How your child can be better taught
Calgary is a beautiful city and an equally great place to raise kids. Parents have to make many decisions of:
- picking a school in Calgary
- finding a daycare in Calgary or stay at home
- Montessori or something else
- put your child in after school activities or sports
- push your child to get homework done or take it easy
- pack them a healthy lunch or something they will actually eat
The decisions a Calgary parent has to make is endless.
It is often difficult to discern which parenting strategies actually promote learning. Success at Calgary schools is not just about grades. You want your child to learn, retain information, think independently, ask questions, and develop competence. Here are some suggestions to make sure you start with your kid on the right foot and keep the enthusiasm and momentum high.
What you can offer as a parent?
Involvement of the family and positive communication between the home and school has been linked to better grades, positive behavior, and improved attitudes about learning, and increased participation.
Talk with the teacher
Calgary teachers and well trained and might understand your child better than you. In situations when your kid is not performing well at school, go and talk with the subject teachers. Rushing into the principal office and complaining about schooling practices is neither a good idea nor fair with the school.
School might be at a mistake this time but do not let this one mistake ruin their past hard work. You should always appreciate your child’s teacher. This would boost their confidence. Playing a blame game with them will never yield something productive for your child. It will also deteriorate the self-confidence of the teacher.
You should also never say anything bad in front of your kid about their teacher. This will not only deteriorate the respect the kids have for their teacher but also create a risk of your kid saying those bad words you said in front of the class. This situation will be embarrassing for both the teacher and you as a parent.
Ask your child’s teacher how they would like to be contacted, and then respect their preference by following that method. You might be wondering how to talk with your kid’s teacher, what questions you should be asking. Listed below are a few conversation starters that will help you at all stages of your interaction with them.
- Properly greet them: When you get a chance to meet them, you should first thank them for the meeting.
- Let them know your effort at home: You should mention how you have been practicing a certain skill with your kid and how he faces difficulties with it.
- Inquire about your kids’ progress on the subject in class: Ask how your kid is doing in class on the subject matter. Is he or she having any difficulties? How do they compare to their peers?
- Inquire further if the teacher mentions anything particular: If the teacher mentions any difficulties your kid is experiencing in class, you should show an interest and inquire further.
- Ask for their help: Discuss ways to improve performance on the subject with them. Is there anything you can do at home to improve performance? Does the child need extra help at school?
- Your conversation should end on a positive note: you should thank them for their time and assistance. You might also schedule your next meeting.
Guide them with their homework
Kids often show a lack of motivation in doing homework. Even if they are talented and smart, they can suffer in grades due to being nonserious with the homework. This might be quite frustrating for you as a parent. You can motivate your child by following these tips:
Give them the environment they need: When kids are alone in their bedroom, some are able to stay focused, while others may find their toys distracting. Some kids might like to do homework in the kitchen with everyone around them also doing their chores while others may find it distracting. Sometimes kids might argue to do homework in front of the TV. This is not a good idea. It is imperative to tell them that working on homework while watching TV is bad for them. You should also arrange for the supplies they need. You should also offer your help to answer any questions they have.
Let them know your expectations: Let them know you only want effort from them. Good grades aren’t your goal. Your kid might become stressed out by this and his or her performance may suffer as a result.
Announce the reward: You can motivate kids to do homework by announcing an award or allowing them to do what they enjoy. Then you can allow 2 hours of extra TV time if you finish on time. If they finish earlier, you can take them to a restaurant. It will motivate them to finish their homework.
Let them choose the perfect time for homework: Late at night, some kids may be more productive with their homework. Some kids might need to relax after a long day at school. Others may want to finish up their homework as soon as possible. Regardless, you should also let them feel responsible for their grades and homework.
There should be some discipline: Kids’ are essentially uncivilized, and parenting is inherently a form of correction. You will have to be patient and consistent with them, which is another way of saying that you will need to communicate and enforce the same rules over and over again. Some children respond well to “time outs,” and parents should watch out for those moments when they may need them, as well. When your child is acting out of control, just take a breather. During this pandemic, many parents have experienced extraordinary stress. Make sure you are taking care of yourself and seek help if you need it. A good technique is a distraction; when a young kid misbehaves, you don’t have to win a moral victory every time. Instead, redirect the behavior and avoid a battle. Kids should be taught that we don’t like their behavior, even if we love them. This is the overall message of disciplinary measures.
Homework can be a difficult part but with constant struggle and good habits your kid may ace through it and certainly, that would also have an impact on your kids’ grades.
Which aids do you have at your disposal
Apart from engaging yourself as a parent, there are certain teaching aids that are commonly used in schools and you can also make use of them at home.
