How To Foster Successful School Habits In Your Kids
Now that the school holidays are over and it’s back to the paper and pencils, we have an opportunity to start some positive habits in our students, to help them achieve success and develop a go-get-‘em attitude towards school. With Week 1 already under our belts, let’s get cracking!
1. Demonstrate pride in your work
Family projects are a great way to show kids the value of putting your full effort into something and being proud of what you’ve done. Choose something you know your child will be into; be it teaming up with dad in the garage to bring life to an old rocking chair, piling into the kitchen to decorate cupcakes or repainting their bedroom. We all know the feeling of accomplishment projects like these give us and how much it means when you’ve put your best foot forward in something you’ve done. This is highly relevant for school, as your child learns to take pride in their work which not only increases the quality of the tasks they complete but also supports their confidence and self-esteem towards school work.
2. Don't procrastinate teaching your kids the danger of procrastination!
It’s the torment of us all, but it’s really not such a looming demon, if we get on top of it early! A lot of the negative attitudes children develop towards homework and assignments are fuelled by procrastination which, as we know, can make a task feel horribly unappealing and sometimes even unachievable. But simply completing a task as soon as you can, getting it out of the way before those negative thoughts begin to grow, helps to create a constructive habit in your kids and support a can-do attitude. They realise that it’s not as hard as they thought it would be which provides a boost of confidence. Help them get into this habit by setting routines around homework and deadlines so that “am I going to do this work now?” doesn’t become an option, but a given.
3. Don't make schoolwork a 'big deal'
But school IS a big deal! Yep, it sure is, but we don’t need to turn it into a monster that needs to be tackled every day. Homework shouldn’t be an awful looming hurdle that needs to be jumped before relaxation time. Try using phrases more like “alright, time for those last three questions from Science to answer and then we’re done”. Use a casual but matter-of-fact tone that expresses “yes this is happening” but not a doom-and-gloom vibe of “let’s slog through this homework before anything remotely fun can happen”.
4. Encourage independence, but be available
We don’t want to be doing the work for them, but we also don’t want them huddled over their desks, miserable because they don’t understand but are too scared to ask for help. Start them off on a task with “have a go yourself first, doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong, and sing out if you need some of my help”. Give your children leading roles in tasks you know they are good at and get your teaching hat on for the things they might struggle with. We want to nurture independence and initiative, but also the skill of recognising when they need help.
These skills never expire so let’s get our kids school and life-ready!