Success in School by Rachel Leubitz, AEP Director
After reading a New York Times Article, “How to Help Your Child Succeed at School,” I pledged to utilize some of the some of the strategies personally as well as professionally. I know from raising my four children, that figuring out the perfect method to encourage success in school can be tricky. We want our children to get good grades, but is that the only measure of success? What about encouraging them to think independently, learn to question things, and learn strategies on how to retain and process information?
According to Lahey, “It is important to focus on the process of learning and not the product, encourage students to self-advocate, maintain a healthy sleep schedule and most importantly love the child you have, not the child you wish you had.” While focusing on the methods of learning we can encourage our children to be proud of the effort put in to the process as opposed to just the outcome. If Chana comes home with a 98% on her math test, it is important to discuss the “why” behind the success. You can congratulate your child and then discuss how they were able to reach success. Was it that they studied for a week prior to the test, thus allowing them to master the information or did they come up with a technique to use to solve a certain type of problem? If you focus on the effort that yielded the success then your child will continue to build upon them.
Goal setting is an important step in the process of reaching success in any area. If your child’s goal is to get good grades for the semester, then encourage them to set three attainable goals to help them reach their desired outcome. For example, your child may say, “I will ask for extra help in language arts so I can better understand grammar”, or “I will practice my addition facts every day for 5 minutes to increase math fluency.” One of the goals they set should be a stretch for them. They should have to work hard to attain the results.
It is also important to help your child set up daily routines and stick to them. We had a problem in our house, my children always wanted to know what was for dinner each night and what was going to be prepared for lunch so we all sat down and created a monthly lunch and dinner menu. I now am able to shop on Sunday for the week and only buy what I need for the meals and my children have a say in what they will eat and are at ease with knowing what to expect each day. Believe it or not this relieved a lot of tension in our daily routine and makes meal preparation much easier.
With Rosh Hashana behind us, it is important to think of how to improve ourselves and the lives of our children. Encourage them to self advocate and focus on the process and not the product in order to reach academic success. The more we model these types of behaviors as adults, the more we encourage our children to adapt them as well.
Wishing your family a Shana Tova and much success this school year.
Rachel Leubitz M.S. CCC-SLP
Academic Enhancement Program Director