As parents, all of us strive to give our kids the best possible education and learning environment; but many of us are so caught up in the daily din of life that we sometimes forget the reason why kids need to learn things or as we say, get an education.
Why do children need to be “educated”? Ideally education should:
- equip children with certain “life skills” which will help them understand and enjoy the ever changing dimensions of the world we live in
- enable them to collect information using their sensory organs
- recognize vital information relevant for solving the problem on hand
- develop new ideas using the gathered information
- enhance the ability to communicate the desired information in the desired way
- develop a sense of imagination
- augment the ability to solve a problem within a given time frame
- build up skills which will enable them to understand and respond to new concepts and situations in a logical manner
- develop skills to judge situations in the right perspective.
Study time stress busters
So far so good…but how do you get your child to enjoy the “homework time” which many of us parents (me included) have come to dread? Here are some pointers which will hopefully make parents life a little easier from stress as study time is concerned.
1. Explain to the child that the study habits and lifestyle she develops during school days are the tiny stepping stones that will help her inch towards her future goals. So, if her “current” future goal is to become a rock star, tell her that these routines will teach her perseverance and thinking “out of the box” which is important in the music industry.
2. Teach her the art of time management from a very young age. Tell her that everyone has the same amount of time, the difference lies in what we do with it. Sit with her and work out a doable plan which allows her enough time for all her activities including play time. Let her not view homework as a chore which needs to be done with as soon as possible.
3. Encourage her to see her study material as “fun stuff” than struggling in school to be discovered, understood and experimented by the two of you. For example if she is reading about evaporation, take her to the kitchen, boil some water and watch the vapor together. Touch it, smell it and encourage the use of senses to internalize the concept.
4. Introduce her to the practice of writing up notes; that is, ask her to write some sentences about any topic which has interested her in class that day. This will help her learn the art of putting her thoughts into words.
5. Inculcate in her the habit of reading for pleasure. Reading is one of the best exercises for the brain. Introduce her to books which have something in common with what she is learning at school; so if she is reading about the Alps mountains, read “Heidi” with her.
6. Assign small chores for her to do and praise her efforts however small they be. Avoid constant criticism which will dampen her confidence.
Let me sign off by saying that although study time is important, it is equally important to keep in mind that she is a child. Help her create wonderful memories about these “wonder years’ and allow her some time each day to do what children enjoy best…unstructured play time.