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Top Tips for Your Child’s Academic Success

child-studyingAcademic success is important in a child’s life as it can help to shape the future. There are many things you can do to help your child or children succeed and they all start at home. Keep track of your child’s school activities, set up a consistent routine and ensuring that they have enough rest are simple tips that will help them to excel in school. In addition, parents who are involved in their children’s education help to foster the learning experience.

  •  Start a homework routine. Set a certain schedule for your child to do homework every day. If there is no homework assigned for the day, encourage your child to study and review the week’s assignments. Constantly reviewing information helps to instill the knowledge in your child’s brain, thereby helping them to gain better insight into the lessons.
  • Sleep is important because it allows your brain to recharge itself. If your child does not get enough sleep, it will affect their performance in school and out of school. Sleep is necessary for the body to function properly so make sure your child gets at least eight hours of sleep each night.
  • Take an interest in your child’s academics. It may have been a long time since you were in school, but you should still be able to check your child’s homework and assist them when necessary. Reading with children is a good way to spark interest in learning; it is also a good way to spend quality time with your child in a low-key manner.
  • Keep your child organized when it comes to school activities. Have your child carry a planner for teachers to record assignments in. Also, keep a wall calendar in your house with your child’s schedule and assignments. This will help to avoid any missing assignments and will also let you know how frequently your child studies.

Helping your child to succeed in school is one of your biggest jobs as a parent. Without establishing a routine in the household for both homework and bedtime, it can be very easy for a child to lose interest in school work. Not getting enough sleep and not being organized can affect your child’s function in school as well. By utilizing the top tips you are helping to establish your child’s academic success.

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Being Engaged in our Children’s Education: – “What is it you do in school today?”

learning_stylesI keep remind myself the need for parents to be involved in their children’s education.

As a mum I want to know what’s going on with my son. And I had a number of interesting challenges to the very idea and I want to share it with you.

A friend repeated to me Einstein’s famous saying that “education is what’s left after you forget all the facts they taught you in school.” “Leave the teaching to the school and concentrate on educating your child” he said. To him, being involved in his children’s education meant providing them with parallel real life experiences and he couldn’t care a fig about tonight’s homework assignments; they are the responsibility of the child, and not the parent.

A mother of two teens commented that the best gift she could give her daughters was that of trust and self confidence. She wasn’t getting involved in the process of schooling. “Did you ever see the look of embarrassment, even horror, if your child unexpectedly sees you in the school hallway?”  “My child doesn’t want me to look over her shoulder” commented one of my daughter’s friends about her nine year old. These parents were taken aback by what they thought I was suggesting.

It is my contention that parents need to know what their children are doing at school and to become actively involved in helping facilitate their success. I am not referring to homework and test preparation. I am not referring to being cooperative with the school and teachers, which I am not denying it is very useful to engage with teachers too, to keep up and learn more about our child in school. I am more referring to make the child’s school experiences a part of the parent’s life. I believe a parent’s role is somewhere between coach and cheerleader; neither as critically involved as the former or as benignly enthusiastic as the latter. Allow me to elaborate.

Taking an active interest; or: “What is it you do in school today?”

Indeed, we forget most of the facts we cram for tests during our school years. What we are expected to retain are the skills with which will enable us to learn and discover for ourselves. Even more importantly, good teachers will have inculcated within us a love for learning to last a lifetime.

Learning skills do not develop in a vacuum; they develop through learning and internalizing the process. A love for learning develops from the satisfaction of understanding and the curiosity to know more. This too is a byproduct of learning and absorbing information, primarily in school. When a parent shows interest in the subject matter, his child is learning that says to the child: what you learned at school matters. Questioning a child about what he learned in school is an essential component in his developing a healthy respect for what he does all day; and he learns.

Questioning a child about school can be a tricky experience though. Ask a typical adolescent “what did you learn in school today” and the response, if you get a verbal one rather than some sort of primal sound, may be “nothing” or “stuff”.  The questions must be direct and specific for the child to be responsive. “What did you enjoy most about your Maths class today?” If he responds with a multi-word answer, the parent will have gotten a perspective of the child’s engagement in the Maths class. He may well say, “I didn’t enjoy it at all” — that speaks volumes too. Regardless, the parent has demonstrated interest and that the subject is important.

On the other hand badgering a child for information and interrogating him about precisely what he learned may be counterproductive from a parenting perspective. What the child might deduce from continuous pressured questions is that the less he says or pretends to remember the better off he will be. He perceives the questions as an invasion of his privacy; of course he will resist. A lot more information would be forthcoming if the question were put something like this “did you learn any interesting at the School Talk today?” or “How did the teacher like your social studies project?”

