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How Can Parents Help Teenage Son or Daughter at School

Updated on November 12, 2016
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Author Erwin Cabucos has a Master in English Education from the University of New England, Australia.

Values of a good learner
Values of a good learner | Source

Help your child achieve better academic results

Before you contemplate hiring a tutor, consider the following tips as not only that these might help you save time and money, but they might also enhance connection and relationship with your teenager. Money well spent is good, but if you can set that aside for the greater need, then you will feel you have achieved even more. Besides, having a deeper connection with your child is something that many parents aim for. If you and your teen can work together and achieve something significant such as school grades it will become something special as good memories sewn together, something to cherish for the future. Here are eight basic tips to help your secondary or high school child achieve good school results:

  1. Know the assessment task. Finding out what is actually required in the task, you will get a better understanding of what he or she is going through and what thinking processes and strategies he or she might need to draw on. Some of the assessment instruments that schools are asking from their students are so common in our social and cultural settings. Schools deliberately do that so that students will find relevance between their learning and real life experiences. Examples of which include: writing a persuasive speech in English, completing a website project for the Study of Religion, creating a pajama for Home Economics, producing a report on a significant ruler in Ancient History. The task sheet from the teacher should stipulate the minimum number of words required, what curriculum skills are needed to work on that project, what concepts of the learning are needed to be applied in completing the task, etc. All these requirements are shown in the task sheet for the purpose of measuring what students can do with the knowledge they have attained in class. Be a part of it by knowing that instrument so that you can decide whether you may inject some input into it as you yourself may happen to be an expert of such field, help provide resources or books for your child, or simply generate motivational reinforcements or encouragements along the way. You can obtain the assessment task sheet from your child or from the teacher. This type of document is meant to be public and as parents you have the right to see that assignment, except unseen assessments, of course, such as exams. Check the school's parents' portal; you might have access to those learning documents already.
  2. Understand what they learn. There is nothing new under the rays of the sun. Somehow what students learning nowadays have been introduced to us many years ago in different ways. What teachers teach and how this knowledge should be taught to students are contained in the curriculum set by the government. It is set out in the syllabus of the subject. These curricular documents should be open for the public to download and read through the Department of Education's website. Browse through your state's or territory's educational provisions. Each subject syllabus indicates what topics are covered per year level for the whole year. It includes concepts, objectives and processes through which teachers and schools carry out their planning to engage kids in the learning of such subject. Reading these documents as a parent, you will get in-depth, if not, generalised, understanding (depending of how interested you are in the field) of what your child should be learning and thinking, and from that they will be assessed. Knowing all these contexts, you will find yourself in a much better position to say sensible and practicable comments to your son or daughter. And you might score yourself a big smile after you blurt out a terminology your child had not expected to have come out of your vocabulary. And don't brag you have read their curricular documents, simply assist him or her with the subject and your efforts will just fall into places as the time goes.
  3. Talk with the teacher. Make the most of parent-teacher interviews or conference. For most of the waking hours of your child, your child's teacher witnesses the abilities and the ups and downs of your teens. Get some ideas from the teacher as to what kind of a learner your son or daughter is. Is he a cooperative learner or a little bit of a loner? Does he apply the teacher's suggestions in his draft? Does she show enthusiasm in the subject? Does she hang out with good friends? Is she on-time in submitting assignments? What can he do to improve his grades? Most especially, what you can you as a parent, help to improve his grades? If there are issues to be resolved with the teacher, how can you work with the teacher to better deal with the problem? It is important to consider fair suggestions from the teacher. Ignore the likely arguments. Simply focus with the topic at hand.
  4. Provide the tools. Whether we like it or not, our role as parents is first and foremost provide the physicality and structures upon which children could base their ambitions for the future. Feed them with brainfood-boosting stuff, a roof over their head, a study room, and reliable Internet connection. At least we will strive to have those things. Is the food in the pantry and fridge suitable for a growing young adult? Have I actually upgraded the desk of my child since primary years; his limbs and body have grown thus he or she needs bigger furniture. Does the printer work for my child to be able to print drafts and edit work? Do I have enough data for his or her streaming of credible documentary needed to be watched for learning? Finally does he or she have a reliable learning environment where silence could predominate in many hours of the evening for study moments? Does she own a good headphone to watch films and listen to audios for her assignment? Have we actually had his or her eyes checked? These basic necessities are pertinently important to help your child achieve success in learning.
  5. Allow for balanced cocurricular activities for your teenager. Studies have shown that a well-rounded child will achieve far wide-ranging life-long skills for the future. I support the idea that a balance of sport, recreation and academia will provide your teenager a diverse talents and skills in life. On a practical level, the enjoyment they get from the sport and other non-academic activities serves as a healthy diversion from the mundaneness of study. On the side of the coin, too much sport and extra-curricular activities may also eat up study time that subjects require from a student each week. Also, an exhausted child may never achieve success at all in both physical and academic endeavors. It is best to strike the balance when we can.
  6. Have a mental buffer in times of arguments. Teenagers can be the most annoying people on earth as they seem to think they know everything in the world. Some of them can be difficult and very argumentative for no good reason. They can be elusive, liar, cunning, and most of all unwilling to commit mistakes. However in the best of times, they can be sweet, grateful, intelligent and simply talented. But be prepared as teenagers are known for taking parents to a roller-coaster ride of their life. From experimentations with illegal drugs to peer pressure, from having late nights with boyfriends or girlfriends to with having fines from the police or anywhere in society. It's not always smooth with teenagers, but it is important to have mental strength when things happen. Don't leave them in their vulnerable moments. They still stumble and fall, only this time with a bigger thud. It is important to take things into perspectives and categorize events as mild, problematic or tragedy. Not all events are tragic, all problems have solutions. Take the time to breath. You have a teenager to journey life with.
  7. Celebrate achievements. This can be the best encouraging action you can take. It's a little bit of a bribery, but it is not. It is appreciating the achievements of your child and turning that milestone into an enjoyable, encouraging and memorable moment. An improvement from a C to a B or from a B to an A are worth celebrating. Have a family display where success, trophies, medals and improvements can be shown. Take a photo and post it on the family portal. Let everyone know of it and be proud of the achievement. Your child knows that he or she is important in your life. With these actions, your teenager will feel belonged and loved (hopefully.
  8. Communicate, communicate and more communicate. This doesn’t need to be explained at all. Simply follow up with your teen how he or she is going with her draft, with her exam revisions or with the exam just gone. Ask how he or she could have made it better? How did he or she make it a success and encourage to adopt a similar strategy in the future? Offer help and act on it when needed. If there’s anything that bothers your child from performing well, ask about it and see if you can help.

These are the basic 8 tips that will hopefully arm you to relate to your teenager more towards achieving higher grades in his or her academic life, at least, before you hire a tutor.

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    • peachpurple profile image


      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      u nderstanding what they are learning daily is important


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