Family • Wellbeing • Adventure

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

How To Encourage Your Kids To Excel At School This Year

We all want our children to do well at school but regular homework battles and disappointing test results can sap the spirit of even the most committed parent. Sometimes it helps to look at things in a different way and so, here are a few ideas that might help your kids excel at school this year.

The Best Environment For Learning 

Schools are hot on homework, regarding it as an essential part of learning. From a young age, children get used to bringing home reading books. Then it's spellings, times tables and all manner of projects. Some children are enthusiastic when it comes to homework. If yours is one of those, lucky you. If they're not (and, let's make everyone feel better and acknowledge that most children fall into this group at least some of the time), you'll have to help them. This does not, you should be pleased to hear, mean doing the work for them. Fairness aside, while this might just work with a paper-mache model of the Eiffel Tower, it's not going to cut it when it comes to the weekly multiplication tests. It doesn't matter if you can repeat your nine times table backwards; if your child doesn't know it forwards, they're not going to do well in the Friday test. Think about where your child learns best. For younger children, this is likely to be close to a parent. Older ones may be happier in their bedrooms. Whatever the location, make sure they have a clear space in which to work, good lighting and no distractions. However, remember studies show that some children do work better with background noise, usually music.

As well as ensuring your child is in the right environment to learn best, also ensuring they have the right equipment will help motivate them. Many children like making lists, timetables and plans. Take the opportunity to buy stationery online together; there are plenty of attractive and functional pieces to choose. Letting your child choose the equipment they are going to use will encourage them to want to use it, ves new stationary - me included!

Make Learning Fun

Many of us learn best in an active style. Children, usually so full of energy, are no exception. Think about ways they can both expend energy and learn. Research shows that learning through play can be highly effective. What about singing multiplication tables or skipping while learning spellings?


Frowned upon by purists, there's no doubt that bribery does have its place in most parental arsenals, even if official studies offer conflicting evidence of success. Luckily, this doesn't have to mean expending a fortune. It can be as simple as offering a trip out for ice cream or the promise of baking cakes together in return for good marks in a test. Even better is if the reward itself is something of intrinsic benefit to the child, such as swimming or a trip to the park. Think laterally here: is there somewhere your kids would love to go? It certainly doesn't have to be Legoland or, indeed, anywhere that charges an entry fee. An adventure playground they haven't been to before can work just as well.

Of course, some children are more likely to be motivated by something material. If yours is one of these, you might be struggling with the thought of endless shopping trips or the constant dispensing of a pound here and a pound there on iTunes. One alternative worth considering is paying a financial reward, as small or large as you like, into their bank account. This has the dual advantages of not necessarily being immediately spendable and teaching the child the importance of saving. You can take this approach with most bank accounts but some of the child-specific accounts, such as GoHenry, allow you to set up a list of tasks for your child and attach a payment reward to each one. Every time they accomplish a task, such as completing their homework in time, you check a box online and the requisite amount of money is deposited onto their pre-paid debit card.

Mummy B xoxox
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