Sometimes kids might need extra support to learn to love school. Teachers on Call shares some tips to help parents with a child that is not enjoying school or struggling with a class.
We here at Teachers on Call know that nothing helps promote learning more than loving to learn! However, some kids might need a little extra help learning to love school. We have some tips to help you out if your child has ever indicated that they’re not enjoying school or are struggling with a class. We want to help them improve their experience – and their outlook on classroom time!
Help them apply knowledge to the real world
Boredom and frustration can result when a child can’t see the relevance of the work they’re doing, and kids who are bored and frustrated can’t learn. If your child has ever asked “When are we going to use this?” or “What’s the point?” that’s a great clue that they don’t understand why what they’re learning is important to know. In such cases, helping connect the subject to daily life can go a long way.
For math: Baking is a great way to tackle fractions, and tax time (even though that’s not necessarily fun for us as adults) can be a great way to approach the subject of applied percentages and even algebra. Though it might sound counterintuitive, jumping forward into simple physics might also be a great way to get engagement, because physics is applied math! (And really, what child doesn’t love knowing how fast something might fall or how hard something could strike a wall if it’s travelling a certain velocity?)
For history: it might help to take a broader stance on events and themes rather than looking at specific dates. Putting events into the context of an era helps give a more complete idea on what was going on in the world.
Check on their environment
Particularly in this era of COVID, a child’s environment may help (or hinder) learning, and the enjoyment of it. Do they have a quiet time to work? Enough space of their own to study? Is someone else watching TV at a time when they’re doing remote classes, distracting them? Be sure to check in with your child, because they may have feedback of their own. For example, having you nearby while they work, even when you’re not helping or engaging, may help them feel more comfortable about sitting down and working.
Whenever possible, be sure to try to get them situated in a workspace where they can try to work as distraction free as they can, with minimal clutter. Encourage them to make this their space, too, and they’ll be proud to use it! We’ve got some great tips on making a workspace that works.
Encourage the child to not focus on the negative
Focusing on the negative can have a tendency to amplify the sentiment. So, work on teaching your child how to twist the inner narrative with a few helpful mindfulness tips:
- Avoid strong language – e.g. instead of “hate,” try “not my favourite” or similar.
- Suggest your child add a silver lining to the complaint with the use of the word ‘but’ or ‘though.’ – e.g. “Schoolwork takes me a while, BUT I still can be done in time to watch my favourite show.”
- Allow them to recognize small faults without exaggeration, as long as they recognize that they have their strengths too – e.g. “I’m having trouble with grammar right now, BUT I got an A on my science test.”
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