A new school year has begun and you and your child want to get things off on the right foot. Whether last year was your child’s best year yet or he or she faced some challenges, it’s always a good idea to take time at the start of the new year to reflect, set goals, and focus. How can you encourage your child to make this year a great one?
High school is drawing to a close and your teen is probably feeling excited, nervous and everything in between. College is on the horizon—everything he or she has worked toward. It is indeed a special time of life, but there is so much coming that your teen may not even realize. Yes, your teen likely knows that college is harder and different than high school. Certainly, he or she knows the impact that college can have on his or her future. But what are some of the things your teen might not realize are coming?
The college decision is one of the most exciting and overwhelming that a teen will ever make. Add to that the selection of a college major and it is no wonder many teens struggle to decide. Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center tells parents of high school students that sometime during sophomore year is a good time for teens to start thinking about possible majors. “If a teen’s college search process during the last two or three years of high school is largely focused on where to go but not what to study, he or she is overlooking a big aspect of the college experience,” says Huntington. She suggests that as parents and teens talk about college possibilities, they also talk about field of study possibilities.
Any parent who has set foot in a Huntington Learning Center before has likely heard our teachers stress the importance of recognizing children’s efforts, not their achievements. Our years of experience with thousands of children have taught us that it is far more effective to encourage children to work hard on homework and in school than it is to encourage them to strive for high grades and test scores. Our beliefs on this are rooted in research: the right kind of praise inspires motivation, and therefore, achievement. Also, studies show that one of the key dimensions of student motivation is control, a student’s belief that there is a direct link between his or her actions and successful outcomes.
If you’re the parent of a new or soon-to-be middle schooler, brace yourself for some major changes. Middle school is more intense and has a heavier workload, with most middle school curriculums including five core subjects and two electives. Children are expected to do more, question more, and think more critically.
Above all, middle school demands that children function as independent students. But how can you encourage your child to engage in the activities that promote greater independence?
For many students, going back to school is an exciting occasion - a chance to make new friends, embark on new extra-curricular activities and take on new responsibilities. For all students - including those who may have struggled through the last semester - it's also a chance for a fresh start toward academic success. Here are some key steps parents and caregivers can take to prepare them for the journey ahead.
Here are some simple ways to get over the late winter doldrums and help your child recapture his or her study skills and enthusiasm.
There is probably no more important activity for preparing your child to succeed as a reader than reading aloud together. Fill your story times with a variety of books. Be consistent, be patient, and watch the magic work.