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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Students

effective learners

Habit One: Be Proactive
I am a responsible person.
I take initiative.
I choose my actions, attitudes, and moods.
I do not blame others for my wrong actions. I do the right thing without being asked,
even when no one is looking.
Habit Two: Begin with the End in Mind
I plan ahead and set goals
I do things that have meaning and make a difference.
I am an important part of my classroom and contribute to my school’s mission and vision,
and look for ways to be a good citizen.

Habit Three: Put First Things First
I spend my time on things that are most important.
This means I say no to things I know I should not do.
I set priorities, make a schedule, and follow my plan.
I am disciplined and organized.

Habit Four: Think Win – Win
I balance courage for getting what I want with consideration for what others want.
I make deposits in others’ Emotional Bank Accounts.
When conflicts arise, I look for third alternatives.

Habit Five: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
I listen to other people’s ideas and feelings.
I try to see things from their viewpoints.
I listen to others without interrupting.
I am confident in voicing my ideas.
I look people in the eyes when talking.

Habit Six: Synergize
I value other people’s strengths, and learn from them. I get along well with others, even
people who are different than me.
I work well in groups.
I seek out other people’s ideas to solve problems because I know that by teaming with
others we can create better solutions than any one of us alone. I am humble.

Habit Seven: Sharpen the Saw
I take care of my body by eating right, exercising, and getting sleep.
I spend time with my family and friends.
I learn in lots of ways and lots of places, not just at school.
I take time to make meaningful ways to help others.

 

Source: Covey, Stephen R. (2008) The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents around
the World are Inspiring Greatness, One Child At A Time. Free Press, Detriot MI.

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Motivating Your Child to Do Homework and Study

children-are-made-readers

  • Is your child motivated to do homework and study or do you need to ‘strongly encourage’ your child to do the work?
  • Has homework time become a battleground?

I understand how difficult this can be for you once things get out of hand but DO NOT DESPAIR.  In my last article  Teaching Young Children To Study, I explained the importance of teaching even young children how to study so they can become independent learners at school. A key component of being an independent learner is motivation.

Here is the brief version:

STEP 1: FIND OUT WHAT THE BLOCKAGE IS

For you to be able to help your child overcome homework problems you first need to become a detective like Sherlock Holmes. The important thing to keep in mind is that there is no point forcing your child to do work that he/she is not able to do. All that will happen is that you will both get more emotional and will not be able to think clearly or work with each other effectively. There could be a variety of reasons why your child won’t get on with homework such as:

  • doesn’t understand the work
  • hasn’t or can’t read the instructions properly
  • doesn’t know where to start
  • lacks the basic skills to do the work
  • hasn’t got the materials needed to complete the task

STEP 2: Break the work that needs to be done into a series of SIMPLE STEPS

Thus get your child to DO ONE STEP A TIME.

STEP 3: HAVE PATIENCE

Rome was n0t built in a day. Your goal should be to help your child get a few more skills and a bit more confidence every day. Research shows that the best way to build up good habits is to take small but regular steps. Just do as much in a sitting as you can both manage without getting tense. In the early stages it is often much more effective to do three 10-minute sessions than one 30-minute session.

Remember, if your child is not doing her/his homework effectively at the moment, then small positive changes on a regular basis is far better than no change at all.

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Five Key Skills for Academic Success

It’s never too early or too late to help your child develop the skills for academic success. Learn how to build these skills and stay on track all year long.

It takes a combination of skills — organization, time management, prioritization, concentration and motivation — to achieve academic success. Here are some tips to help get your child on the right track.

btn arrow Talk to your Child

mum child read

To find out which of these skills your child has and which he can develop further, start a simple conversation that focuses on his goals. Ask him about his favorite subjects, classes he dreads and whether he’s satisfied with his latest progress report.

btn arrow Listen for Clues

Incorporate your own observations with your child’s self-assessment. Is your child overwhelmed by assignments? She may have trouble organizing time. Does your child have difficulty completing her work? She may get distracted too easily. Is your child simply not interested in school? She may need help getting motivated.

btn arrow Identify Problem Areas

Start here to help your child identify which of the five skill areas are trouble spots.

1. Organization

Whether it’s keeping track of research materials or remembering to bring home a lunch box, children need to be organized to succeed in school. For many students, academic challenges are related more to a lack of organization than to a lack of intellectual ability.

Tips to help your child get organized:

  • Make a checklist of things your child needs to bring to and from school every day. Put a copy by the door at home and one in his backpack. Try to check with him each day to see if he remembers the items on the list.
  • Find out how your child keeps track of his homework and how he organizes his notebooks. Then work together to develop a system he will want to use.
  • Shop with your child for tools that will help him stay organized, such as binders, folders or an assignment book.

2. Time Management

Learning to schedule enough time to complete an assignment may be difficult for your student. Even when students have a week to do a project, may won’t start until the night before it’s due. Learning to organize time into productive blocks takes practice and experience.

Tip to help your child manage time:

  • Track assignments on a monthly calendar. Work backward from the due date of larger assignments and break them into nightly tasks.
  • Help your child record how much time she spends on homework each week so she can figure out how to divide this time into manageable chunks.
  • Together, designate a time for nightly homework and help your child stick to this schedule.
  • If evenings aren’t enough, help your child find other times for schoolwork, such as early mornings, study halls or weekends.

3. Prioritization

Sometimes children fall behind in school and fail to hand in assignments because they simply don’t know where to begin. Prioritizing tasks is a skill your child will need throughout life, so it’s never too soon to get started.

The questionnaire

Tips to help your child prioritize:

  • Ask your child to write down all the things he needs to do, including non-school-related activities.
  • Ask him to label each task from 1 to 3, with 1 being most important.
  • Ask about each task, so that you understand your child’s priorities. If he labels all his social   activities as 1, then you know where his attention is focused.
  • Help your child change some of the labels to better prioritize for academic success. Then suggest he rewrite the list so all the 1s are at the top.
  • Check in frequently to see how the list is evolving and how your child is prioritizing new tasks.

4. Concentration

Whether your child is practicing her second-grade spelling words or studying for a trigonometry test, it’s important that she works on schoolwork in an area with limited distractions and interruptions.

Tips to help your child concentrate:

  • Turn off access to email and games when your child works on the computer.
  • Declare the phone and TV off-limits during homework time.
  • Find space that fits the assignment. If your child is working on a science project, she may need lots of space; if she’s studying for a Spanish test, she will need a well-lit desk.
  • Help your child concentrate during homework time by separating her from her siblings.

5. Motivation 

Most children say they want to do well in school, yet many still fail to complete the level of work necessary to succeed academically. The reason is often motivation. Tapping into your child’s interests is a great way to get him geared to do well in school.

Tips to help motivate your child:

  • Link school lessons to your child’s life. If he’s learning percentages, ask him to figure out the price of a discounted item next time you shop.
  • Link your child’s interests to academics. If he’s passionate about music, give him books about musicians and show how music and foreign languages are connected.
  • Give your child control and choices. With guidance, let him determine his study hours, organizing system or school project topics.
  • Encourage your child to share his expertise. Regularly ask him about what he’s learning in school.
  • Congratulate your child, encourage him and celebrate all his successes.

Often what holds children back from trying is the fear of failure or the memory of a time they didn’t do well. You can help break this cycle by celebrating your child’s successes, no matter how small, and by giving him opportunities to succeed academically.

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