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Practical Ways to Help Homework

asian21. Provide a quiet environment

Provide a quiet, well lit study area. Avoid distractions such as the television and loud music. Encourage other family members to be quiet, especially youngsters.

2. Have a Regular Homework Routine

Obviously household routines differ. Late at night is rarely a good time to study, as children are tired. You may need to be flexible if your child attends outside activities. Try to get a balance, but homework is a priority. If it is being rushed then consider reducing after school commitments or television viewing. Having a routine helps to avoid excuses such as “I’ll do it after this programme” or “I forgot.” It is important that a child learns to take responsibility rather than having to rely on reminders. Also do not expect your child to work on an empty stomach. No-one works well when they are hungry. Read more …

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Family – How To Teach Your Child To Develop Good Study Skills

You can help your child develop good study skills by encouraging her to become better organized helping her to take better notes, and communicating with her teacher.
In order for children to excel in school, they must develop good study skills. Parents can do much to thankful kidsencourage their child to become more organized and more proficient in their academic work. If you help your child develop good study skills when they are young, those skills should help them through the rest of their academic career.

Parents should start instilling good study habits with their children as early as elementary school, and there are several things that you can do to help your child become a better student. One of the most important steps you can take is to help your child develop a good study schedule.

Some children like to come straight home, do their homework, and then play. Other children, especially those who are learning disabled, may need a break between their school day and homework. This is perfectly acceptable as long as you do not let them put off their school work until almost bedtime, when they will be tired and are likely to do lesser quality work.

Children who have attention deficit disorders may need to work on their homework in short increments of time. If your child has a learning disability, you may want to let her work on one assignment for about fifteen or twenty minutes, then let her move on to something else. She can come back and finish after a short break.

Be sure that you have a specific place set aside for your child to do her homework. It should be free from distractions such as the television, computer, video games, etc. Although your child may have a desk in her room, if she is younger, she may benefit more from working near you. If she is in the kitchen, dining room, or living room, you can easily check to see that she is remaining on task and give her help when she needs it.

Once you have established a routine and place for her to work, you need to help her get organized. Teachers will typically assign what type of notebook and other school supplies they want their students to have. It is very important that you initiate communication with your child’s teacher as soon as possible. Many teachers will willingly give their school e-mail address, and this is an excellent way for you to stay in contact.

If your teacher has not assigned a specific system of organization that she prefers, you will need to help your child develop one of her own. Make sure she has a notebook with pocket dividers. If she has several classes, she may want to have two or three notebooks that she can divide into classes. The pocket dividers will give her a place to put any handouts she may receive. Check her notebook periodically to see what work she is doing.

If your child is having trouble completing assignments, you can make a simple check sheet that lists such things as “homework assigned today”; “no homework today”; “study for test”, etc. Leave a line beside each notation, and ask your child’s teacher to check off anything that might pertain to your child for that day. Be sure and check the assignment sheet every day. If your child knows you will hold her accountable, she will learn to be more responsible.

Your child needs to develop good note-taking skills. Help her learn how to find the main point and supporting details of textbook chapters. Show her how to list the chapter and section names of her textbook, and then have her summarize each section in her own words. You can help her study by asking her to tell you key points from each section or from her study sheets. If she can’t answer it the first time, have her look over it again, and then quiz her.

Finally, encourage your child every step of the way. Not every student is an “A” student, but you should let your child know that you are proud of her if she is doing her best work.

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Good Study Habits = Good Grades

HWI trust all parents know how true that statement is. Your children were not born knowing how best to study their school
lessons. I have heard parents yelling at their child because their grades were terrible. Then they would say to them,“You need to learn to study better “. Did they do that because they themselves do not know how to study in order to learn new things? It is likely their parents told them they needed to learn how to study better. We tend to pass on what and how our parents taught us.

As parents it is your responsibility to set a good example. If you were never taught how to study in order to remember what you have read or experienced, then it would be difficult to teach your children good study habits. You need to help your children developed good study habits. Even if you don’t know how to study, you need to sit down with your child and help them come up with new ideas for helping them learn and remember what they study. You can always find a tutor to teach study habits and subjects such as algebra.

For many of us we can read all day, but may not remember most of what we read. That’s why it’s important to help your child learn how to study in order to remember what they have studied. Since everyone is an individual, not every solution will be helpful with every child. It may take trial and error, probably more error than success. You and your child, together, must find what works best for them. The most important thing is don’t give up. The result will more than makeup for the time and work both of you have put in to learning good study habits.

A child that learns good study habits will grow into a well rounded adult. Good study habits will influence them for the rest of their life.

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How Do You Support Your Child to Achieve His Goal?

goal

Every start of the new year, we sit our three sons down and have a goal setting activity – listing out our goals for the year and for life. Writing down the goals help identify the steps to achieving them and to keep the timeline in-check. Other than annual academic goals (which I insist since they are students), they have non-academic goals like ‘get a yellow belt for Judo’ and ‘get my driving licence’ (yes, the youngest son, 5,  is involved too). The goals are pinned up next to their bed. When they achieve a goal, they put a smiley face next to it. – Vicky Chong

“We inevitably doom our children to failure and frustration when we try to set their goals for them” – Jess Lair

To support your children in achieving their goals, make sure that the goal set is attainable. During the process, plan how to achieve it. Help them to review the steps and encourage them along the process. Encourage your children to set a time table. When they achieve each little step, motivate them with a hug, a word of praise or a little reward. Do not blame them even if they fail to achieve the goal and let them know they can always try again. – Sheila

Setting a goal is an uphill task for a child of tender age. What I did for my girl was to help her break the goal into little milestones so it is more achievable and less intimidating. With that, we work out a schedule to meet these little milestones. And in no time, she will realise she is not too far away from achieving her goal. I give her a lot of encouragement and support along the way. Sometimes, I also throw in a reward to motivate her further. – Cindy Tan

It should be the goal of THE CHILD, not the parents. Parents should support and guide the child to see what he can achieve and not just meet the parents’ expectations. As a mother, I will help my young child by planning his learning process and create a step-by-step guide for him. It is very crucial to be supportive and encouraging along the way to build the resilience in him. As he grows older, he will have a mind of his own and have more self-awareness. Parents play the role of a lighthouse that points out any dangers and guides him to the right path. – Poh Xian

Editor’s Note: Thank you Vicky, Sheila, Cindy and Poh Xian for your contributions. A big thank you to all who took the time to submit your views. We invite you to participate in our next issue of  ‘Your Say’.

For next issue’s Your Say, we are having a kids special. So share with us what you think is the most effective way to teach kids good old fashion values such as respect and integrity. Fill in the form below to let us know what you think. Your contribution might just be featured on MathsExCEL newsletter! All participants will be eligible for a parent-child reward gift vouchers.

MathsExCEL Your Say April 2014 Issue

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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.