More Tips on How Parents Can Help Their Secondary School Student with Their Learning

Here are some more tips from our Head of Senior School, Matt Brinson, designed to assist you in helping your child with their learning.

ASSIGNMENTS

  • Keep abreast of when assignments are given.
  • Talk to your student about assignment expectations
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TESTS

  • Help students prepare for tests by quizzing them.
  • Ask for concepts to be explained or help write practice tests.
  • Explain memory and understanding can increase if the brain is using multiple processes to use information, such as writing, reading, speaking, drawing or singing!
  • When tests are returned, focus on what was achieved and note concepts to revise. If students know parents are not solely focused on the grade, but also on the process, and that tests (and assignments) are tools to learn, intrinsic motivation can develop.

CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

  • There comes a time in secondary school when some co-curricular activities need to be cut for a period of time, as academic demands increase or the student is juggling too much.
  • It’s unlikely students will initiate severing an activity so it’s generally up to parents as they are often the first to notice when their student is over-loaded, when school work is rushed or dismissed, or when their student is tired or out-of-sorts.
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TECHNOLOGY

  • Parents may need to be the ‘bad cop’ when it comes to limiting computer games, or other digital device activity.
  • It is advisable that devices are not in bedrooms when students go to bed.
  • Talk to your student about the need for solid, sufficient sleep for the brain to re-wire neural pathways to consolidate the day’s learning.
  • Rules for technology (including TV viewing) should be developed together if possible so there is agreement about the approach.

COMMUNICATING WITH THE SCHOOL

  • Together, parents and teachers play a dual role in educating students, so it’s vital to maintain open communication with the school.
  • Keep abreast of school information conveyed through newsletters, school portals, emails and so on, as it’s not uncommon for a student to miss information at school.
  • Students also need to gain skills and strategies to deal with life’s variables, and to become independent, confident problem solvers. So it’s also important for parents to give students opportunities to manage issues at school themselves.

The strategies above should be developed with your child, and hopefully will be independently adopted by them when they reach their final years at school. It’s worthwhile noting that each point is related to your child’s learning, as this sends a very positive message that you are engaged and interested in the learning process.

[OECD 2011] PISA in Focus, (2011). What can parents do to help their children succeed in school?. [online] Available at: http://www.oecd.org/pisa/49012097.pdf [Accessed 2 Jan. 2015].

[Henderson and Mapp 2002] Henderson, A. & Mapp, K. (2002). A new wave of evidence. The impact of school, family, and community connections on student achievement. Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL). Available: http://www.sedl.org/connections/resources/evidence.pdf [Accessed 2 Jan 2015]