I don’t remember the exact date, but I was paying a visit to my uncle’s house and the very first thing that caught my ears was my aunt lecturing my nephew. He is currently at fourth-grade and was constantly fairing badly in his routine exams. After a warm cup of tea, my aunt was busy complaining how every morning my nephew will make new excuses and try to evade school.
After listening to all her complaints and sorrows regarding her son, I placed in front of her this simple question: Is the fault your son’s or yours? To this, both my uncle and aunt gave me a look of utter surprise, and I felt like as if I had just demanded the ownership of their property.
In most cases, it is us who fail to train our kids properly for school and expect them to learn everything on their own. As we very well know, schooling is totally a new chapter in life, and it involves a lot of new things. Your kid will now spend most of their time here, and this needs preparation.
“It is much easier to build a child than repair an adult.”
With evolving time, the education system has also evolved, and it’s more competitive than ever before. Hence, to spare you from making the same mistakes as my aunt did, here are 5 tips that you need to follow if you want your precious one to prosper in life.
- Prepare your kid for the first day.
It’s said that charity begins at home. So does education. This does not mean that I am asking you to start teaching your kids all the expected subjects beforehand. I am talking about the form of education known as mental preparation.
Talk to your child from about a week before. Tell them when he/she is expected to get up, brush their teeth and get ready. When the bus is expected to arrive and who all will be their company while riding. Teach them about subject periods, the bell system, who teachers are and what all they might learn.
Take your time and teach them as much as possible. What this does is take the fear and nervousness away. You may argue that your child is too small to understand nervousness, but you have to accept that you are no expert in child psychology.
- Set a routine and teach them time management.
This is perhaps the most important lesson you may give your child. Time management is of utmost necessity and can do wonders to your child’s grades. Teach them things like shower should not take more than 15 minutes and breakfast should be completed in 20 minutes max.
Also, set proper time spans for your kids to complete their homework and keep time slots for TV and outdoor games. Remember, recreation is primary in any child’s growth, and this is what we parents seem to neglect.
I tell my child that she can watch her favorite cartoon if she completes her homework in time. She does it perfectly as she is not ready to miss a single episode. Also, she knows that she has to go to bed at a fixed time and is hardly late for her school bus.
- Talk and ask for daily updates from your child.
Remember that scene from the movie ‘Despicable Me 2’ where Gru takes time out and listens to Agnes’ speech about mothers? Do you do that with your child? I mean, do you take time out and actually sit with your child to talk. Talking with them isnecessary, and it can make school fun. This will make your kids actually excited about school, and they won’t turn out like my nephew.
Ask them what their teachers taught or what they played during recess. Ask them to read out their essays to you and present them with a gift for their commendable work. Correct their mistakes in a positive way. Again, don’t correct them every single time as your child may feel that you are doing it just to correct mistakes.
A little involvement and appreciation can do wonders and see how motivated your child gets. You may even see them ready for school before you are for work.
- Create the perfect homework environment.
Just allotting time slots for your child to complete their assignments doesn’t help. You also need to create the perfect environment. Switch off the TV and all forms of audio systems in the house during that time slot. I understand that this is asking a lot, but sacrifice is needed for your child’s sake.
What happens is that even if the TV is on and your child can’t hear it, he/she will remain distracted and will either not complete their homework or do it mechanically with a lot of mistakes. Trust me, pending work and this dragging into your child’s TV time, are enough to repel your child from school and homework.
Want ideas about how to make your child’s study area homework-friendly? There are online homework service providers who maintain blogs regarding this and similar issues. Visit their pages and find out.
- Play your part but don’t overdo it.
What happens is that after reading such articles, we become so convinced that we end up overdoing certain stuff. I have seen parents providing their children with high-tech gadgets with high-speed internet and claiming that those are for their education. Instead, the child uses it to play the recent available games, and the education-friendly gadget turns out to be a major distraction.
Also, there is a recent trend to get a private tutor for almost every subject. I am not saying that they are not necessary, but certainly not for every single subject. Your child may be good at one subject, and a tutor is not required in this particular case. This will save you some bucks and help you provide for other necessary items for your child.
A tutor is not the solution to every educational problem. At times, it may work against your child’s educational growth and affect his/her grades adversely. Before employing a tutor, ask yourself “Do private tuitions actually help? Your child may become over-dependent.”
Always keep in mind this perfect and apt saying, “A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.”
It is true that an unprepared child may find school all too overwhelming. Doesn’t it happen to us adults in work as well? If he/she knows what to expect or even have a glimpse of the same, things will be easier, and he/she will learn faster. These simple but important steps can go a long way to help your kid. And as for the grades, you will see the results if your child is properly motivated.
So, stop blaming your child for every single thing that happens to his/her education. Take a moment and access yourself. It is never too late to start and even if your child is already into schooling, things like time management and homework environment setup can still be taught. Do your part and see your child grow.