The secrets of successful schools have nothing to do with money. Some of the best schools around the world are in poor communities and poor countries. Findings from international research show that a school’s ability to teach its students well doesn’t depend on how much money is spent. Nor does a school’s success depend on the socioeconomic status of the students’ families or communities. Read more
Joanne Foster, Ed.D.
As the school year draws to a close, parents may be concerned about whether their kids will retain the knowledge they’ve acquired over the past several months. Here are some suggestions parents may want to consider.
1. Talk to kids about what they’ve read, refreshing their memories, and encouraging them to think more about or even extend the material.
(“Remember that interesting book you read at school? Who was the author? Maybe he’s written something else you’d enjoy.”)
2. Follow up and build upon projects or assignments that captured their imaginations.
(“That bird feeder you designed was terrific. I’m curious. What other animal feeders might be created using your ideas as a starting point? Why not investigate?”)
3. Don’t nag them to reread all their notes from the year. And, don’t engage in scare tactics like telling them they’re sure to forget everything if they don’t review regularly. Adopt and convey a positive attitude.
(“I know that you’ll want to be on top of things come September. When you’re ready, and if you want, I’m happy to help you spend a little time going over stuff before school begins again.”)
4. Encourage kids to organize their materials and store them some place accessible at the end of the semester so they’re easy to find and refer to later on.
(“Here are a couple of storage boxes you can use. And, some colourful folders and marking pens. Do you need anything else?”)
5. Keep a record or make note of what may have proved difficult for your child. That is, what might warrant some attention so as to enable him to feel more competent and confident when new course material kicks in next fall? Ask your child if he’d consider extra help or a mentor or trying some exciting activities that will boost his skill level.
(“I’m proud of your efforts, and the way you persevere when things get tough. Let’s figure out if there’s anything you want or need to focus on over the next few weeks, and use the time to explore possibilities in interesting and fun ways!)
For more ideas on encouraging children’s optimal development, visit www.raisingsmarterkids.net
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