The ability and drive to set and achieve goals is a skill that can be applied throughout life, from elementary school to varsity sports to career life and onward. Most parents aim to help their students improve, but need the right tools to help set their sights on measurable achievements.
When your student is learning in a school that has implemented Common Core State Standards, it is a great opportunity to begin guiding him or her toward a more achievement-oriented work ethic. It'll help your student to be more successful in the classroom, enabling him or her to apply newly acquired skills to other aspects of life. In order to foster this type of personality, though, parents have a lot of work to do.
Almost every teacher hands out a grading rubric and syllabus in the beginning of a school year. Parents need to recognize the value in them – they essentially outline what the student will need to achieve in order to effectively absorb the content and receive good marks. Go class by class and think of measurable and achievable goals that your student can set, whether it's getting an A on the end-of-semester research paper or studying for a set number of hours per week.Then, help him or her to take the steps necessary to reach those goals. If the goals aren't reached, try to find out what went wrong.
Every student has their strengths and weaknesses. The ability to overcome weaknesses is the ability to recognize them. Communicate with your student and his or her teacher to find out what areas could be improved upon. Then, make it a goal to improve in a measurable way. This can be achieved through studying with friends, hiring a tutor for Common Core help, or seeing a teacher for clarification after class.
There are very few students who excel in every subject, but every student has their strengths. It's important not to focus entirely on what's lacking in your student's personal skills, as that will give them a negative attitude toward school. Reward him or her for doing well and foster his or her strong suits – for example, purchase books for a student who enjoys literature or take a trip to a cool museum if they do well on that difficult science test. Consider using identifiable strengths as a basis for long-term goals, such as college programs or internships.
Always encourage your student to look ahead, no matter how far. Maintaining the attitude that your student can achieve big things one, five, or ten years down the line is a form of encouragement.