In a nutshell: the questions must be detailed and about the work rather that about the child. Specific but open ended questions will generally elicit a coherent response which can then

I did rather not head in the direction of the parent who spends the night studying with a child for a test and then asks “how well did we do on the exam?” Naturally, when taken to the extreme, that kind of “interest” will be more crippling than helpful.

Till my next post, hope this helps.

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How to make Children Love to Learn

HWAs parents would hope for the best for our children. There are various tips that are very effective so that children love to learn which makes a pleasant atmosphere. According to the results of research on how the brain controls the memory in the brain would be very easy to receive and record information that goes if it is in a pleasant atmosphere. children who may feel that learning is something that is fun to have a sense of want to know the great, and greatly affect the success of learning in the future.

Learn how to identify the type of child is the type of auditory, visual or kinesthetic. Break at intervals of 15 minutes rest is far more effective than learning continuously without any break. Results showed that children are able to fully concentrate a maximum of 20 minutes. more than that then the child will begin to decrease the power of concentration. Basically the child has an instinct to learn everything that is around. Children will be the spirit and enthusiasm in learning if the content of the material being studied children according to child development.

Study with periods of rest are very effective in comparison with continuously without any lag time of rest.

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Kids Helping with House Chores

Chore charts can help keep your life organized, teach your child about responsibility and how to be a part of a family.

Any given moment in our lives can become a teaching moment, we simply have to take the time. This rule especially applies when we first introduce the notion of household responsibility to our children.

Here is a simple way to go about it:

A rule of thumb in our home is: “Sharing is Caring”. We share our toys, food, T.V. time and so on. We share everything, which also means sharing the responsibilities around the house. At the moment my son Zabir has 4 ‘jobs’. Making his bed, clearing his toys, setting the table and putting the dishes away.

My Rules Are:

  • Children should have anywhere from two to four household responsibilities.
  • Chores should be viewed as responsibilities and not as WORK.
  • Do not forget to show your appreciation and thank your child when they complete the task. A little bit of praise can go a long way.

Here are my top ten age appropriate chores for children.

  1. Setting up the table.
  2. Clearing the table.
  3. Putting the toys away.
  4. Making their bed.
  5. Help put the groceries away.
  6. Feed the pet.
  7. Putting the laundry in the hamper.
  8. Matching up clean socks and folding them. (Great math skill)
  9. Watering the plants. (Gross motor activity)
  10. Putting their tooth brush away and keeping a tidy bathroom.

I believe that children in their preschool years should have up to four household responsibilities.

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When Kids Do Not Get What They Want?

When kids find it hard to get what they want, they go to “fairy land”, where magic and fairies (or other grown-ups) grant them their wishes. Unfortunately, they learn this irresponsible technique from the grown-ups around them. Even parents, when they do not get what they want, go to the “fairy land” of wishing for a winning big money, drawing a big prize and having more luck, so it is really no wonder their kids do exactly the same. They justify their unhappiness as bad luck or blame someone else for it.

Thus it is very important to educate our kids to be a REAL Muslim Kids.

I agree there is some benefit in developing the imagination with wishes and dreams, but it is very important for kids (and parents) to understand we have the responsibility to create our own luck by actively working towards our goals. If kids want to have friends, they need to do something about it. If kids want to be successful at school, they need to do something about it. If kids want to be able to swim, they need to do something about it. When kids do not wait for things to fall from the sky onto their lap and know they have to go actively looking for them, they are empowered. And their parents are there to help them succeed.

EXERCISE

Ask your kids this question:

“If I could help you achieve 3 things in the next 3 months what would they be?”

Let them speak their mind. Listen to their words. This is the time where we can hear more of our child from their inner thoughts, which we parents often neglect. Insya Allah, our kids will be more open when they realize that we acknowledge and respect their say.

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TIPS

  1. Adjust the question to the right age. Remember the emphasis is on “helping THEM get what THEY want”
  2. Make sure your kids ask for something THEY want and not something they believe you want to hear. If you suspect this is the case, ask them “Why did you choose this?” or “What will you get if you do this?”
  3. Do not belittle any desire or they will keep some desires away from you
  4. Hold yourself back from doing the job for them. Remember you are not the genie. You are just helping them move towards something they want
  5. Every process of going forward has some setbacks. You want your kids to learn the process. Talk to them about the progress, the movement, the improvement, not about being 100% successful. As long as they are moving forward, they ARE successful
  6. Encourage your kids to write their current goals down somewhere to allow both of you to see them and read them in the next 3 months. If your kids are too young to write, they can draw or cut and paste pictures from a magazine
  7. Remember to write the date on each of the goal statements, drawings and collages and keep them as memorabilia

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