A journey of a thousand miles begins from the first step. To students, the first step to a year-long learning journey is to make ample preparation. Parents have an important part in the preparation as well! Here are 4 simple advice for all parents to guide your children towards effective learning.
1) Get their tools ready!
Have they packed their tools for a year long learning journey ahead? Tools like calculator with new batteries, a complete construction set, sharpened pencils, sufficient pencil lead, blue, black, green and red pens, just to name a few! Tools should always be within your children’s reach. For instance, attending a Maths class without a working calculator will seriously hinder learning. With that said, bring them to a stationery shop and let them choose the tools for themselves instead of preparing it for them. It is important to let your children take ownership of their own learning. An activity like this would set their mind ready for a new and exciting year of learning!
2) Review the past
Spend some time to sit down with your children and review their past performance in school. Take it as a family new-year resolution activity. Prepare some food that you know your children would like. The food might not be absolutely healthy nor your natural tendency to offer him such yummy food. Surprise your children with this gesture, or other gestures you know would have the same effect, as that will send a signal to them that their parents are really treating this seriously yet light-heartedly. Find out from them what they felt were some obstacles and challenges faced and work towards overcoming them step by step, moving forward as a family unit. It is important to let them speak first before responding.
3) Encourage your children to read ahead!
How much ahead? Enough to cover for 4 weeks of lessons. Typically for primary and lower secondary level, it would be two to three chapters whereas for upper secondary and Junior College level, it would be one to two chapters. Upon reading, your children may already have questions to ask the teacher. Thus they would pay special attention to certain parts of topic that has perplexed them even before lessons start. Apart from gaining new knowledge when listening in class, it is an ideal revision process for your children since they have familiarized themselves with the information. That would certainly boost classroom learning!
Furthermore, we have to understand that school teachers need to complete teaching the required chapters within a given timeframe. Due to this constraint, they might not be able to slow down their pace for students who need more time to grasp the concepts. Reading ahead will also help students in keep up with the pace. Moreover, reading ahead could also help improve their test scores in the first month, which would definitely boost their morale for subsequent months!
4) Decorate the “Learning Wall’
Ideally, your children should have their own proper study desk. Whenever they sit there, they know it is serious work time. In front of them, there should be a “Learning Wall”. This is the wall they will see whenever they are at their study desk. Only information related to learning should be pasted there. Unless they aspire to be a singer or a pop star, such posters should be shifted to other walls in their room. At LTH, we recommend your children to paste their learning action plan on that wall. This is a list of consistent work they should do which would propel them closer towards their goals. This list should be decorated with colours and written in huge fonts so that they could still see the words clearly while standing at the other end of the room.
Apart from “Learning Action Plan”, we recommend pasting 4 blank A4 papers. These are the “Reminder Sheets”. Throughout their learning journey, your children might come across information which they have to remember. These could be new vocabulary, Maths formula, Science definition and daily task list. All these should be in front of them whenever they are at their study desk. Paper is preferred to white board because when that paper is full, it can be shifted to another part of the wall and they can paste a new white blank paper on the “right in front of my eye” zone. As time goes by, the learning wall will be well decorated with beautifully written action plans and reminders. That is how the wall of an effective student should look like.
To conclude, parents are mentors to their children’s learning. We are neither dictators nor instructors. We guide rather than command. In this electronic era where information is easily accessible by children, the learning culture is also shifting quickly. What might work 10 years ago may not necessarily work today. Parents are learning (and should learn) to keep up with the pace.
If any parent need any advice or how to further effectively execute the advice in this article, feel free to contact our advisors for a non-obligatory consultation.
To a fulfilling and successful year ahead!
Principal, L-intelligent Horizons EduHub
Editor and English Educator for LTH