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The Role Of Parents In Creating Platform For Students To Strive For Gifts And Awards - ETCSINES

This topic for me is both instructive and also a future guideline. It is instructive because of it deliberately teaches parents how to continue to position their children to stand out and as a guideline, it offers a template for those who are desiring to have their children always leading the rest. I remember as a young boy and even a teenager, I and most of my friends were always contended to be called 'average' student.

We saw this status as an achievement in itself, there was no drive nor desire to become outstanding. Now I have a better understanding and all parents need to also understand and know the action to take if they desire that their children should be outstanding. Most good students are not born as good learners. I agree that individual personality plays a big part in a child's willingness to learn and their overall attitude when it comes to schooling and education, but most children who are above average as students at some point had to become good learners. More importantly, any student, who possesses the basic aptitude and receives the right motivation, can become a good learner.

A glaring mistake which is usually made by teachers and parents when it comes to developing students and children is that they limit learning to the classroom. While the classroom will likely and always be the primary source of instruction, parent and teachers have the responsibility to extend intellectual, social and academic growth outside the walls of the classroom – that is if you really want to enhance a child's desire and ability to learn. I will outline some brief points which is by no means exhaustive but a good way to start of in improving the brilliance and intelligence of our children. Apply them correctly, and you'll be amazed as you see your child or student discover the joy of learning.

1. Develop an atmosphere of reading
Some people would argue that reading is the key to success in life. We would most certainly argue that at minimum reading is a key to success in learning. Children who develop a love of reading, develop a love for learning. Children who struggle with reading, struggle with learning. Reading does not only help children develop a much richer vocabulary, it also helps their brain learn how to process concepts and formal communication. And the skills gained from reading extend far beyond increased performance in class. Students who read well experience an enhanced ability to learn in all subjects – including technical subjects such as math and science.

A key to developing good readers, it to make reading fun – not frustrating. If a child decides that reading is boring or frustrating, they won't want to read and their ability to learn will be diminished. Let children pick their own books to read, help them read, and create activities for them that make reading fun.

2. Put your child in control as much as possible
When it comes to education, all some kids experience is control, control, and control. When a child feels controlled, or out of control when it comes to their education, they often withdraw from learning. It's important to guide children through the learning process, but it's just as important to allow children to have control of their own learning experience. Whether at home or in the classroom, provide children with the ability to have direct input into their learning choices. A good way to do this is to provide children with options. For example, when assigning a writing project, allow children to choose their topic to write about. It also recommends allowing children to choose their own extracurricular activities. The more control and input you're able to provide a child, with respect to their learning environment, activities, and style, the more engaged and motivated a child will become to learn.

3. Encourage sincere communication
Encourage your child or student to express his opinion about what's going on with his education. Create an open atmosphere where he feels comfortable expressing his likes, dislikes or concerns. When he shares his opinion, make sure to validate his feelings – even if you disagree. When children feel like their opinion doesn't matter, or they're stuck, they're likely to disengage from the learning process. Good learners know their opinion matters and feel reassured that they can be open about their educational experience without being judged, put down, discouraged or ignored.

4. Focus on your child's interests
When learning engages children in areas and subjects of interest, learning becomes fun and children engage in learning. If you really want to help your child to become a good learner, encourage him to explore topics and subjects that fascinate him. If he likes dinosaurs, help him find engaging and interesting books and stories about dinosaurs. Then challenge him to identify his five favorite dinosaurs and explain why he chose each one. It is true that as parents we may have a preferred career path for our children but it does not stop us from encouraging them to pursue their interest and with love we can gradually advise them.

5. Share your enthusiasm for learning
Enthusiasm rubs off, especially when it comes to learning new things. If your child or student sees that you're sincerely enthusiastic about learning, they're likely to become enthusiastic about learning. Whether it's history, science, reading, writing or even math, help him see that learning is a journey of exciting new discoveries. Take every opportunity – without being overwhelming or overbearing – to discover new information with him. As your child sees the joy and excitement learning brings to your life, he'll begin to share your enthusiasm for learning new things as well.

6. Make learning fun through game-based learning
Game-based learning is not a new concept. It's been around for a long time. Game-based learning can be very advantageous for many reasons. Using games as an education tool not only provides opportunities for deeper learning and development of non-cognitive skills, it helps motivate children to want to learn. When a child is actively engaged in a game, their mind experiences the pleasure of learning a new system. This is true regardless of whether the game is considered "entertainment" (e.g., video game) or "serious" (e.g., military simulator). Games that are entertaining provide the added benefit of motivating children to want to engage in the learning process and want to learn more. Constructive cartoons are also relevant for this purpose.

7. Focus on what is learnt, not the performance
Instead of asking your child how he did on his math test as soon as he gets home from school, have him teach you what he learned in math today. Focus on what your child is learning, as opposed to how he is performing. While performance is important, focusing on his learning experience will (1) communicate to your child that actual learning is more important than test grades, (2) results are not the most important thing, (3) you're more concerned about him than you are about his performance and (4) by focusing on his learning experience that day you'll provide him with the opportunity to put into his own words his lesson and solidify what he's learned.

8. Help your child stay organized
Helping your child organize his papers, books and assignments will go a long way toward helping him feel motivated to learn. Disorganization is typical among young school-age children, but it can also lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed. Overwhelmed children spend more time and effort being frustrated and worried that they do learning. Be patient, but consistent, in helping your child organize his school supplies and assignments. This will help him feel in control, less overwhelmed and more motivated to learn.

9. Recognize and celebrate achievements
No matter how small they may be, it's important to recognize and celebrate your child's achievements. This is especially important for elementary age school children who require constant positive reinforcement to keep them motivated to learn and challenge themselves to do better. We're not suggesting that you praise mediocrity, but that you offer recognition and celebrate your child's achievements. Finishing a difficult project deserves a special treat; doing well on a test could call for a trip to get ice cream. Always use positive reinforcement as your tool to motivate learning with your child.

10. Make every day a learning day
Turning every day into a learning day may sound like a bit much, but it really isn't, if you go about it the right way. Whenever possible, encourage your child to explore the world around him, ask questions and make connections. Help him categorize, classify and thinking critically about what he sees and experiences. Turning every day into a learning day will help your child develop the internal motivation to learn in the classroom, at home or wherever he may be. In conclusion, turning our children into achievers puts a lot of responsibility on us, and I am sure that most parents are convinced that the teacher can not do it all. When the child makes an exceptional or outstanding achievement, the society usually celebrates their home. Let us as parents, therefore, roll up our sleeves and get to work, so that when the praises, awards and gifts come rolling in for our children, we will be convinced that it is well deserved. 

Thank you.

By Tola Arawomo

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