How can parents and teachers educate young children?

Children learn early and to help your child grasp learning concepts at a young age, here are some useful tips for both parents and teachers.

Ask (the right) questions – When asking a young child how their day was or how they managed a project, it is a good idea to be more specific. For example, you could ask your child what they did during their art class in school or who shared their lunch. As for teachers, it is a good idea to set some time aside to ask children what they liked most about a lesson and what other areas they would like to include in the next class.

Reinforce desirable behavior – Instead of using culturally specific learning behaviors it is best to teach themes and values that are broadly desirable in society. For example, concepts like sharing, helping others, saying sorry, thank you and please and working as a team are all desirable behavior in any society. As for teachers, it is important that early learners understand taking turns, being polite, and learning to use words instead of getting angry or violent with another classmate.

Avoid grading – Early learners will not benefit from grading at home as this creates a sense of competition which is not necessary for a home environment. In a classroom setting, avoid grading and look at fun ways of incorporating learning. The main goal should be creating a sense of confidence in the child and to help them understand general concepts.

7 Family time and learning tips for the holidays

Article written by Ez Biz Niz

Holidays are a great way to spend quality time with the family. However, sometimes the holiday to-do list takes precedence over family time. Here are some tips to include family time and learning into your holidays.

Create a Budget – If your kids want to spend on activities or gifts, it is best to ask your children to create a budget. A budget will let your kids know what they can and cannot do and how to prioritize the most important areas on their list.

Cook together – Cooking together is a great way to teach your kids how to prepare meals. Ask your kids to make a list of items they would like to prepare.

Make Holiday Gifts – Instead of buying gifts for the holiday, encourage your kids to make gifts using paper, paint and recycled items.

Explore your city – Family outings can be fun and educational. Include visits to the local museum, historic sites, or see a play at a local theater.

Play games – Board games are fun and get the family together for some healthy competition.

Enjoy the great outdoors – The local park can be a good way to get your kids active.

Read every day – Take your kids to the local library and ask them to choose a few books to read during the week.

6 Signs that your child is ready to start kindergarten

It is important to start your child at Kindergarten when he or she is ready as this would mean that your child is mature and capable of handling the challenges of kindergarten. It also means that your child will be within the same age bracket as the other children, which will provide him or her with a level playing field. Here are six signs that your child is ready for kindergarten.

Follows simple directions – You want your child to be able to listen and take instruction from a teacher, which means that they need to understand when you ask them to complete a task or behave when asked to do so.

Stay in one place – You don’t need your child to sit in one plays for hours on end, but if they can sit for at least 20 minutes to complete a small task, they will be able to participate in a class environment.

Uses the restroom – When your child starts Kindergarten, they should be able to manage to go to the bathroom and clean up by themselves.

Recognizes some letters – Your child does not need to be able to read, but they should be able to recognize some letters of the alphabet.

Motor skills – Your child should be able to jump, throw a ball, run and be able to hold a pencil and scissors.

Gets along with peers – Your child may not be able to share or take turns all the time, but they should be able to do so sometimes.

Teens need better advice for A-level choices

A poll conducted in the UK suggested that teenagers in the UK where not adequately informed about the subjects they should choose for their degree courses. The poll surveyed 1,000 plus teenagers, which revealed that 30% of them say they were not informed on how their subject choices in A-level’s would affect their university degree.

To make an informed decision, students have to conduct their own research. Once they receive their GCSE results, they should identify what they want to in university, before selecting their A-level subjects.

It is also a good idea to look into the universities you would like to join. Some universities prefer students who have taken certain subjects for their A-level exam. It is also important to consider vocational qualifications, as they too qualify to enter certain universities.

Students should try their best not to get caught up in the greater demands of A-levels and firstly choose subjects that can help them to further their career. Mr Trobe who is the Interim General Secretary of the Association of School and College leaders, said that schools should assist students to make the right choice and reduce the chances of students dropping subjects after a year of study.

He also went on to say that students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds should be provided with clear information as they may not have the funds to take on another subject to get a place in an university or to choose a degree of their choice.

Eight homework tips

Children are more successful at school when parents take an active role in their studies and development. Here are 8 tips to help your child enjoy and complete their homework.

Know the teachers – As parents, you should attend school events that help you interact with your child’s teachers and other parents. Ask your child’s teacher about their policies on homework.

Set up a homework-friendly area – Create a quiet area that is well lit with all necessary homework supplies for your child to complete their homework.

Schedule a regular study time – Children tend to work on their homework at different times. Some prefer the afternoon and other may want to work on schoolwork after dinner.

Help them make a plan – If your child has a big assignment or a lot of homework, help them break the work into manageable chunks. Always include a 15-20 minute break for every 1-hour of work completed.

Keep distractions to a minimum – Avoid TV, music or phones when completing homework.

Make sure kids do their own work – Help your child, but don’t do the work for them.

Be a motivator and monitor – Motivate your child by given them encouragement that they can tackle a task. Monitor your child by checking on when assignments, quizzes, and tests are due.

Set a good example – If your child sees you completing tasks, reading etc., they will be more likely to follow.


