If your child has experienced any difficulty in school, then you likely know well the challenge of keeping things positive amid poor grades and dwindling self-esteem. School has any number of anxieties, even for the student who sails through classes seemingly with ease. However, for the student who frequently comes upon academic road blocks, the school experience can instigate negativity, fear and other problems.
Parents often have ideas of what types of careers their children should consider once they approach college, but they are, of course, quite biased. Although adults have a lifetime of experience to draw from, they really only know their own career journey well. Parents’ intentions might be good when they suggest possible college majors and career paths, but it’s more important that they put their teens in the driver’s seat and guide them from the sidelines.
Most parents recognize the importance of time management, strong communication, good listening and other study skills, but what about leadership? “Your child doesn’t have to aspire to be the next president of the United States to benefit from the lessons of leadership,” says Eileen Huntington, co-founder of Huntington Learning Center. “Activities and programs that instill leadership help teach children about perseverance, conflict resolution, building one’s character, goal setting and more.” Huntington offers parents these tips to help their child develop leadership skills:
How ready are you for your upcoming exams? Honing your test taking skills will prepare you for exams in your high school courses as well as any achievement exams you will take this year. Focusing now on your test taking skills will pay off in the long run as you approach each exam with confidence in your abilities.
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?
It's a common problem among students: summertime regression. Studies show that most students lose at least some knowledge that they gained during the school year over the course of summer vacation. According to Eileen Huntington, co-founder of the Huntington Learning Center, a little effort can go a long way when it comes to helping children avoid significant regression during the summer months. "It doesn't take eight hours a day of studying for your child to stay fresh," says Huntington. "Try projects and activities that make learning fun."