first year of its birth will decide the future level of academic excellence in the classroom. Provide enough learning opportunities during this time.

Children are good learners: Accept the fact that children are very good learners. To enhance learning, you should cultivate the skills of inquisitiveness and curiosity that eventually leads to academic excellence.

Demonstrate and show how: Modeling is the best form of learning. You should demonstrate and display how things and lesson are learnt and mastered. Show your children how they can learn by modeling. Let them take the learning process and proceed to master the basics.

Read and recite: Read stories and lessons to your child and make it a regular practice. Reading is a great habit and those who learn at an early age will gain academic excellence.

Develop relationship with teachers: Make time to meet your children's teachers. Attend school meetings without fail. If you perceive that there are some problems, do not hesitate to contact them to rectify situations.

Identify your children's talents, skills and aptitudes: Every child has his or her own talents and skills. Try to identify them and nurture them so that they can achieve excellence in a specific area.

Allow exploration and investigation: You should allow your children the art of exploration and investigation. Curiosity breeds learning by investigation.

Tips for ensuring educational excellence

  1. Help children in their homework and projects. However, never ever do their work as your own. Help them with tips and suggestions.

  2. Monitor their progress on a daily basis. Note down if there are any discrepancies. Contact their teachers in case of any problems.

  3. Try to find out weaker learning areas. Improve them by seeking help from teachers.

  4. Is your child a slow learner? Try to find it out. If he or she is a slow learner, contact the teacher to discuss how he or she can help create an effective learning process.

  5. Try to find out the learning style of your children. Children learn in different styles and modes. Some children are kinesthetic in nature, while others are auditory in approach. The former style may pose some problems in a traditional classroom. If your children are of that type, then you may need to combine different learning techniques to promote auditory learning.

Every parent thinks that his or her children are intelligent, smart and skilled. However, no child in this world is complete and perfect. Invariably, every child will have some areas of deficiency that might impede achieving academic excellence. Parents should try to find out such areas and help them achieve educational excellence.

Featured Resource

You Can Do It: How to Boost Your Child's Achievement in School
By Michael E. Bernard, Ph.D

Bernard, the founder of You Can Do It! Education, blends scientific data on pedagogy, personality, and brain chemistry with practical tips on getting children to do homework, improve test performance, set and reach goals, manage time, and achieve their potential. What parents do is key to their child's achievement: certain parenting manners, such as calmness, firmness, involvement in education, and using motivational methods, exert a positive influence on academic performance.

What children do--habits of mind such as risk taking, independence, optimism, high tolerance for frustration, and internal locus of control for learning--is also key, contributing to happiness as well as educational achievement.


Featured Resource


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