As the school year begins in earnest, parents know that the best way to help their children succeed is to encourage positive attitudes and behaviors. For elementary school children, establishing these productive habits from an early age is especially important, as they set the foundation for future academic success. Read below for a few strategies you can use to make this school year the best one yet!
The mornings before a school day can be chaotic: your child refuses to get out of bed, their left shoe has magically gone missing, the dog runs out the door and somehow the bus has shown up 10 minutes early. To avoid such chaotic scenarios, try establishing a simple routine that your child can consistently follow before and after school. Even just a few easy tasks like putting things away in their proper place and picking out clothes the night before can help make each day more pleasant and productive. Getting your child into the habit of creating effective routines has also been shown to benefit them throughout their lives! Research published by the University of Albany supports this and found that those who grow up with established daily routines have improved time management skills and the ability to focus as adults.
Developing a growth mindset
One of the most beneficial things parents can instill in their children from a young age is a growth mindset. Popularized by Stanford Psychology professor Carol Dweck, a growth mindset is the belief that an individual’s abilities are not fixed but instead have the capacity to develop over time. While parents might naturally want to praise their child for receiving good grades, Dweck’s research has shown that it is far more beneficial to commend them for the strategy and process they used to reach that result. Not focusing on the outcome, and instead on their hard work and perseverance helps promote the idea that with this same determination, they can accomplish any task they set their mind to.
Improving the homework experience
For many elementary school students, adjusting to the expectation of nightly homework assignments can be a challenging (to put it lightly) experience. One way to make this easier is to have your child work diligently for a set amount of time (between 15 and 30 minutes), followed by a short (5 to 10 minute) break. Known as the Pomodoro Technique, this method of working for concentrated amounts of time breaks homework time into more manageable pieces. Using a timed technique like this one also helps limit distractions and improves overall productivity. For even better results, combine the Pomodoro Technique with the use of a child-specific homework station!
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