Instilling a Drive to Learn into Your Student

By Huntington Learning Center

Instilling a Drive to Learn into Your Student

In the era of the Common Core State Standards, one thing is certain about the way students will be taught moving forward: teachers will expect more. Skills such as critical thinking and problem solving are integrated into every aspect of Common Core, and teachers are working to facilitate students’ deeper comprehension of concepts and ideas in both English and mathematics. Ultimately, the new standards will help students be prepared to succeed at college and in their careers.

Without a doubt, students and parents will find the new standards more rigorous than in the past. These heightened expectations of students will definitely pose challenges; however, you can greatly help your child by igniting his or her inner learner. Here are several tips to help fuel your child’s motivation and drive to learn:

Teach your child to embrace challenges. Talk with your child about something that he or she wants to achieve—whether that’s raising a grade or learning something new. Set goals together and help your child define the steps to achieve those goals. And no matter what types of challenges your child faces, teach him or her about the importance of perseverance. A big goal may take a lot of work and he or she may fail sometimes, but sincere effort and a good attitude generally yield positive results.

Encourage your child to ask questions. The Common Core State Standards go deeper in all areas and expect students to understand the “why” and “how” of problems and concepts and not just the “what.” So, as you work through homework, urge your child to take ownership of his or her learning. Children should be capable of explaining how they arrive at answers to questions and discussing why they feel the way they do about certain topics. Encourage your child to think through homework and speak up when he or she has an idea, opinion or question.

Nurture your child’s interests. Nothing intrinsically motivates a child more than discovering a passion. Give your child opportunities to try new things and explore his or her interests. Have your child build upon his or her strengths and help him or her find ways to do so outside of the classroom.

Emphasize the importance of learning, not grades. While you might love to see your student achieving high grades on every test and report card, your child should believe that his or her hard work, effort and persistence are more important than his or her achievements. Teach your child to value the step-by-step method of tackling homework and the overall learning process. Ideally, grades will reflect effort, but they should not be your only measurement of your child’s school success.

The Common Core definitely changes the way teachers approach teaching and should also change the way you view your child’s education. Your child will need to master skills that fall outside of content acquisition—skills such as problem solving, real-world application of classroom knowledge and of course, critical thinking. Teaching your child to take initiative and embrace learning will benefit him or her in the short and long run.


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