We always say that school are the best years of your life. However, those years can be difficult to navigate for both you and your child. Helping children achieve more at school is important. Here at The Hairforce we encourage the healthy growth and development of children. We all want our children to do well and succeed, but for that to happen, we all need to work at supporting it, nurturing it and guiding it.
To support you in that process, here are 10 tips to help you help your child do well at school:
1. Make sure the homework gets done
If your child knows you think homework is important then there is a chance they will too. You can help children achieve more every day by doing the following:
- Be interested in what is set
- Set a regular time for homework
- Have a special place where they can do it
- Remove distractions like TV, social media and computer games
- Make sure they have the required resources
- Be available to give them any help they might need to ask you for or to simply discuss the task or project
- Praise them
- Watch out for frustration and help with that
- If there are any homework issues talk to the teachers to resolve them
2. Be positive about learning
Being positive about your child’s school, the subjects they are learning, their progress, and their homework is all strongly beneficial to them. Being positive improves their self-esteem around schoolwork. Positivity also helps with managing stress and can even improve health and well-being.
Additionally, it helps them cope more easily with daily life, reduces worry and negative thinking and can make your children happier, brighter and more successful.
3. Put away the phone and talk
Communication has become very phone and screen-based, which means we all talk to each other less. Whilst it is important that our children understand and can use technology proficiently, there are a lot of benefits to putting all these aside and just spending time together.
Talking as a family has a number of benefits, including helping social skills, developing communication skills and reducing stress. Taking with your child can help them express their needs, wants and concerns, express their differences and identify and solve problems by seeing situations more clearly.
4. Keep a routine
Structuring the day by creating and keeping a routine has enormous short, and long-term benefits for a child:
- Makes them feel in control of their environment
- Makes them feel safe and secure
- Reduces stress
- Helps them understand that life is a balance of enjoyable things like play, and functional things like brushing their teeth and making their bed
- Takes away chaos and establishes stability
- Helps them secure their identity
- Reduces insecurities and insecure behaviour
- Daily routine ensures a greater quality of sleep which in turn gives them:
- The mental sharpness they need to learn
- Emotional well being
- Higher energy levels
- A better overall performance
5. Encourage reading vs the screen
As more and more activity is screen-based, it is important to remember the benefits of getting your child to read a physical book. As screen time increases, literacy skills are negatively impacted.
Conversely, reading books enriches comprehension. Children who read books also have greater expressive language and faster cognitive skills.
6. Encourage responsibility and independence
Responsibility and independence are vital skills to foster as your child grows up and moves from primary school to secondary education. These skills make them more confident, more self-reliant and more able to solve problems.
By making your child more independent, you will also be giving them the tools they need to experience better relationships and improve their decision making in the future. Independent and responsible children also develop patience, concentration, cooperation, self-disciple and trust their own instincts.
You can encourage responsibility and independence in your child by:
- Setting limits and saying no
- Holding them to account when they cross a boundary
- Establishing and enforcing rules
- Giving them chores and ensuring they do them
- Praising them when they take responsibility and show independence
- Encouraging them to back and help others inside and outside the home
7. Enjoy family time
Children learn by example, and spending time in the family gives you the opportunity to set the best examples in their life. It’s not called quality time for nothing. Playing games, eating together, choosing a film to watch, cooking together are all opportunities to help them understand more about interaction, sharing, kindness, teamwork and love, which have powerful knock-on effects, including:
- Building confidence
- Creating stronger emotional bonds
- Improving communication skills
- Reducing behavioural issues
- Making for happy memories and a happier personality
- Improving performance in school
8. Helping your children achieve more by playing
Learning isn’t all about structured homework and the school curriculum. More casual, informal forms of learning which come in the form of word and number games played as a family are valuable too.
They can improve:
- Problem solving
- Hand-eye coordination
- Social skills
- Understanding learning can be fun
- Positive competition
- Processing winning and losing
9. Help your child prepare for tests
You can do plenty to support your child before and after tests. You can offer them daily support with homework and positive learning. But it is equally important to not talk about tests and test results or heck how you talk about tests and dial down the pressure.
Try not to ask about how their friends have done in tests. Teach them that what is important is that they try to do their best and don’t compare themselves to others. Instead, praise their effort and progress. And If there are issues, you can always communicate with the teacher.
10. Help them understand mistakes are valuable too
Helping children achieve more is about helping them understand that failure is part of the process of learning. It is a well-understood fact that failure enriches learning and development and that we all benefit from it, but it is hard to accept that when you see your child struggling.
Remember in those circumstances there are things you can do to help:
- Accept that you cannot protect our child from failure and that they need to experience disappointment
- You need to allow them to fail in order to learn
- Talk about your own failures, mistakes and setbacks and how you learnt from them
- Don’t praise your child for their achievements only, praise them for how they deal with the difficult stuff too
- Don’t fight their fights for them, let them stand on their own two feet
- Be there for them as they experience failure. You can advise, discuss, listen from the sidelines to help them deal with the difficult things
- Be a role model and show them how you deal with your own failures, disappointments and frustrations
- Love unconditionally, whatever happens
- Encourage and allow them to try new things which they may or may not be good at
- Talk about the reasons behind the mistakes so they understand why they happened
- Talk about what can be learnt from mistakes so they understand the positive lessons that come from them
Our role at The Hairforce
Helping your children achieve more also consist of making sure they can stay focused instead of being worried about a head lice infestation. That’s why we see our work at the Hairforce as another way to support your child – a head lice infestation can affect a child’s confidence and self-esteem, be the focus of bullying or subtle exclusion and can therefore undermine their overall performance.