Word to Encourage
- Keep Going—you are getting it.
- You are trying very hard.
- I know that you can do it.
- I like the way you are focusing.
- You are my star student today.
- I know sounding out words is difficult.
- Your persistence has paid off.
- You are putting forth wonderful effort & really learning a lot.
- Keep up the good work.
- I like the way you self-corrected yourself.
- That is the mark of an excellent student.
Here are some tips to promote the love of learning in your home:
- Have a time set aside for everyone to read.
- Talk about what you have read—talk about the ideas that relate to the book or article you are reading.
- Ask “What did you learn today” at the dinner table. Everyone can take turns describing a new thing or idea sparking interesting conversations that reinforces that everyone is learning everyday no matter their age.
- Praise in amounts equal to effort given. If your child always does well in spelling, don’t go on about it. Choose a weaker area to work on and then praise for good effort.
- Remember that this is your child’s education—not yours. Review their homework and help them correct their homework, but resist the urge to make each assignment “perfect”.
- Talk about learning with your children. Show your children that learning is a lifetime endeavor. Share funny stories about your education and point out how you learned from your mistakes. Emphasize the parts of school you enjoyed the most.
- Resist blaming a “bad Math gene” for problems in math—that just gives a student a reason to stop trying. It’s better to encourage persistence and to provide empathy and support. For example, “I remember working on learning my facts as well; it will take practice, but I know you can do it.”
- Read a long chapter book as a family and then rent the movie on your family night. (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Charlotte’s Web, Stewart Little, The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe are good books to start with)
- Help bring math to the real world: Make change, add up the things you will buy, figure the tip out loud without using a tip card.
- Cook together. Double and halve recipes to practice with fractions and measurement. Show children how math is everywhere—even re-arranging furniture is about Math—spatial relationships, measurement, balance and symmetry.
- Play with tangrams. Tangrams are geometric shapes that children put together to copy and make shapes. They are available at most teacher stores.
By Jenny Beaumont, Swan Learning Center, www.swanlearningcenter.com