Encouraging learning is a goal for most parents. As children become teenagers, it can be difficult to know how best to support their development. In this guide, we’ll discuss some effective steps you can take to help your kids.
Most of us have good and bad memories of being at school. When you think about classes or days that stand out, there’s usually a common theme. We tend to remember classes that involved activities or getting away from our desks or teachers that used different, innovative and engaging techniques to offer explanations. Using practical activities is a brilliant way to make learning more accessible and enjoyable and provide clarity. Reading is beneficial, but often, students get a clearer picture by going through experiences related to specific subjects or topics. You can build on methods and games you used in the formative years, such as going on nature walks and using ordinal number activities like organizing toy animals or cars into lines, to come up with ideas for older kids and teens. Go into the great outdoors or visit historic attractions, museums and galleries, for example.
Parents and teens have access to more resources than ever before. While traditional learning techniques are still highly effective, it can also be useful to take advantage of new resources and ways of learning. The Internet is a font of information for kids and adults alike, and children of all ages can access educational activities, games and platforms at the touch of a button. Look for websites or platforms that are relevant to your child’s age and their studies, ask friends and teachers for recommendations and read reviews. Visual media often makes learning easier for children, especially when tackling complex subjects and problems. Watching videos, playing games online and watching documentaries and educational TV shows can be helpful. Practice also makes perfect when it comes to doing calculations, writing and answering exam questions. Online resources and apps enable teens to sit mock exams and go through trial questions and assignments to help them develop and hone their skills.
One of the best ways parents can help their children to learn is to communicate openly with them. Children learn from their parents from day one and parents play a crucial role in development and education. Talk to your children about school, take an interest in their studies, ask them how they’re getting on in different classes and offer to help if they need advice or they’re struggling with a test or a question on an assignment. Encourage your kids to be open and honest with you and let them talk about their day when they get home from school or finish a busy week. If they’re finding it difficult, or their grades aren’t as high in some subjects as others, you want them to come to you and open up to you so that you can help.
Doing well at school doesn’t depend solely on academic capabilities or hard work. Confidence can also play a role. A lack of confidence can hold kids of all ages back and prevent them from fulfilling their potential. Try to build your child’s confidence and self-esteem by encouraging them to try their best, supporting and reassuring them and praising and rewarding achievements and successes. Try to avoid putting too much pressure on teens and manage your expectations.
You want your child to do their best and excel, but not every student will get the highest grades. Academic achievement is not the only marker of success and happiness. It’s beneficial to recognize other positive traits and accomplishments, such as hard work and effort, kindness, being a good friend and doing well in extra-curricular activities. It’s also essential to recognize that every child is different and that your children may have a very different experience at school from you. Don’t compare children or measure achievements against your own. Pressure can have a negative impact on performance and self-esteem. Encourage your children to work hard and make an effort with their studies but make sure they know that their best is good enough.
Raising teens is challenging, especially when it comes to supporting learning and negotiating exams and assignments. As a parent, it’s natural to want your child to excel at school. If you’re keen to help out and encourage your kids to perform to the best of their ability, make learning fun and accessible through practical activities and make use of resources. Support your child through communication and building positive relationships and try to increase their confidence and self-esteem.