Education has become a rat race.
The trend is to make every child a superachiever. As a result, parents
today are probably more involved in their children's education than ever
before. Exam time is as stressful for parents as it is for children. Homework has become a family effort. If a child does not want to study, there is nothing that a parent can do. What parents can do is to develop good study habits in their children from an early age.
Now this is not going to be a cakewalk.
Looking back at your school days, there is no way you can pretend that
studying was something you looked forward to. Studying was put off till
the last minute like the way one puts off a dentist's appointment. And
then of course there was the tension of completing portions overnight and
submitting projects on time. While you may not have had good study habits
as a student, that is no reason that your child should make the same mistakes.
You've won the biggest battle if
you can somehow make your child actually want to study. This probably sounds
impossible, but with the right approach maybe you could convince your child
not to equate academics to the horrors of a dentist's appointment.
Some children prefer some subjects
to others so they tend to concentrate on those and neglect the others.
This kind of specialization is not going to work while your children are
still trying to get through school. So you're going to have to sit down
with your child and find out why he dislikes a particular subject. Once
you have identified the problem, you will have to take steps to banish
your child's mental block for mathematics, physics, or whatever the hated
You can tutor him yourself. However,
sometimes this is not a good idea, as your basics may be shaky or you may
not have the necessary patience. In this case, you could consider hiring
a tutor or buying educational aids like books that are better written than
the school textbooks or CD-ROMs which are more interesting because of their
You could highlight the relevance
of studying these subjects to everyday life. For instance, you can explain
to them how mathematics helps you to do something as mundane as adding
up the prices of items you bought at the grocery and paying the right price.
Geography teaches you about the world around you. Languages help you communicate
and physics teaches you how things work.
Help your child organize his time
better so that he can get his work done and have enough free time to do
non-academic activities. What you have to do is find out what tests and
projects are due and when as well as how much homework he has to complete.
Help him make a timetable and try to see that he sticks to it.
Creating a conducive
The first thing to do is to make
a workspace for your child, even if it's just a particular chair and one half of a desk. As soon as the child sits down at his workspace, he knows that it's time to work so he settles down faster. Make sure that it's not too comfortable a chair, the kind he can sink into and have a good nap. Preferably, his workspace should be in an area where there is not too much people traffic so that he isn't distracted. People differ on the subject of whether children can work while listening to music or not. Some children
prefer to study in absolute silence, while other would prefer some noise
in the background or they get bored. While this is a toss-up, what should
be avoided is too warm a room, poor lighting, studying after heavy meals,
and lack of fresh air.
If your child is learning something
new, encourage him to read through the new material first to familiarize
himself with it. It's better to adopt a holistic approach rather than learning
information piecemeal. It makes for better learning.
If your child comes across words that
he doesn't know the meaning of while studying, get him into the habit of
looking up the dictionary.
Teach him to write synopses of chapters
or make notes of the important facts to be remembered.
Help him make up mnemonics like rhymes
that will help him remember.
Make him say out loud what he has learned.
This makes it easy to pinpoint gaps in his knowledge.
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- The Indiaparenting Team