Fundamentals of how to improve a child to excel academically?
You want the best for your child and it is becoming worrisome that your beloved son/daughter who you know to be very bright comes home repeatedly with below ‘A’ grades. You have observed the nutrition rules, you’ve been very supportive. You have given him room to do his school assignment himself with supervision. You’ve gone the extra mile to get him a lesson teacher and you are bothered that children whose parent has not done that much are not having a problem getting straight ‘A’s.
You have room for comparison, even when your son’s best friend is one of them. Don’t stop being the best you can be for your child’ remember, slow and steady wins the race. Be hopeful and be encouraged by the little improvement you are seeing. You will soon reach your goal.
Further help to reach your goals will be discussed shortly, but before then, there are so many facts we need to know.
Unboxing childhood care’ development, good parenting and childhood education trends
According to UNICEF (2018), the formative age of children ranges from birth to 8 years, they refer to as early childhood development. During this age range, it has been proven that the cognitive (intellectual), social (human relation), emotional, and physical development of a child is attained. All these four areas of development play out to help a child perform excellently well in his/her academics.
Academic is the aptitude of your child to study. The level of this aptitude determines his altitude for learning and altitude attained by learning. It is the definition of his entire learning prowess, which develops over time as he learns to do things from birth. He learns to suck the breast milk, use the feeding bottle, use his spoon, climb the chair, used the toys, and other forms and shades of informal education which are sometimes calculative and most time done unconsciously. Introducing formal education using a home school system or enrolling the child in an academy to have a taste of structured learning will help him further use his learning prowess.
From birth to age 8, children tend to depend so much on their parents and build their self-image from their parents’ approval or disapproval. That is the age to win a child’s heart and train them up in the way they should go, ‘kid-becomes-genius’. This will help them trust you and allow you to drill them to be the best they can be, hence, building the right foundation for your child’s academic excellence.
For a child whose academic is a concern, there is a need to stimulate his aptitude to study and demand a better result in a friendly and loving manner. Exciting the feelings of such a child towards academic achievement is essential; this is what challenging the child academically entails.
Challenging your child academically is synonymous with awaking the genius in your child. Most children are geniuses in my school of thought, born and made. Challenging your child academically is a process of making a genius out of your child. Everyone wants to associate with genius and parents are the most expectant, wanting to proudly talk about their children’s achievement and accomplishments especially academically to others. And this makes them prone to pressurizing their children to do well in school.
As much as it is a good thing to be concerned about the academic well-being of a child, it is also very important to understand and get involved in the day by day process to instill an excellent spirit and stir up passion for excellence in your child, for drops of water make a mighty ocean. They say charity begins at home, this informs the indispensable roles of a parent in bringing out the best in their children; understanding that you are saddled with the responsibility of creating an enabling environment that triggers the curiosity and imaginations of your ‘kids-becoming-genius’.
Kid-becoming-genius is a process that parents should understand. It is a step by step approach to challenging your child academically.
I would like to discuss these steps using the DOS and DON’Ts. The DOS are guidelines to follow for a healthy stimulation of a child’s aptitude to study. The DON’Ts, on the other hand, are things parents do consciously and unconsciously in a bid to challenge their child to perform better which from my experience as once child, and now as a caregiver figured out that it has not been helpful, it dampens the emotional and social capacity of a child which is also required for excellent academic behavior.
DOS to challenge a child to academics excellence
What parents should do?
Find out your child’s interest
Children are the heritage of God says the bible, and it is pertinent to know that God knows so well about your child. He created him and He has a good plan and purpose for him, which could be known by inquiring from God. Your child’s inert abilities are also indicators of his fulfillment and this you must find out and develop.
Children generally are tagged playful and if care is not taken they find every way to excuse away studying just to ‘have fun’. One way to stimulate your child’s aptitude for the study is to help him have fun with studying. This can be achieved by knowing the kind of games or constructive play that interests your child. Give him room to play and watch him.
Some children gather items together to sell when playing, some derive pleasure in trying to fix up spoilt electronic device, some acts as medical practitioners, some as teachers, musicians, or pastors, the list is endless. Pick out behavioral patterns from their play and boost their morale by speaking up for them along with the areas that you feel are their interests. Let him tell you what he knows about it and why he is interested. Give him more exciting information about it and let him know how studying will get him to where he is going. Assign him/her work in the house that stirs his interest and take him to places that inspires it.
An example is a child who loves to gather things together for sale, his interest is along with the business. You can help his business mind by taking him along to the mall or market to shop, teach him exchange rate, and even get him involved in little budgeting details in the home.
