Daydreamer. Curious. Lost in thought. Imaginative. If a teacher has used any or all of these descriptions when talking about your child, you probably want to know what you should do to nurture your child’s inner intellect while still keeping him or her on task. After all, learning, exploring and being engaged with subject matter are important for any student, but so is the ability to see tasks through to completion.
If your child has the tendency to think intently about various topics—but not always the ones that are important for school—what can you do? Here are a few tips to encourage your child to continue to build those thinking skills and get excited about learning, while staying productive:
Give your child sufficient time. If you keep hoping that your child will just get things done faster, remember that each child has a different pace. Some children process what they learn by connecting what they read and learn to things they already know. They think, connect, contemplate and repeat. It may take more time, but be patient and trust that there is a method behind your child’s approach that can be effective when paired with a good routine.
Discuss the right and wrong times for mind wandering. Every child needs to understand that creativity coupled with critical thinking produces results. However, there is a time and a place for such activities. Talk with your child about teachers expectations in the classroom. In school and in the real world, your child is accountable for certain responsibilities. Make sure your child knows they has sufficient time in his or her schedule for free thought, but is also adept at how to manage a daily routine with deadlines and to-dos.
Task orientation is valuable. Discipline is a critical part of school success. Teach your child that creativity and outside-the-box thinking are especially valuable when combined with the ability to move tasks forward. Help your child approach homework and projects in an organized, methodical way, breaking larger projects into smaller tasks, checking off assignments as completed and the like.
Study skills and organization is a must. Encourage your child to embrace tools such as to-do lists and a planner (or planner app for the smartphone, if applicable). If your child suddenly has difficulty keeping track of homework, maintaining a neat study space, or making the most of each study session, he or she may need help establishing effective study and organizational habits.
Pay attention to what motivates your child. Some children are creative as well as goal oriented. Others enjoy the brainstorming or planning process far more than sitting down to do work. Some children need stimulation by understanding the purpose or practical application of that which they learn. Knowing what your child enjoys (or doesn’t) about the learning process is helpful information that you can use to stimulate your child’s mind as you teach him or her valuable tools like organization and time management.
Having a child who is curious and inquisitive is a huge advantage, but if your challenge is keeping your child on task and productive, remember that practice makes perfect. If your child needs support with this, call Huntington. We can assess your child’s learning style and skills to determine what might help merge his or her passion for learning with strong, effective school habits.
Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams. Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards. Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible. Learn how Huntingtoncan help your child. For franchise opportunities please visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.
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