Here are some tips to raise a smart grade school child, and maximize his or her school performance and intellectual development:
- Communicate to your child that true success in school is not so much about getting top grades. It is about developing a lifelong love of learning and enjoying the socialization in the classroom.
- Children do better in school when they know that their parents care what they are learning and doing.
- Give importance to early learning. Students who learn more in kindergarten are more likely to go to college – and earn more.
- Homework teaches kids valuable lessons in independent thinking, responsibility and pride in accomplishment. Make it an important part of your kid’s after school activity.
- Your parental involvement has more impact on your child’s school achievement than anything that his school can offer. It is important for you to check his homework, limit his TV watching or video game playing, attend school meetings and events, meet with teachers, and talk with him about what he does and what he is learning at school. The effort that you make helping your child study has a bigger impact than the effort being made by either teachers or the student himself. A study concluded that schools have to increase their spending by more than $1,000 per pupil just to achieve the same results gained with parental involvement.
- Be involved with your child’s homework, but do not do his homework. It may be tempting to do your child’s homework yourself just to shorten the length of time it takes for you to help him finish his homework. Gently guide him and give him hints to help him finish his homework, but let him be the one to complete it. Remember, learning is more effective when he is actively solving the problem, rather than you spoon feeding the answer to him. Give him that sense of accomplishment that he is able to do the task himself.
- If you help your child do homework to reduce his anxiety, it may reinforce his inability to take on a challenge, and teach him to rely on others for an easy way out. In the future, your child might always look for that option when trying to succeed, and might not develop independence and confidence.
- When your child does not do his homework or did not study for a test, allow him to suffer the consequences of his mistake. Make him experience that not doing well is a big deal.
- Even if your child is not given homework, do not make this a reason for him not studying or reading his book.
- Do not think that learning is confined only to your child’s school. Talk with him about science, math and other interesting subjects. Take him to the library, go with him to the museum, or let him watch educational shows. Know his interest and help him cultivate it by buying him related books, videos, or enrolling him in camps.
- When your child makes a mistake or fails, ask him what lesson he learned from his mistake, and tell him not to repeat the same mistake.
- Introduce your child to the scientific method, and develop critical and logical thinking on your child. By learning the scientific method, your child learns to methodically solve problems. Teach your child to develop hypothesis, collect and test data, and draw conclusions. This develops his ability to seek evidence, deduct, hypothesize, and reason. This will not only help him be an effective problem solver, achieve academic success, it will also make him less vulnerable to being easily deceived and brainwashed later in life.
- Talk with your child, and provide him with a warm environment and regular stimulation. These are the advantages that educated and higher-income parents provide their children to help them become more intelligent, according to a study
- Do not praise your child for his inborn intelligence. Praise him for making an effort or doing hard work, even if he fails. Making an effort is what your child can control, and is a very important success trait, while being innately smart is a given. Also, children who are complimented on their intelligence are much more likely to run away from challenging new tasks that they could learn from. This is because they do not want to see themselves as deficient in anything, or experience situations that contradict their image of themselves as being “great”.
- Do not make excuses for your kid for why they are not succeeding in school. Instead, focus on finding solutions.
- It’s OK for your child to get in trouble sometimes. It builds character and teaches life lessons.
- Limit use of new technology. When your child devotes too much time in addictive video games, social networking, and watching tv or video, he is not engaged in learning or exercising his brains through complex thinking.
- There are findings that indicate that “paying” your child to excel in school is a good idea, according to this article.
- A study suggests that kids get the grades that parents expect them to get. Kids are sensitive to what their parents think of them. If you expect your child to underachieve, she will often fulfill that expectation. If you expect your child to do well in school, she might not turn out to be the top student, but she will have a much better chance on achieving it.
- Don’t allow your kid to stay up late. Staying up late leads to learning problems, mood swings and depression. It also makes him inattentive and fat.
- Schedule a regular reading session when everyone reads independently. It is important for your child to see you read. Besides modeling your behavior, he will have good memories of your reading sessions. This will make him more likely to be a reader.
- Consider teaching your child how to code – Learning to code has many benefits for his intellect. Through coding, he learns computational thinking, logic, and systematic problem solving, among others. It will also make him appreciate what’s behind the technology that surrounds him, and prepare him for a future where the use of computer requires a bit of coding knowledge.
- Childhood obesity affects math performance in school, as well as their social skills and well being. Although it is difficult to establish a direct connection between obesity and cognition, “”we certainly can say that obesity affects everything from self-esteem to social standing to mood and even hormonal balance, so the likelihood that there would be a whole cascade of effects between weight and math test scores is very high,” according to Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale Prevention Center.
- A child’s snoring can harm his IQ. Kids who snore loudly and with sleep apnea have labored breathing, then go silent for a few seconds before snorting and gasping for air when they restart breathing.. These pauses in breathing can cause oxygen levels in the blood to fall, affecting the brain and heart. Over time, this causes poor growth, delayed development, behavioral problems, impaired academic performance and reduced concentration.
- Excessive daytime sleepiness (or EDS) is linked with an increased risk of trouble paying attention at school, being hyperactive, difficulty learning and conduct problems. Some cases of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) might actually be a sign of sleep apnea, which leads to sleep deprivation and, then, problems with focusing and attention.
- You can teach your child to love writing by making him keep a journal or a diary, or create his own book.
- Be wary about allowing your child to play contact sports like football, ice hockey and boxing. There is a theory that CTE, a degenerative brain disease blamed for suicides and mental illness in pro athletes may have started when they were young children absorbing violent knocks and blows in the head.
- If you have the patience or the inclination, consider the benefits of homeschooling your kid
- Consider giving your kid an allowance so he learns how to manage money at an early age.
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