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


Helping Children Succeed in School - What Works Best?

By Andrew Loh

As soon as the summer is over, it time again for your children to go to school and attend classes for another year. The hangover of summer holidays is sure to haunt children for sometime before they devote their time again for classroom studies, tests and good grades. With the opening of new academic year, children brace themselves for another round of lessons, tests, exams and results. With the onset of new academic year, children will also need to work hard and show their abilities and academic performance. Ensuring children's academic success in schools becomes a top priority for every parent. They may need to work hard along with their children to perform well in the classroom.

Sure enough, every parent also wants their children perform better in their classes. Parents also hope for a wonderful academic year for their children. Ensuring success in school is a dedicated partnership between the parents and their children. Classroom success starts right in children's home. Home is where children get their support for classroom success. Home is like a warm shell where children work together with their parents to master whatever they learn in the classroom.

Classroom or school success depends on several factors some of which are external, while others are internal. Changing or altering internal parameters may look difficult although with persistent efforts it is still possible to make children cover up their deficiencies. Some of the internal factors that affect school success are as follow:

  • Genetic and hereditary factors those are difficult to change. By birth, some children are average in their scholastic abilities. It is very difficult to reverse their trait as it is already acquired by some children.

  • Illnesses or deficiencies related to mental growth and brain development. This is also a difficult trait that is difficult to transform or change.

  • Lack of will power, dedication, negative mindset and inferiority complex are some of the most negative factors that can pull down children and their classroom performance.

On the other hand, some of the external factors that affect children's classroom performance are as follow:

  • Non-cooperative attitude of parents. Though most of the parents show a keen interest in supporting their children towards classroom success, some parents may not be able to support their children in their homes, especially in helping their children to do home or project work.

  • Non-cooperation from teachers and classroom staff could be the other reason for failure to achieve classroom success. Parents may need to visit teachers from time to time to keep a watch on their children's classroom performance.

  • Failure to use proper study methods and techniques. In many cases, these factors assume importance, because success in school depends on many other factors that relate to techniques and methods of study and research.

The most important key to school success comes simply from parents talking and listening to their children, their needs and requirements. Children will develop an interest and keenness to perform better in their classroom, when parents show an interest in what their children have to say and express. Expressing ideas is a very good way for your children to perform better in their classroom. When parents help their children express their mind, they will assisting them to open up their mind in the classroom.

The importance of positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement works like a magic portion for your children. The surefire way to ensure classroom success is to make your children positive and hopeful. Your children need reassurance about their abilities to perform better in the classroom. Positive words and encouraging environment within the four walls of the home will urge your children to study hard and score better marks. A positively lit mind can achieve many things that are difficult to imagine and believe. Make it a point to reinforce positivity in your children.

Examples of positive keywords:

  • You can do it

  • You have the ability

  • You can study hard

  • You can score better grades

  • I am so impressed about your abilities

Talk to your children and do it everyday

Talking on a consistent basis will provide your children a gateway to vent their feelings, anger, displeasure, happiness, sadness, fears, dreams, aspirations, worries and goals. Parents who listen to their children, will give an opportunity for them to express their intelligence and talent, without thinking about being right or wrong as in the case of a typical classroom. Ask open ended questions that lead to answers. Make sure that you are drawing your children out to know what is in their minds. Seek and ask for imaginative and speculative answers that give an insight on your children's abilities.

Help your children hone their memory power

When you challenge your children to give detailed answers and expressions, you are deliberatively helping them develop sharp memory skills. It will also help your children the skills of better communication and conversation. Your children will also develop problem solving skills that are so essential for school success. According to Oakes and Lipton (academic experts), “exploration, discovery and play are the work of the child scientists.” These abilities can come only when they develop the essential skills of imagination and exploration.

Accept your children's limitations

Not all children are created equal. Some children are extremely sharp in their studies, while others are not so good. However, some children could be very talented and skilled in other activities like sports, arts, panting, writing or even music. Accept your children's limitations and work on their talents instead. Nurture those talents and skills that come naturally to your children. Pay attention to what your children like and perform better.

Once you know and understand your children's mind, you can then use some time-tested and well-known methods and ways that can help them perform better in their school. Continue to read Helping Children Succeed in School - 20 Practical Tips


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