Five Actions to Ensure Your Child’s Academic Success
by Carol Barash, PhD, on Nov 13, 2013 11:22:00 AM
I’m often asked, “What can I do to help my child get ready for college?” Colleges are looking for independent, resilient, curious students who can think big and make fine distinctions. They want down-to-earth dreamers who will bring vitality and passion to their campus.
Here are five actions you can to take to develop these high-level thinking skills in your child, regardless of age:
1. Nurture your child’s innate curiosity and love of learning. When your child asks you questions about the world, take those questions up and pursue them. It’s not just the answer that matters, but your openness to your child’s asking.
2. Help them reflect on their experiences. Colleges look for students who view situations from multiple points of view, in class and out. Before your child moves on from a sticky situation, help them mine it for learning. Ask open-ended questions like “What could you have done differently?” “What does this look like from the other person’s perspective?”
3. Encourage your child to keep a journal. In one study, nuns whose daily writing was rich and complex had less dementia than those whose writings were less involved. Even before children learn language, you can encourage higher order thinking (HOT) by having them draw pictures. Later, keeping a journal teaches your child how to attend to the details of the day to day, to capture the wacky things people say and to reflect on everyday life.
4. Find out your child’s learning style. The sooner you can help your child figure out how he or she learns, the better. Is he or she an auditory learner, a visual learner, or an experiential learner? Once children understand how they access information and build their own ideas, they can adjust and optimize their learning environments to make situations work for them. Here’s a simple test for your child.
5. Teach resilience. A vital skill—for college and life—is learning to pick yourself up when you fall, learning what every moment has to teach you, and staying in the game when things get tough. Athletes learn this, as do Girl Scouts selling cookies. Children need to fail in order to learn. If you teach them to avoid failure, or sweep away all the broken pieces too quickly, you prevent their growth and learning.
The most important thing is to help your child identify and pursue their passions, and to take the setbacks with the successes.
This article was first published at College Prowler. Read the original text here.