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5 Steps to Foster Your Child’s Academic Growth

March 20, 2017 in

Written by Ellen R.

Now that your child is in high school, they will be expected to work independently and develop self-discipline. Phew! You don’t have to be the Physics or Algebra teacher! 

Here are some things you can do to foster your child’s academic growth.

  1. Encourage your student’s desire for independence. Allow your child to set their own schedule for completing schoolwork, as long as it is within your house rules for lights out and waking time.
  2. Be flexible. Let your child try out their schedule without interfering. You can monitor your child’s work by being interested in their courses. Avoid asking yes/no questions. Instead of “Did you work on English today?” you might say, “Tell me one new thing you learned in World History today.” This allows your child to freely discuss the parts of the lesson that interested them most. It also shows your child that their opinion is valued.
  3. If your child is not making progress in their courses, it is time to revisit the schedule. The benefit of virtual school is that your child can change his or her schedule anytime to fit their needs. Maybe your child needs to spend 1 ½ hours on their math lesson, but 50-60 minutes on English. Let your child try a schedule and adjust it as needed.
  4. Allow your child to try different learning strategies:
    • Are they list a maker? Some students like to organize their tasks for the day by making a list. It gives them great joy to be able to cross off completed tasks. And then there is that great feeling of accomplishment when the list is complete.
    • Is your child most focused first thing in the morning? After lunch? Would they rather get the tough stuff over with first so the rest of the day is easier? Or, do they tackle the easy stuff first to see instant success? Remember, allow your child to try different strategies. If one strategy doesn’t work, encourage your child to try another approach.
  5. Encourage your child to ask the teacher questions. Remember that your child’s teacher can’t see facial expressions or body language that might indicate they are stuck, or confused. You child should write to his or her teacher and be specific. “I don’t get this,” will not let the teacher know where they need help. “I get to this point in problem 6. Can you help me with the next step,” tells the teacher exactly where they are stuck.

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