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.