Children are taught phonics to help them learn the alphabetic principle, which says that the letters represent the sounds of spoken language and that there is a logical, organized relationship between the letters and the sounds.
The understanding that sound and letter relationships can be applied to both familiar and unfamiliar words allows children to start reading fluently from an early age. The letter n, for example, is taught to represent the sound /n/ and to be the first letter of words such as nose, nice, … The ability to sound out and read (decode) new words is achieved when children understand sound-letter correspondence. You can rely on the following activities to teach them phonics:
- Make letter-sounds with your children, and ask them to write the letter or letters corresponding to the sound.
- Make connections with them between sounds and words (for example, if the letters ‘p-e-n’ spell pen, what does the word hen spell?).
- Create cards with alphabet letters. Each time you hold up a card, ask your children to say the sounds (e.g., the letter d has the sound /d/).
- You can help your children make sense of their names by matching the letters to the sounds.
- Identify words that begin with the same letter as your child’s name (for instance, John and jump). Discuss with them how these words sound similar at the beginning.
- To help your children learn to match letters and sounds, use alphabet books and guessing games. Here’s an example: “I’m thinking of something that starts with /t/.”
- Make paper bags and put the letters inside. Let the children take the letters out. Ask them to say the sounds that correspond to each letter.
- Ask your kids to draw the matching letters in cornmeal or sand based on letter sounds.
- Using egg cartons, place a letter in each slot until you have all the letters of the alphabet. As your children hear letter sounds, have them pick out the letters that match those sounds.
Often referred to as an index card or flash card, they contain information on both sides and are intended for use during memorization. There is a question on one side and an answer on the other side of each flashcard. When memorizing vocabulary, historical dates, formulas, or any subject that can be learned through a question-and-answer format, flashcards are often used.
Using flash cards improves kids’ ability to recall information and understand concepts. They enhance and encourage the active recall of information. By practicing active recall, you create stronger neural connections in the brain, making it an extremely effective way to improve memory. You can repeat certain questions more frequently than others to establish a better connection if your child struggles with certain flash cards.
Flashcards can be virtual (in the form of an app) or physical. Physical flash cards can be made at home by cutting pieces of chart paper or they can be bought at a school shop. Choosing the best flash card app for your kid can be challenging since there are several available online. To make your choice easier, we have listed a few features that a good flash card app must have.
- Allows to create your own: You should be able to create your own flash cards in the app. Existing flash cards in the app may not be sufficient. Every child remembers questions differently. Flexibility in creating flash cards lets kids design cards according to their convenience.
- Support Random cards: Flash cards should be displayed randomly in the app. Otherwise, kids may remember information in an orderly fashion. In contrast, if they are asked about the same information in a different order, they may have trouble recalling it.
- Should support graphics: Pictures and videos might make things easier to remember for some kids. Users should be able to add their own pictures to the flash card program as well.
- Can categorize: Grouping flash cards by category will allow them to be grouped according to a particular subject. Kids will be better prepared for that topic by doing this. They need not scroll through all the cards to prepare on certain topics if this option is available.
- Support voiceover: Kids often have difficulty remembering subjects that are taught in foreign languages. Kids should be able to record their voices for certain flash cards using the voiceover option in the app.
- Ads free: There are free and paid versions of most of the apps available online. Most of the free versions are overloaded with ads, which makes it hard for kids to concentrate. Choose apps that don’t have ads or have paid versions that are on a reasonable budget with all the characteristics mentioned above.
Our picks for best flash cards apps are Quizlet, Cram, and Brainscape.
Are teaching aids always effective?
For the past few years, phonics, flash cards, and other teaching methods have been employed. However, they may not work for everyone. According to a recent study conducted by the LSE, phonics may not have any significant impact on pupils aged 11. More than 270 thousand students aged 5, 7 and 11 were included in the study.. Studies suggest that kids will eventually learn to read regardless of whether they are taught phonics or not. With severe dyslexia, a child’s ability to learn through phonics may be compromised. To help your child, you should choose the appropriate aid. However, phonics and flash cards have proved to be the most useful for preparing kids for independent reading.
To sum up
- Parents can teach their children a lot.
- Participating in kids’ school matters can make a big difference. Parents must interact with their children’s teachers.
- Having a routine of doing homework can make a huge difference in kids’ academic performance.
- You can also use teaching aids like flash cards and phonics to improve your kids’ learning abilities. Keep in mind, however, that they don’t always work. Learning styles differ from child to child. Choosing the right aids is therefore important.
- You can make a big difference in your child’s future just by paying attention to their education.