Relate all subjects and learning activities in your child’s area of interest
Having found his interest, stir him up around his area of interest. What interests a man, gets his attention and boosts his concentration. A man having a desire separates himself and intermeddles with all wisdom says the bible. For a business-minded, medically minded, or art inclined child, you should help him to see the connection of what he is studying in school and what you are teaching him at home with what his desires are. You should also relate the study of mathematics in school, sciences, languages, and other subjects to his business, medical, or art world. When you have given him a ‘worthy’ reason to study, he will joyfully do it for his passion’s sake. Hence, you have challenged him academically.
Identify your child’s weak areas and bring out the best from it
There are subjects and tasks that children avoid because they feel they are not good at it or they have developed phobia overtime’ may be because of some situation that surrounds its learning or teaching, like their mates making a jest of them or repeated failures.
Some children have problems with calculations while some have limitations with linguists, art, or any other subject. The first thing to do is identify what the problem is and the cause of it, for a problem known is half solved. Parents are to be sensitive to threatening subjects and encourage their children to be the best they can be. You should first resolve the cause of fear and threat and help him see that no subject is hard.
You should also teach him a healthy way to deal with jests from their classmate. Identify any other cause of the phobia and address it. Emphasis more on his strength and connect his strength to his weak areas so has to help his work on his weak areas with motivation. Also, pray with him and teach him the power of faith to receive strength for every weakness. You can seek the help of an education consultant if need be.
Instill a past-achievement-breaking attitude.
Children are to be informed about the achievement of men in the area of their interest and encouraged to do better. As a parent, you should teach your child to be confident that any record of human achievement before him, he can outrun. Build an award-winning mentality for him. Let him understand that his competitors are not just his contemporaries alone, but he is to break new ground and break records.
He should be encouraged to dream big and work at it. Inspire his dreams by showing him documentaries of the achievement of great men and buy him books that contain their biography and great works.
There should also be an atmosphere of healthy competition in the home. It is important to inspire your child with your own success stories. Tell him the ‘wins’ you have. You don’t have to shy away from the other side of the coin, tell them about your failures especially the ones you learned from. Share with them your pitfalls and how they can avoid them. Instill in them core virtues of diligence, determination, and self-discipline. Teach him that he who learns from the experience of others climbs higher. Tell him your expectation of him doing far more than you.
Motivate them to study
You should fuel your child’s imaginative level by engaging his/her mind in decision making. You can practically involve him in matching colors from interior decoration, asking him for the recipe for a meal you prepared together, drilling him for his schoolwork after helping him with his assignment. Your involvement in his learning process is motivation.
Another way to motivate him is the gift approach: reward, appreciate, and celebrate his shows of ingenuity in the way he goes about his home chores and school projects. Reward his efforts and consistency.
DON’Ts to challenge a child to academics excellence
What parents should not do?
Don’t compare them with others derogatorily
No two children are the same and no one is a gauge of your child’s best performance. As much as you want your child to improve academically to his optimum performance, you have no reason to compare him with others. For they that compare themselves with themselves, are not wise, as the great apostle Paul declares.
Let your child know your expectation, but don’t put him under pressure and self-insecurity by comparing him to another of his classmate or siblings. This can dampen his morale towards academic excellence and breeds jealousy towards the opponent, you carve out for him, especially when it is done derogatorily even if that was not the intention.
Don’t indulge them
Indulgence is opposing to diligence and motivation for excellence. You cannot indulgence your child and expect the best out of him. Build up a resilient spirit in them, this is accompanied by excellence. They have the doggedness to stay through to success. Some children already have the mind that their assignment will be done by their parents or lesson teachers, so they lazy around in school and loss concentration in class. Avoid anything that can serve as a distraction to studying.
Have a scheduled time for games, movies, and outing. Don’t allow things that are to be pleasurable for him to become a distraction. Let him understand that studying can be fun, but studying is not the same thing as playing.
Don’t punish them for poor academic performance
Many parents fall into the trap of punishing their children for poor performance in school. Some go to the extent of starving them: this is child abuse. You don’t punish a child for what he does not know, better still, you teach him, Find out the reason for the poor performance and address it. No proper child will be satisfied with poor performance; the feeling of depression, he gets from the poor performance is enough. Encourage him to do better with
I know you are concerned with your child’s academic performance and you want him to be the best he can be, you want to give all the support you can and challenge him/her academically. Please calm down parents, pray earnestly for him/her, sit him down and listen to him and talk him to excel, awake the genius in him as you observe the DOS and DON’Ts discussed with love and care.
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