Success in School
By Beth D. Gaydos
are successful students? They are motivated learners who accept
some responsibility for their own education. They understand that
success comes as a result of their own efforts. They pay attention
and concentrate on school-related tasks. Successful students can
ignore or reduce distractions in the environment or from their own
thoughts which can interfere with learning.
students have the skills to understand the ideas presented in both
the classroom and textbooks. They know how to get help if they have
trouble understanding. Successful students can remember the facts
and ideas they need to achieve in school.
of this can be accomplished by students in a relaxed or stress-free
way. While they might be concerned about doing well in school, they
do not create excessive pressure for themselves.
can parents or caregivers do to foster success in school-aged children?
Children to Think
Encourage your children to ask questions about the world around
When reading to or with young children, ask them to imagine what
will happen in the story.
Actively listen to your children's conversations, responding seriously
and nonjudgmentally to the questions they raise.
When your children express feelings, ask why they feel that way.
Suggest that your children locate information to support their opinions.
Use entertainment--a TV program or a movie--as the basis for family
Use daily activities as occasions for learning. For example, instead
of just sending child to the store with a simple list of items to
purchase, talk with the child first. Discuss how much each item
might cost, what the total cost might be, and estimate how much
change should be received.
Reward your children for creative activity.
Ask your children what questions their teachers are raising in class.
For example, a history class might be discussing how American westward
When children are involved in talk about the "why" and
the "how" of things, they are more likely to become active
Encourage Children to Listen
Again, encourage children to ask questions to clarify understanding.
After a discussion, ask children questions about the topic to reinforce
Teach them to focus on the main ideas presented.
Urge them to concentrate both on the words and the ideas and feelings
expressed by the speaker.
Teach Children to Follow Directions
When showing children new skills, demonstrate each step and allow
them to participate until they can perform the task alone.
Give directions one at a time to avoid confusion.
as a role model to show learning is an ongoing and enjoyable experience.
Show interest in what your children are learning.
Offer constant encouragement so your children can learn effectively.
Acknowledge and celebrate your children's efforts to learn.
Heiman, M. & Slomianki, J., Thinking Skills: How Parents Can
Help. Washington, D.C.: National Education Association.
K. & Mahaffety, J. (1990). A Mother's Manual for Schoolday Survival.
Pomona, CA: Focus on the Family.
of NE-Lincoln (October, 1990). Enriching Family Relationships. Lincoln.
D. Gaydos is
an Extension Specialist at the Ohio State University Extension,
Family and Consumer Sciences. Reprinted with permission.