Parental involvement is twice as predictive of a child’s academic success than socioeconomic status… Michigan Department of Education
The re-opening of offices, organizations, and schools has left a lot of people feeling scared and somewhat overwhelmed with unspoken expectations. The fear of ‘life after Covid-19’ now stares us in the face.
For most parents, the days feel short and time crowded with many ‘urgent and important’ tasks. We are all forced to think out workable ways to maintain health and safety standards for our children returning to school while ensuring that attaining academic excellence is not compromised.
Virtual schooling has become more tasking as most people have resumed working on-site, while others have staggered days and a few others still work from home. The struggle is real and the challenge of handling school (virtual and physical), family, and work expectations are hitting close.
A friend asked for counsel on how to achieve maximal academic productivity amid these unusual times, and I share a few tips with him, the suggestions offered to him may be of value to another.
Achieving an excellent result in academics and any other extra-curricular activities that are of utmost interest to you and your child requires a deliberate strategy. To strategize effectively, knowledge is key, therefore understanding how success or excellence is measure by the institution your child is enrolled in is the first step.
Previous results, examination scripts, interactions with subject teachers, and even other parents can be a pool of valuable resources to cull this knowledge towards achieving the desired success.
Having an excellent result in whatever field of study our children desire exceeds just wishing, praying, and continuously prodding our kids to work harder, it begins with the seven steps listed below;
- Be committed to making your child’s success a priority– determine to understand your child’s personality, learning style, strengths and even learning disabilities and be committed to spending time working at improvements where necessary and affirming as the opportunity presents itself.
- Set clear academic expectations each school term – most schools encourage parents to set academic and behavioural expectations for their wards every school term. These expectations are meant to be realistic and often based upon previous academic performance. Do endeavour to define growth parameters for your child at the onset of each term so it serves as a basis of appraisal at the end of the term.
- Understand the grading scheme (for academic work) or requisite points for other activities of interest – make out time to explain same in simple terms to your child. I used a pen and paper to illustrate to my girls how final cumulative scores are gotten at the end of a term. Listed below are the grading system used in my kid’s school;
90% to 100 Excellent (grade A)
80 to 89 very good (grade B)
70 to 79 very good (grade C)
60 to 69 very good (grade D)
50 to 59 very good (grade E)
In summary, your child should understand that each subject is graded at 100%, examination scores takes 60% and continuous assessment test (CA) takes 40%
To achieve an ‘A’ grade, your child should aim to score an overall score of 38/40 in CA and a minimum score of 57/60 in the examination.
- Guide your child in setting achievable goals– at the beginning of a new team, work with the child towards setting achievable goals (grades per subject) using the grading system as a guide. Assist them to paste these written goals at a place they can see it every day. You can also attach a desired or coveted gift item to motivate them towards achieving their set goal. Then sit back and watch them challenge themselves toward actualization.
- Continuous monitoring and Review– monitor progress daily, weekly, and as often as your schedule allows, try not to delegate this. Your children’s exceptional performance takes an invested effort, be deliberate about it. Review, correct, and encourage any improvements or efforts as often as possible.
- Restrict television (screen) time to weekend– with the amount of school work and extra-curricular activities (online coding, piano classes, etc.) most children have to deal with from Monday to Friday, there is a need to limit TV time to weekends. This will allow them finish up assignments/projects and sleep early. Most importantly is to monitor the distraction excess screen time brings.
- Prayer– after all said and done, we teach our kids to commit every endeavor, desires, and goals to God, asking for wisdom and direction. We show them scriptural promises to back their desires and encourage them to confess and believe the same. Do remember, the above will work successfully for 5years old and above.
In advising children, always spell out the specifics or strategies, and end with positive words of affirmations
Image Credit – Element5 Digital Unsplash