It is every parent’s great desire to see their children score straight As across the curriculum. A common thought process is that the longer our children study, the better their grade will be, and this results in the majority of children being signed up for regular online tuition outside of school hours. Sure, extra study time means extra practice which, ideally, means better grades. But that’s not necessarily the smartest route.
Plan your child’s studies: SMART goals
The first step any study plan should have is to identify the child’s strengths and weaknesses. You can find any number of planners online, but it is preferable to sit with their tutors - who will know them best - and set out weekly and monthly goals for your child. The goal needs to be SMART -
PSLE education calls for equal amounts of responsibility and efforts from parents, children, and teachers. It becomes necessary to involve your children in the best methods of learning right from the beginning and setting realistic goals will be of great help.
Reward for success and motivate for failure :
The age-old teaching technique of punishing your child for the incomplete or poor quality of work done is now far in the past. Studies have shown conclusively that positive reinforcement works wonders by building pride, success, and acceptance of their own failures in children. This results in amazing mental health for children even under pressure to put in long hours of studies.
This means both parents and teachers need to be mindful of the language used with our young ones. When they complete tasks and reach goals, our focus should be one building a sense of accomplishment intrinsically. No reward by chocolate, no goodies or gifts. Focus on building a sense of achievement for overcoming their own limitations and learning more.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give them any reward; what it means is that the reward must be customized to be something relevant to their academics. Finished your weekly science goal? you get to sign up for a science exhibition. Got an A on your math test? you get to watch an education movie with parents on the weekend. Build the enjoyment of academia in your child and you’ll go a long way towards motivating children to for that A grade by themself.
Spaced repetition and testing :
There are two important techniques that help long term memory. Spaced repetition is a curiously effective technique that stresses on revising previously learned concepts at set intervals of time. Ten days work as a great time period for the average student. Every ten days, students can either go back, revise the notes or solve extra assessments. When we do a test, the concept is refreshed and brought back from memory. This is what is being followed in a lot of PSLE tuitions and online tuitions also help parents and students track their learning progress effectively.
Those who succeed aren’t those who work for longer hours, it’s those who are smartest at how they use their time. Teach your children to work hard, but smart. That's how you ensure you set them up for a lifetime of A grades