4 Tips for choosing the best school for your child

The right school can help your child grow and guide them in their future career choices. Although there are some options available, finding the right school for your child can require some careful research. Here are some areas you should  consider before finalizing your decision.

Your choices – There is a long list of choices for schools, and they include Neighborhood Public Schools, Charter Schools, Magnet Schools, Online Public Schools, Private Schools, Homeschooling and Alternative Schools. It is vital that you as a parent are aware of the different types of schools to make an informed choice for your child.

Finding a good fit – To choose the right environment for your child you should look at what subjects or extracurricular activities you want your child to learn and how your child learns best. It is also a good idea to be aware of your child’s learning style and the challenges he/she faces. You should also consider the level of social interaction that is required by your child.

Choosing a focus – If you want your child to learn religion or a foreign language, it is important that you check with the school if they carry the subjects.

Check out scores – It is important to check the test scores of the schools you have short-listed. These scores will not give you the entire picture but will help you understand the school’s success rate.

Ways to boost your child’s academic potential

Helping your child reach their full potential is very parents goal. Here are some tips that every parent can do to help their child reach their academic potential.

Read – Reading to a small child is a great way to get your child used to reading on their own. Start off by reading a story and ask simple questions once the story is read.

Teaching opportunities – Your child will naturally love to learn, so use that eagerness by always answering your child’s questions and including him or her in daily activities like cooking, cleaning,and gardening.

Know what your child is studying at school – Take time to look at what your child is learning at school and help them with assignments and school projects. You can also look at making your child’s school learning interesting by visiting places, museumsand locations that are part of your child’s learning.

Don’t only look for A’s – Encourage your child to do their best and if they are unable to pass a subject, ask them how you can help.

Take care of the basics – To help your child concentrate at school, it is also important that they get enough sleep, healthy food, good hygiene and go for routine medical checkups. Always start a school day with a healthy breakfast to help your child concentrate and perform well at school.

Talk to your child’s teacher regularly – Build a strong parent-teacher relationship to understand how your child is fairing in school and how you can help to improve your child’s grades and behavior in the classroom.

6 Ways to get your child ready for a new school

If your child is transitioning to a new school, here are six ways to make their transition fun and less stressful.

First impressions – Ask your child what type of impression he/she wants to make in their new school. Tell them if they had a few bad experiences in their old school or did not give they’re all concerning school work, they can change all of this by trying harder at their new school.

Making friends – Remind your child how easy it is to make new friends.

Getting home – Let your child know how they will get home at the end of the day and who will pick them up.

Get involved – Get a list of the teams and clubs at your child’s new school and then ask your child what activities they would like to try.

What to expect – Let your child know what they should expect at their new school and that new classes, friends, teachers, and subjects can involve an adjustment period. If you know of a neighbor that attends the same school, try arranging a play date with that child so that your child knows someone on their first day of school.

Get off to a good start – Before your child starts school request for a school tour and show your child his/her locker, the cafeteria, washrooms, classes and gym space. Get your child excited by letting them pick out a new bag, stationary and some new clothing for school.


3 Steps to finding an excellent tutor for your child

If your child is struggling to understand a new subject, getting help from a tutor may be a good idea. However, finding the right tutor is critical. Here are a few areas to consider before selecting a tutor for your child.

Know your goals – Analyze what level of help your child needs. You can use your child’s grades as an indication. You will also have to consider what your goals are for your child. For example, is it better scores in one subject, improving general skills, creating good study skills or motivating your child. You should also understand what your child’s learning style. For example, does your child like reading, listening, moving, touching to understand a subject better.

Know your options – Speak to your school counselor and ask them what options you have within the school to get your child extra help. Most often a school counselor will be able to give you a list of tutors registered with the school. Asking other parents or other teachers from other schools is also a good idea. Price is also a determining factor when choosing a tutor, so make sure you are clear on how much you are willing to spend.

Test your options – When you’ve found a suitable tutor, look at their skills carefully and ask them about their educational background. The tutor you choose should have experience in handling children of your child’s age. You can also look at asking your tutor for a paid trial where you and your child can establish if the tutor suits your requirements.


4 Good study habits to help your child excel in school

Children in middle or high school will have a larger workload and many assignments during the year. To help your child stay ahead of the curve, here are some simple habits that will support your child rise to the challenge.

Get organized – With so many tests and assignments to keep track of, it can soon seem overwhelming for your child and yourself. Look at a quarterly planner that will help you and your child keep track of what needs to be completed by which date.

Know what is expected of your child – Most children will receive a course outline that will outline the how their test questions will be structured. If your syllabus guide is unclear, speak to a teacher or another parent who can clarify questions.

Designate a study area – A study area is a good idea as it will help your child concentrate and give them a quiet area to study and complete assignments. Look at creating a space that is well-lit and one that is comfortable for study. Look at removing all distractions like a TV or gaming console from this space.

Develop a study plan – A study plan will give your child a clear idea of what types of questions will be included in their tests. Avoid cramming for a test as this will only stress your child and sometimes cause to underperform.

Encouragement – Remember to encourage your child and tell them that they are going a good job when they score well.