A great career more often than not comes from a having a good education. That said, the pathway to success can be heavily influenced by how much effort we contribute - not through nagging, pestering, or being helicopter parents - but by providing our kids with the healthy environment and habits that are conducive to effective learning.
- First things first - a good night's sleep is important if your child is to go to school fresh and maintain strong levels of concentration. Add to this by sending them off in the morning after enjoying a healthy breakfast which will also help maintain concentration levels
- Limit your child’s exposure to distractions and put a time limit on their use of electronic devices and TV viewing. For effective study conditions it is important for a parent to provide their child with a well-lit, quiet environment so that they can study free from distraction. Research has found that children who are constantly distracted while doing homework will only retain information on the periphery of memory which is not very useful for that history exam next week!
- Reading. One of the most important things you can encourage in your children is a good reading habit. It is important to get your child to read for at least 10 minutes a day to improve their comprehension skills which is the key to lifelong learning. Introduce them to the local library and provide them with the skills for self-learning and discovery
- Remember, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Apart from studying and doing tests, kids need time to participate in active types of learning for it is here that your child learns to ask questions, problem solve and learn about themselves and their interests. Active learning could be going to a friend’s party, seeing a musical or joining the local football team. The best thing is kids will be learning while not even realising they’re learning
- Bailing your kids out all the time doesn’t help them down the track. It is important to allow your child to learn the hard way about the consequences of their actions (or inactions) to allow them to build a sense of responsibility. If Sally has forgotten to pack her lunch in the morning, she may learn more (like organising to put it in her bag in the morning) through the reminder of an empty, churning stomach than from you running down and dropping it off
- Get involved with the school. Attend parent teacher nights to find out what challenges your child and what their curriculum will be for the year so that you can help them overcome any obstacles. Ask about extra programs available if your child is struggling
- Most important of all, be interested and positive. Ask your kids questions about their school day each night to reinforce the importance of their education (just wait until they’ve had something to eat first – nothing else will matter until their appetite is satisfied). Build in them a confidence in education and in its inherent value to their lives for the future.