Having a good education really impacts your child's future opportunities.
As human beings we all have different strengths and weaknesses. One person might really excel at artistic hobbies while another has a flair for sports and athletics.
Personalities and tastes play a major part in the kind of activities we will actively enjoy partaking in. Practising and pursuing those hobbies is unlikely to feel like hard work a lot of the time because we genuinely enjoy them.
Academia can really be one of those things. For some people, it is something they truly enjoy whereas for others it is a total chore and something they will try to avoid.
Many children struggle at school
. There will be an array of strengths and weaknesses in each class and it can be difficult to feel like you are drowning while others appear to be excelling. For some children, it relates to certain specific subjects
and for others, it is a general attitude towards school.
We know how important it is to never compare your children to others in their class (or to their siblings who may have excelled in that area) but a school
education is really important these days. As parents we want our children to have a good education behind them so that they have broader options in the future when it comes to work, travel and opportunities.
For this reason, our natural instinct will usually be centred around wanting them to do well at school. At the end of the day, if our children leave school as confident individuals socially and emotionally that is the most important thing, but having a good education behind them really impacts their opportunities for the future.
Some children may naturally appear to be academic. Perhaps it is a genetic thing in the sense that reading and writing is something they have been exposed to from a young age. In another class, a bi-lingual child might really excel at languages and this gives them an academic edge also.
If your child is struggling in their schooling it is important to know that you are not alone and speaking to the school can really open doors if any extra support or guidance is required. If your child just doesn’t enjoy school work and struggles with motivation around it there are a couple of things that you can do to encourage that to improve.
1. Allow less screen time. I know that the struggle is real when it comes to I PADS, video games and all things screen but it has been proven to prevent our children from getting enough sleep and being able to properly concentrate at school.
2. More reading. Is reading a regular part of your child’s day? Do they have bed-time stories or do you encourage reading before they got to sleep? There are so many proven links between good grades and kids that genuinely enjoy reading as a hobby. We all have to start somewhere!
3. Take an interest in their homework. Rather than asking is it done (hands up who would say yes as a child regardless of whether that was true or not?) actually sit down, even just for a couple of minutes, and show an interest in what they are learning. It will give your child a sense of pride and they will more than likely want to show off on some level. This is a great way to build enthusiasm around that subject.
4. Try to make it fun. For example, you could plan a family day out to a museum or historical site that they have been learning about in school. They will be able to relate to it on a deeper level and it might just spark a genuine interest that doesn’t always happen via a textbook.
5. Does your child have “good” supplies? If their copies and stationary are messy, torn or not functioning properly it will be very hard to get into the zone of studying or doing homework. It might be a nice idea to give everything a bit of a refresh and stock up on some new clean supplies. It’s amazing what a fresh start can do for a person of any age.
6. Is there a study/homework-friendly spot in the house? Somewhere that does not boast clutter, noise or mess and that promotes a sense of organization. You could pick up a study desk or clear off the kitchen table at certain times to encourage this.
7. Rewards are not just for young kids. Remember those reward charts you used for your children when they were potty training or learning a new skill? This can work really well for older kids too (without the actual chart). As adults we like to set ourselves little goals and rewards to help us stay focused during the task at hand. Having something to look forward to is really powerful. For example, you might plan to go for a family meal or a little getaway when your child finishes their exams.
8. Health matters. Encourage your child to eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruit, vegetables and nutrient-rich food. These can make a huge difference to their concentration and energy levels as well as their quality of sleep which impacts everything.
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.ie.